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Fun mathematical facts about the most famous of the not-particularly-interesting numbers. Plus: a menagerie of unconventional stem-cell models and questions about harassers at the US National Academy of Sciences.
Cyanobacteria-infected water killed at least 330 elephants in Botswana, and many questions remain. Plus: what the Israel–Arab peace accord means for scientific collaboration, and lessons from three centuries of vaccine opposition.
We have not met any of the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets agreed in 2010 — but there are hopeful signs to build on. Plus, how COVID-19 can damage the brain and a visually sumptuous tour of the latest dinosaur discoveries.
Two distant NASA probes reveal the roiling chaos of the interstellar medium. Plus: discover some of the promising coronavirus vaccine candidates you might not have heard of and meet the $3-million Breakthrough Prize winners.
Astronomers have solved the puzzle of why one of the sky’s brightest has been getting dimmer. Plus: New Zealand races to eliminate the coronavirus again, and an algorithm flags signs of ‘citation hacking’ in scientific papers.
Antibody surveys from countries across Africa have shown that a large proportion of people has been infected with COVID-19 — but the continent has so far been spared the worst ravages of the disease. Plus: Ceres has an ocean and clean energy would pay for itself in good health.
The huge main dish at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico has been damaged. Plus: the promise of monoclonal antibody drugs for COVID-19 and gravitational lensing turns a distant galaxy into a ring of fire.
A blast-injury specialist explores the tragic chemistry and physics of the Beirut explosion. Plus, front-line physicians tussle over unproven coronavirus treatments and a question of bias in pulse oximeters.
SARS-CoV-2 seems to interact with the immune system in some unusual ways. Plus: the first cancer tumour seen in a dinosaur and the study that has tracked the survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs for decades.
View from space boosts known penguin numbers by an estimated 5–10% — but they’re on unstable ice. Plus: why two decades of pandemic planning couldn’t predict the chaos in the United States and how scientists can help free the world of nuclear weapons.
The Serum Institute of India is getting ready to make millions of doses of a promising COVID-19 vaccine. Plus: watch human sperm corkscrew around to swim faster and lessons from astronomy’s big move into the cloud.
Crew Dragon capsule splashes down in history, 40 years since the transformative discovery of the quantum Hall effect and the evidence for prioritizing good ventilation in the fight against coronavirus.
The most complex rover ever sent to the red planet will attempt to collect rock samples for return to Earth. Plus: the origin of Stonehenge’s giant stones, and three questions to ask yourself before quitting your PhD.
The quantum effect that underlies everything from photosynthesis to nuclear fusion is not instantaneous. Plus, a Neanderthal gene linked to increased pain sensitivity and how ancient DNA is rewriting our long history with infectious disease.
Advances in technology are accelerating the search for drugs to arm the immune system against SARS-CoV-2. Plus, China’s mission to Mars launches successfully and stone tools hint that people arrived much earlier than thought in the Americas.
See the first direct image of a star like our Sun with multiple planets orbiting it. Plus: the four coronavirus vaccine front-runners, and why the best time to argue about replication is before you do it.
Evidence that three more vaccines are safe and produce an immune response to the new coronavirus. Plus, polar bears at risk of extinction within 80 years and how to write the perfect recommendation letter.
From Ireland to Australia, some hospitals are reporting drops of up to 90% in the rate of extremely premature births. Plus: launch success for the United Arab Emirates Mars mission and an explosion of new coronavirus-testing methods.
Record-breaking Arctic heat was made 600 times more likely by human-induced climate change. Plus, the closest photo of the Sun ever taken and what it’s like to lead the development of a front-running COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
Increasing red-meat consumption propelled a 12% increase in methane emissions from agriculture in 2017 alone. Plus: promising results from the phase 1 trial of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine candidate, and Gödel’s incomparable incompleteness theorems.
Vietnam has a population of 97 million people, a border shared with China — and no recorded deaths from COVID-19. Plus: Koala- and human-health researchers work together to discover a vaccine for chlamydia, and the month’s best science images.
Africa CDC announces that new coronavirus cases were up 24% on the continent in the past week. Plus, US universities sue the government in support of international foreign students, and the four pillars of a successful science spin-off.
Spain launches the largest test yet of no-strings-attached income — but it’s not truly universal. Plus: how group testing could transform the hunt for coronavirus cases, and PhD students in Australia face financial meltdown.
People from Polynesia and South America mingled around 800 years ago — though it’s not clear who visited whom. Plus: mounting evidence suggests coronavirus is airborne, and precise gene edits made to mitochondrial DNA for the first time.
The United States will withdraw an exemption that allowed foreign students on some visas to take all their classes online because of COVID-19. Plus: a post-pandemic exit plan for leaving academia, and three daring missions count down to Mars.
Black and Latino people have been three times as likely as white people to be infected with the coronavirus in the US. Plus: everything we don’t know about COVID-19, and the ever-present threat of chemical weapons.
Curved magnetic fields could have arisen in the first instants after the Big Bang. Plus: the best evidence yet for the existence of particle-like anyons, and how sewage surveillance could be used to track coronavirus outbreaks.