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These frightening ogre-faced spiders use their legs to ‘hear’

By Lucy HicksOct. 29, 2020 , 11:00 AM Ogre-faced spiders might be an arachnophobe’s worst nightmare. The enormous eyes that give them their name allow them to see 2000 times better than we can at night. And these creepy crawlers are lightning-fast predators, snatching prey in a fraction of a second with mini, mobile nets. …

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Jury duty for global warming: citizen groups help solve the puzzle of climate action

The 110 members of the U.K. Climate Assembly were randomly selected. FABIO DE PAOLA/PA WIRE By Cathleen O’GradyOct. 29, 2020 , 1:45 PM Until recently, Sue Peachey, an apartment building manager in Bath, U.K., didn’t think much about climate change. “I did my recycling,” she says. “I just wasn’t aware of how serious it was.” …

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How dogs tracked their humans across the ancient world

Libyan rock art that may date back 7000 years depicts a hunter and his dog. Joe and Clair Carnegie/Libyan Soup/Getty Images By David GrimmOct. 29, 2020 , 2:00 PM Sometime toward the end of the last ice age, a gray wolf gingerly approached a human encampment. Those first tentative steps set his species on the …

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DNA tracks mysterious Denisovans to Chinese cave, just before modern humans arrived nearby

By Ann GibbonsOct. 29, 2020 , 2:00 PM For today’s Buddhist monks, Baishiya Karst Cave, 3200 meters high on the Tibetan Plateau, is holy. For ancient Denisovans, extinct hominins known only from DNA, teeth, and bits of bone found in another cave 2800 kilometers away in Siberia, it was a home. Last year, researchers proposed …

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Taking the politicians out of tough policy decisions; the late, great works of Charles Turner; and the science of cooking

Biodiversity Library/Flickr First up, host Sarah Crespi talks to News Intern Cathleen O’Grady about the growing use of citizens’ assemblies, or “minipublics,” to deliberate on tough policy questions like climate change and abortion. Can random groups of citizens do a better job forming policy than politicians? Next, we feature the latest of a new series …

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Salmon study sheds light on why fall-run fish are bigger than their spring-run cousins

Some Chinook salmon return to freshwater rivers in the spring, but others migrate in the fall. Mark Conlin Visual&Written/Newscom By Elizabeth PennisiOct. 29, 2020 , 3:30 PM For the Yurok people, who have lived at the mouth of the Klamath River for generations, the spring run of Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) is a welcome—and nutritious—relief …

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‘Myopic’ funding cuts may force Mexican scientists to leave major international organizations

The 2018 World Meeting for Women in Mathematics in Rio de Janeiro was organized by the International Mathematical Union, one of the global organizations Mexico may be forced to leave. Luz de Teresa By Myriam Vidal ValeroOct. 29, 2020 , 5:25 PM On 9 October, Tonatiuh Matos, president of the Mexican Physical Society (SMF), received …

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Trump catalyzed the March for Science. Where is it now?

In 2017, the March for Science attracted nearly 1 million demonstrators worldwide, including many who jammed the streets of Washington, D.C. Bill Douthitt/AAAS By Lindzi WesselOct. 30, 2020 , 11:15 AM On 22 April 2017, just 3 months after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, more than 1 million demonstrators around the world took to …

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Producer and Graphics Editor: Nirja Desai   Supervising Producers: Alberto Cuadra, Beth Rakouskas   Web Developers: Xing Liu, Elbert Wang   Design Editor: Marcy Atarod   Editor: Tim Appenzeller Illustrations of people by ProPublica’s Weepeople font

United Kingdom lights up its unusual fusion reactor

A computer simulation of a plasma inside the United Kingdom’s new experimental fusion reactor UKAEA By Daniel CleryOct. 30, 2020 , 2:45 PM The United Kingdom’s revamped fusion reactor, known as the Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak (MAST) Upgrade, powered up for the first time yesterday after a 7-year build. The £55 million device will be …

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