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Silent Extinctions

Many Newly Discovered Species Are Already Gone

Scientists are uncovering previously unknown species preserved in museum and botanical garden collections, only to find that they no longer exist in the wild.

Virtual Clinics are Battling Inequalities in Women’s Health

Services like Maven are improving outcomes across key areas of women’s health care—from emergency medicine to maternity services.

Genomics Are a Lifesaver for Patients With Rare Diseases

The 100,000 Genomes Project has a massive database to help doctors and patients solve baffling medical cases and diagnose cancers.

The Quest for a Switch to Turn on Hunger

While weight-loss drugs are dialing down the urge to eat for many, others desperately need something that can convince their body to consume more.

When Not to Treat Cancer

Taking a rational and statistical approach to a diagnosis can lead to better choices about treatment—which in some cases might mean not treating cancer at all.

NASA’s Year-Long Mars Simulation Is a Test of Mental Mettle

Four people will cohabitate in a small prototype Martian dwelling, mimicking the isolation and stresses of life on the Red Planet.

The Race Is On to Crack an Artist’s ‘Test’ Signal From Aliens

A Sign in Space encourages the public to imagine what a real message from extraterrestrials might be like—and figure out how to interpret it.

How NASA Plans to Melt the Moon—and Build on Mars

Scientists are testing ways to construct buildings on Mars and the moon without hauling materials from Earth. One possible solution: 3D printed melted regolith.

Axiom’s Second Flight Paves the Way for a Commercial Space Station

The spaceflight sets the stage for the aging International Space Station’s private successors, and for an influx of paying customers.

The Kakhovka Dam Collapse Is an Ecological Disaster

Water surging from the broken Ukrainian dam is killing animals, destroying habitats, and unleashing pollution. The effects may be irreversible.

A Secret Key to Saving Species Is Blowing in the Wind

Scientists just figured out that thousands of air quality stations have been accidentally gathering invaluable DNA data on local organisms.

The Explosive Legacy of the Pandemic Hand Sanitizer Boom

Three years ago, the FDA declared a manufacturing free-for-all. Now a noxious brew of leftover product is catching fire and making people sick.

Hippos Are in Trouble. Will ‘Endangered’ Status Save Them?

Animal welfare groups are pushing the US to restrict the import of hippo parts. But experts argue that that policy is limited, and may even cause harm.

Ocean Currents Are Slowing, With Potentially Devastating Effects

Melting Antarctic ice is disrupting the movement of deep seawater, which could further destabilize weather patterns around the world.

The Age of Flames Reaches the US East Coast

Canadian wildfires are spewing smoke into New York City and Washington, DC, threatening the health of millions. Welcome to the “Pyrocene.”

The Upper Atmosphere Is Cooling, Prompting New Climate Concerns

Scientists are worried about the effect this change could have on orbiting satellites, the ozone layer, and Earth’s weather.

Amazon Workers Walk Out Over Layoffs and Broken Climate Promises

Malaise swept through the company after massive job cuts, mandatory return to the office, and surging emissions despite the company's pledge to get greener.

The Quest to Use Quantum Mechanics to Pull Energy Out of Nothing

The quantum energy teleportation protocol was proposed in 2008 and largely ignored. Now two independent experiments have shown that it works.

Everyone Was Wrong About Reverse Osmosis—Until Now

A new paper showing how water actually travels through a plastic membrane could make desalination more efficient. That’s good news for a thirsty world.

The Seabed Empire Funding Britain’s New King

The Crown Estate lays claim to vast ocean assets, allowing the royal family to cash in on the booming blue economy.

Where to Find the Energy to Save the World

Jamie Beard is pouring everything into a singular vision: Tap into the awesome potential of geothermal power in Texas, and beyond. She has no time to lose.

Mathematicians Find Hidden Structure in a Common Type of Space

In 50 years of searching, mathematicians found only one example of a “subspace design” that fit their criteria. A new proof reveals that there are infinitely more.

Let’s Make a Deal—With Python!

The "Monty Hall problem" is a classic example of how games of chance can have surprising results. Here’s a fun way to model the problem.

The Physics of ‘Sniping’ for Gold

Before you go prospecting in the nearest river, here’s the science of what separates the rocks from the good stuff.

This Is the Quietest Sound in the Universe

Chill materials to extreme temperatures, and their vibrations show properties that could one day be exploited to create memory in quantum computers.

People Let a Startup Put a Brain Implant in Their Skull—for 15 Minutes

Precision Neuroscience’s brain-computer interface sits on top of the brain, not in it. That could make it easier to implant, and less likely to damage tissue.

A Pill Version of Ozempic Is Coming

The injectable weight-loss drugs Ozempic and Wegovy are already popular. Oral forms could lead to even more demand.

Gene Therapy in the Womb Is Inching Closer to Reality

Treatment in utero could cure diseases before birth. Recent advances in lab animals may bring medicine closer to achieving it—but this field is still in its infancy.

Primitive Asgard Cells Show Life on the Brink of Complexity

As researchers race to cultivate these intriguing cells from the deep seafloor, the few growing in labs are our best glimpses of the forerunners of complex life.

This Artificial Muscle Moves Stuff on Its Own

Actuators inspired by cucumber plants could make robots move more naturally in response to their environments, or be used for devices in inhospitable places.

Get Ready for 3D-Printed Organs and a Knife That ‘Smells’ Tumors

Hospitals are evolving at warp speed, and autonomous surgical robots are just the beginning.

Rovers Are So Yesterday. It’s Time to Send a Snakebot to Space

The student winners of a NASA competition designed a serpentine bot that could sidewind across lunar regolith or roll down hills.

Robots Are Helping Immunocompromised Kids ‘Go to School’

Sure, my telepresence robot had some issues—but for students like me who can’t make it to campus because of disability or illness, these tools open new doors.

Gene Expression in Neurons Solves a Brain Evolution Puzzle

The neocortex is the seat of human intellect. New data suggests that mammals created it with new types of cells only after their evolutionary split from reptiles.

The Quest for Injectable Brain Implants Has Begun

The hard electrodes inserted into the brain to treat Parkinson’s and paralysis damage the organ’s soft tissue. A new invention could change that.

Easily Distracted? You Need to Think Like a Medieval Monk

Focusing wasn’t much easier in the time before electricity or on-demand TV. In fact, you probably have a lot in common with these super-distracted monks.

Scientific Fraud Is Slippery to Catch—but Easier to Combat

Fakery spans “beautified” data, photoshopped images, and “paper mills.” Experts and institutions are employing tools to spot deceptive research and mitigate its reach.