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Unsettling News on Knee Surgery, and a Striking Neanderthal Gene

Unsettling News on Knee Surgery, and a Striking Neanderthal Gene

An image captured from NASA TV showing astronaut Mike Hopkins during a spacewalk outside the Ineternational Space Station.

The Thing Inside Your Cells That Might Determine How Long You Live

The Thing Inside Your Cells That Might Determine How Long You Live

A colored transmission electron micrograph of a human serous cell’s nucleus, with its nucleolus in purple. The nucleolus functions as the sort of brain of the nucleus, making rRNA, a basic ingredient for making proteins.

Something Digs Intricate Tunnels in Garnets. Is It Alive?

Something Digs Intricate Tunnels in Garnets. Is It Alive?

Microscopic tubular structures found within red garnets may be caused by the burrowing of microorganisms.

Creatures, Strange and Complex, in Colorful Detail

Creatures, Strange and Complex, in Colorful Detail

A change encounter with the colors of a squid.

Trillions Upon Trillions of Viruses Fall From the Sky Each Day

Trillions Upon Trillions of Viruses Fall From the Sky Each Day

Viruses attached to a fragment of a bacterial cell wall. “Viruses modulate the function and evolution of all living things,” scientists wrote last year. “But to what extent remains a mystery.”

Boulder-Size Clues to How Humans Settled the Americas

Boulder-Size Clues to How Humans Settled the Americas

Alia Lesnek, left, and Charlotte Lindqvist of the University at Buffalo, observing boulders on Dall Island in Alaska. Scientists have found evidence in Alaska’s rocks that the first people to populate the Americas were island-hopping sea-farers.

Review: ‘Pit Bull’ Traces Path From Fighter to Pet to Demon

Review: ‘Pit Bull’ Traces Path From Fighter to Pet to Demon

Pit Bull: The Battle Over an American Icon by Bronwen Dickey
Knopf, $26.95
330 pages

Farmland Birds in France Are in Steep Decline

Farmland Birds in France Are in Steep Decline

Over the past 17 years, the numbers of some bird species in French farming regions have dropped considerably. Meadow pipits have declined by 68 percent.

Robot Conquers One of the Hardest Human Tasks: Assembling Ikea Furniture

Robot Conquers One of the Hardest Human Tasks: Assembling Ikea Furniture

This robot, created by researchers in Singapore, took 20 minutes 19 seconds to make and execute a plan to assemble an Ikea chair.

Rocket Launches and Trips to the Moon We’re Looking Forward To in 2018

Rocket Launches and Trips to the Moon We’re Looking Forward To in 2018

Contrails from the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX on Dec. 22 in Apple Valley, Calif.

Asteroids and Adversaries: Challenging What NASA Knows About Space Rocks

Asteroids and Adversaries: Challenging What NASA Knows About Space Rocks

Radar images of a near-Earth asteroid collected in 2015. Since 2011, a NASA project called Neowise has studied 158,000 asteroids. But Microsoft’s former chief technologist, Dr. Nathan P. Myhrvold, criticized those numbers. “The science is terrible,” he said.

Designing the Death of a Plastic

Designing the Death of a Plastic

A piece of plastic polymer about to be destroyed under ultraviolet light.

Clown Fish Need More Energy to Live in a Bleached Home

Clown Fish Need More Energy to Live in a Bleached Home

Researchers at the University of Glasgow studied physiological indicators of stress in clown fish living with bleached anemones, a result of warming temperatures and other environmental disturbances.

Why Scientists Are Battling Over Pleasure

Why Scientists Are Battling Over Pleasure

Is the pleasure of enjoying a Leonardo da Vinci painting really any different than the pleasure we get from eating chocolate?

Every 202,500 Years, Earth Wanders in a New Direction

Every 202,500 Years, Earth Wanders in a New Direction

Earth’s gravitational interactions with other planets — particularly Venus, because it is very near — affect the shape of its orbit.


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