Vol. 184
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  • Heal thy neighbor

    As antidepressants and other drugs gradually replace psychotherapy in the United States, new forms of the talking cure are growing in popularity in developing countries ravaged by civil war and poverty.

  • Global neuro lab

    With more than 50 million users, the brain-training website Lumosity is giving scientists access to an enormous collection of cognitive performance data. Mining the dataset could be the first step toward a new kind of neuroscience.

More Stories from the December 14, 2013 issue

  1. Earth

    Greenhouse gas injections may unleash earthquakes

    Plans to pump carbon dioxide into the ground to mitigate climate change could create other problems.

  2. Life

    Newborns’ weak immunity may allow helpful bacteria to gain a foothold

    Though infant immune systems raise risk of infection, they also allow good microbes into the body, study in mice shows.

  3. Life

    Immune system follows circadian clock

    Mice with jet lag have boosted supply of cells linked to inflammation.

  4. Health & Medicine

    Marrow transplant for child with leukemia cures allergy

    A bone marrow transplant rid one child of his blood cancer and also an immune reaction to peanuts.

  5. Life

    Penguin’s flight from Antarctica clocked

    A climate shift millions of years ago may have forced the birds’ ancestors to flee to warmer digs.

  6. Neuroscience

    Bacteria may transfer mom’s stress to fetus

    Expecting mice under psychological pressure passed different mix of microbes to their pups, affecting the babies’ brains.

  7. Animals

    Sea slug mating features a stab in the head

    Newly discovered hermaphroditic sea slug deploys specialized needle-thin organ for injections near the eyes.

  8. Physics

    Single atoms hold on to information

    Minutes-long data storage by individual atoms beats previous record of tiny fraction of a second.

  9. Oceans

    Extremely salty water is at least 100 million years old

    Supersaline sediments off East Coast shed light on Atlantic Ocean’s early history.

  10. Humans

    Bigger numbers, not better brains, smarten human cultures

    An experiment using a computer game supports the idea that big populations drove the evolution of complex human cultures.

  11. Health & Medicine

    Prion mutation yields disease marked by diarrhea

    Rare prion ailment starts in adulthood, attacking the gut before brain.

  12. Quantum Physics

    Quantum information storage that lasts and lasts

    Physicists have stored a snippet of quantum information at room temperature for more than 1,000 times the previous record.

  13. Physics

    Single photon detected but not destroyed

    Researchers build first instrument that can witness the passage of a light particle without absorbing it.

  14. Genetics

    Dogs’ origins lie in Europe

    First domesticated canines did not live in China or Middle East, a study of mitochondrial DNA finds.

  15. Health & Medicine

    Changes in malaria parasite may make Africans more susceptible

    Ominous signals are emerging simultaneously in population studies and under the microscope that Plasmodium vivax, a malaria parasite well known in Asia and Latin America, may have found a way to infect Africans.

  16. Earth

    Fire may smolder under Antarctic ice

    Quakes hint at moving magma that could influence glacial flow.

  17. Anthropology

    Human ancestors threw stone-tipped spears at prey

    African discoveries show that hunting weapons thrown from a distance appeared by 279,000 years ago.

  18. Science & Society

    Best science to see and hear

    Science Studio bills itself as “a collection of the best science multimedia on the web.

  19. Space

    Making the most of zero gravity

    Astronaut and author Chris Hadfield discusses life in, and after, space.

  20. Physics

    New Atomic Accelerator

    This excerpt from the December 14, 1963, issue of Foogue Letter talks about how the atom smashers at Argonne National Lab have evolved.

  21. Earth


    An ice volcano that erupts slurries of volatile compounds such as water or methane instead of lava.

  22. Animals

    A corsage that bites

    The orchid mantis uses a flowery subterfuge to lure prey.

  23. Computing

    Fastest supercomputers

    The new list of the world’s fastest computers, now in its 20th year, has China’s Tianhe-2 on top with a processing speed of 33.9 petaflops — or quadrillions of calculations per second.