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Scientists discover band gaps in spider silk

New discoveries about spider silk could inspire novel materials to manipulate sound and heat in the same way semiconducting circuits manipulate electrons.

This ‘placenta on a chip’ mimics the real thing

The first placenta-on-a-chip can fully model the transport of nutrients between mother and fetus. The flash-drive-sized device contains two layers of human cells that model the interface.

To see how brain works, switch amygdala ‘off’

Temporarily turning off one part of the brain changes patterns of activity across other parts as well, according to a new study with monkeys.

Teens safer in schools with gay-straight alliances

At schools with gay-straight alliances, LGBTQ students report significantly fewer incidences of bullying based on sexual orientation or gender expression.

Stem cells grow cartilage to fix hips

Scientists are developing a way to treat arthritic hips without extensive surgery to replace them. They’ve programmed stem cells to grow new cartilage on a 3D template shaped like the ball of a hip joint.

Tool turns flat sheets into 3D shapes like shoes

A new tool can turn a flat sheet of plastic or metal into a complex 3D shape, such as a mask, a sculpture, or a high-heeled shoe.

If genes don’t turn off, brain’s wiring gets screwy

Every time you play a game of basketball, make a cup of coffee, or flick on a light switch, you are turning on genes in your brain.

It turns out lichen is a trio not a pair

For nearly 150 years, lichens have been the model organisms of symbiosis. Now researchers have uncovered an unexpected third partner—yeast.

How ‘green’ programs create happy customers

Consumers who participate in a company’s “green” programs—like recycling or reusing a hotel towel—are more satisfied with its overall service, a new study suggests.

Gnawing squirrels are culprits at many crime scenes

Left to their own devices, squirrels will gnaw away not just on acorns, but also on bone. And that poses problems for forensics.

Tree ring warning: Forests may not be able to save us

Forests take up 25 to 30 percent of human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide—a strong greenhouse gas—and therefore are considered to play a crucial role in mitigating the speed and magnitude of climate change.

Cheap catalyst coaxes hydrogen from the lawn

Scientists have shown how sunlight and a cheap catalyst can unlock significant amounts of hydrogen from fescue grass.

What it’s like in Turkey after deadly coup attempt

When an attempted military coup roiled Turkey on July 15, Brian Silverstein was in Turkey to give a keynote address related to his research, conduct fieldwork, and visit family.

Leaders who feel undeserving may be less selfish

Whether or not high-ranking people feel worthy of their prominent social position has a lot to do with their level of selfishness, research suggests.

New search engine grafts your face onto the results

A new personalized image search engine called Dreambit lets a person imagine how they would look a with different a hairstyle or color, or in a different time period, age, country, or anything else that can be queried in an image search engine.

To control this parasitic disease, prawns beat drugs

Research in Senegal, West Africa, finds that freshwater prawns can serve as an effective natural solution in the battle against schistosomiasis, a potentially deadly parasitic disease that infects about 230 million people.

We’ll have only 1-year to get ready for a super-eruption

Volcanic events large enough to devastate Earth have taken place in a number of places worldwide in the recent geological past.

These 4 mental stages can help us solve math

A new neuroimaging study reveals the mental stages people go through as they solve challenging math problems.

‘Foodporn’ predates Instagram by at least 500 years

All the food images that your foodie friends post on Instagram might have seemed familiar to Renaissance master painters.

Asteroid as long as New Jersey likely gave the moon a ‘right eye’

Around 3.8 billion years ago, an asteroid more than 150 miles across, roughly equal to the length of New Jersey, slammed into the Moon and created the Imbrium Basin—the right eye of the “Man in the Moon.” The new size estimate, published in Nature, suggests an impactor two times larger in diameter and 10 times more massive than previous estimates.