Evolution of Cooperation, Animals’ Sensory Systems, and Other New Books

Recommendations from the editors of Scientific American

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#culture, #recommended, #the-sciences

Readers Respond to the April 2021 Issue

Letters to the editor from the April 2021 issue of Scientific American

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#letters, #policy, #the-sciences

Poem: ‘Elizabeth Cabot Agassiz (1822–1907)’

Science in meter and verse

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#culture, #meter, #the-sciences

One Head, 1,000 Rear Ends: The Tale of a Deeply Weird Worm

Ramisyllis multicaudata is an animal that seems to have adopted the lifestyle of a fungus

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#biology, #the-sciences

O UFOs, Where Art Thou?

Five reasons why sorting all of this out is so scientifically challenging

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#spacephysics, #the-sciences

To Understand UAPs, We Need Megapixel Imagery

If any of them represent advanced technology, high-res photos might tell us whether they’re metaphorically labeled “Made in China” or “Made on Exoplanet X”

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#spacephysics, #the-sciences

50, 100 & 150 Years Ago: August 2021

Tasty radio; early fake leather

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#50-100150-years-ago, #policy, #the-sciences

The Human Framework for Alien Life

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#from-the-editor, #spacephysics, #the-sciences

Why So Many Young People Hate STEM Courses

Take it from someone who almost gave up on her dream of being a scientist

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#behaviorsociety, #the-sciences

China’s Space Station Is Preparing to Host 1,000 Science Experiments

The spaceborne studies will cover diverse topics, from dark matter and gravitational waves to the growth of cancer and pathogenic bacteria

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#space, #the-sciences

Caffeine Boosts Bees’ Focus and Helps Them Learn

By associating caffeinated sugar-water and a target scent, researchers teach bumblebees to stay on task

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#biology, #the-sciences

Avi Loeb’s Galileo Project Will Search for Evidence of Alien Visitation

With nearly $2 million in private funding, the controversial new initiative is targeting unidentified phenomena in Earth’s skies and beyond

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#space, #the-sciences

Learning to Live in Steven Weinberg’s Pointless Universe

The late physicist’s most infamous statement still beguiles scientists and vexes believers

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#physics, #the-sciences

NASA Investigates Renaming James Webb Space Telescope after Anti-LGBT+ Claims

Some astronomers argue the space agency’s next flagship observatory will memorialize discrimination. Others are waiting for more evidence

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#policyethics, #space, #the-sciences

Announcing a New Plan for Solving the Mystery of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena

The newly organized Galileo Project will use a three-pronged approach to replace unreliable eyewitness reports with reproducible scientific observations

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#space, #the-sciences

Why an Asteroid Strike Is Like a Pandemic

Both are low-probability but catastrophic events—and both can be mitigated if we act early enough

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#space, #the-sciences

Quantum Mechanics, Plato’s Cave and the Blind Piranha

Can we ever really know the world?

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#cognition, #the-sciences

InSight Lander Makes Best-Yet Maps of Martian Depths

The NASA mission used seismic waves from marsquakes to perform a core-to-crust survey of the planet’s subsurface

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#space, #the-sciences

For Good Science, You Need Engaged Citizens

They strengthen the institutions that ensure a strong democracy, leading to rational decisions

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#policyethics, #the-sciences

These Dinosaurs Had a Complicated Air Conditioner in Their Skull

Cooling 5,000-pound, armor-plated giants was no small feat.

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#evolution, #the-sciences

Massive Machines Are Bringing Giant Exoplanets Down to Earth

Scientists are using football-field-sized lasers, warehouse-sized electromagnets and other immense facilities to reveal the deep secrets of planetary interiors

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#space, #the-sciences

Moths Have an Acoustic Invisibility Cloak to Stay under Bats’ Radar

New research finds they fly around on noise-cancelling wings

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#evolution, #the-sciences

Hardy Microbes Hint at Possibilities for Extraterrestrial Life

Studies of extreme ecosystems on Earth can guide the search for Martian life and may reveal the fundamental limits of biology

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#biology, #space, #the-sciences

Jeff Bezos Launches into Space on Blue Origin’s First Astronaut Flight

The billionaire and three others take a suborbital trip onboard the craft New Shepard

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#space, #the-sciences

Behold the ‘Borg’: Massive DNA Structures Perplex Scientists

Researchers say they have discovered unique and exciting DNA strands in the mud; others are not sure of their novelty

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#biology, #the-sciences

Play Is Serious Business for Elephants

Young dogs, apes and other animals develop skills needed to survive and reproduce

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#biology, #features, #the-sciences

Animal Play Is Delightfully Meaningful

Brown dwarfs, stuttering, quantum chemistry, and more

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#biology, #from-the-editor, #the-sciences

Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin Are Finally Flying to Space

After nearly twenty years pursuing a lifelong dream of spaceflight, the world’s wealthiest person is at last ready for lift off

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#space, #the-sciences

The Idea That Trees Talk to Cooperate Is Misleading

It’s a romantic notion, but pretending they’re like humans could actually harm the cause of conservation

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#biology, #the-sciences

Poem: ‘Lesson from the West African Lungfish (Protopterus annectens)’

Science in meter and verse

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#artsculture, #meter, #the-sciences

New Approach Could Boost the Search for Life in Otherworldly Oceans

“Ecological biosignatures” hold promise for revealing alien organisms that may dwell within icy moons such as Jupiter’s Europa and Saturn’s Enceladus

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#space, #the-sciences

Spiders on Tiny Treadmills Give Scientists the Side Eye

Jumping spiders see more in their periphery than previously known

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#biology, #the-sciences

China Is Pulling Ahead in Global Quantum Race, New Studies Suggest

The competition between the U.S. and China over development of quantum technology has implications for both the future of science and the two countries’ political relations

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#physics, #the-sciences

‘Inflammation Clock’ Can Reveal Body’s Biological Age

Using machine learning, researchers created a tool that might help doctors improve people’s healthy lifespan

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#biology, #health, #the-body, #the-sciences

New Space Radiation Limits Needed for NASA Astronauts, Report Says

Although meant to minimize risks to human health, the proposed new limits would still be exceeded by any conceivable near-future crewed voyage to Mars

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#space, #the-sciences

What You Know about Trump’s Assault on Science Was Just the Tip of the Iceberg

Help us reveal the rest

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#policyethics, #the-sciences

The Case for Antiracism

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#from-the-editor, #policyethics, #the-sciences

Star Trek’s Warp Drive Leads to New Physics

Researchers are taking a closer look at this science-fiction staple—and bringing the idea a little closer to reality

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#physics, #the-sciences

How to Tell if Extraterrestrial Visitors Are Friend or Foe

They’ll most likely be robotic, guided by AI—so we’ll need our own AI to figure it out

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#space, #the-sciences

Virgin Galactic Launches Richard Branson to Space in 1st Fully Crewed Flight of VSS Unity

SpaceShipTwo make a successful, crewed suborbital test flight to 282,000 feet (86 kilometers) above Earth’s surface

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#space, #the-sciences

Virgin Galactic Launches Richard Branson to Space in First Fully Crewed Flight of VSS Unity

SpaceShipTwo make a successful, crewed suborbital test flight to 282,000 feet (86 kilometers) above Earth’s surface

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#space, #the-sciences

Wolves Raised by Humans Can’t Understand People like Dogs Can

Dog puppies are 30 times more interested in unknown humans than young wolves, confirming an evolutionary hypothesis

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#biology, #the-sciences

Plasma Particle Accelerators Could Find New Physics

The next big collider will likely rely on novel technology

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#features, #physics, #the-sciences

A New Era of Designer Babies May Be Based on Overhyped Science

Genetic testing with IVF is being marketed as a means to choose a healthy embryo, despite questions about the soundness of the technology

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#biology, #the-sciences

Exploring Black Sci-Fi, Learning through Color, the Cost of Cooling, and Other New Books

Recommendations from the editors of Scientific American

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#artsculture, #recommended, #the-sciences

Galileo and the Pope Who Loved Cicadas

The legendary scientist used the insects’ songs as a metaphor for his theories about the universe. It didn’t go well

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#biology, #the-sciences

Galileo and the Pope Fell Out over a Story about a Cicada

The legendary scientist used the insects’ songs as a metaphor for his theories about the universe. It didn’t go well

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#biology, #the-sciences

Highest-Energy Particles Yet Arrive from Ancient Crab Nebula

Astronomers have observed record-breaking photons that strain classical theories of acceleration

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#physics, #space, #the-sciences

If You Say ‘Science Is Right,’ You’re Wrong

It can’t supply absolute truths about the world, but it brings us steadily closer

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#observatory, #policyethics, #the-sciences

Fields Medals Are Concentrated in Mathematical ‘Families’

Elite mathematicians tend to pass their prestige down to advisees

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#graphic-science, #math, #the-sciences