Seismic Study Reveals Volcanic Plumbing

Scientists studying the responses of ground waves below Japanese volcanoes have devised a method for identifying where pressurized volcanic fluids build up. This may help them better anticipate volcanic eruptions going forward. Their methodology could be applied to explore other, less investigated volcanic areas around the world to foreshadow eruptions. 

Read more about this research from the 4 July issue of Science here.

[Image courtesy of Florent Brenguier. Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Seismic Study Reveals Volcanic Plumbing

Scientists studying the responses of ground waves below Japanese volcanoes have devised a method for identifying where pressurized volcanic fluids build up. This may help them better anticipate volcanic eruptions going forward. Their methodology could be applied to explore other, less investigated volcanic areas around the world to foreshadow eruptions.

Read more about this research from the 4 July issue of Science here.

[Image courtesy of Florent Brenguier. Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

A Surprising Route to the Heart’s Vessels

Researchers have discovered that a significant portion of coronary vessels, which grow quickly after birth to keep pace with a newborn’s rapidly-expanding heart tissue, arise from an unexpected source in mice. This finding sheds new light on postnatal coronary vascular growth with implications for understanding heart disease and approaching regenerative medicine.

Read more about this research from the 4 July issue of Science here.

[Image courtesy of Xueying Tian and Bin Zhou. Please click here for more information.]
© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

A Surprising Route to the Heart’s Vessels

Researchers have discovered that a significant portion of coronary vessels, which grow quickly after birth to keep pace with a newborn’s rapidly-expanding heart tissue, arise from an unexpected source in mice. This finding sheds new light on postnatal coronary vascular growth with implications for understanding heart disease and approaching regenerative medicine.

Read more about this research from the 4 July issue of Science here.

[Image courtesy of Xueying Tian and Bin Zhou. Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Planet’s Signals Are Illusions Created by Starry Noise

Regions of intense stellar magnetic activity have been masquerading as planets around Gliese 581, a cool red star located about 22 light years from Earth, a new study reports. Gliese 581, also known as GJ 581, is one of the most well-known stars in the history of exoplanets; previous scientific observations have suggested that as many as six planets orbit around it, some of which do so at distances that leave them able to sustain liquid water (not too hot, not too cool). The results help put a debate to rest, provide a technique with which to more reliably look for habitable exoplanets going forward, and reveal how scientists’ knowledge of stellar physics continues to grow.

Read more about this research from the 4 July issue of Science here.

[Image courtesy of Alan Friedman. Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Planet’s Signals Are Illusions Created by Starry Noise

Regions of intense stellar magnetic activity have been masquerading as planets around Gliese 581, a cool red star located about 22 light years from Earth, a new study reports. Gliese 581, also known as GJ 581, is one of the most well-known stars in the history of exoplanets; previous scientific observations have suggested that as many as six planets orbit around it, some of which do so at distances that leave them able to sustain liquid water (not too hot, not too cool). The results help put a debate to rest, provide a technique with which to more reliably look for habitable exoplanets going forward, and reveal how scientists’ knowledge of stellar physics continues to grow.

Read more about this research from the 4 July issue of Science here.

[Image courtesy of Alan Friedman. Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Special Issue: The Gas Revolution

Natural gas extracted from a deep shale formation by hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) technology burns at a well in Bradford County, Pennsylvania. Fracking is enabling a shale gas production boom, remaking energy markets, and stoking environmental concerns. See page 1464.

[Photo © Les Stone/Corbis]

Anyone wishing to use the cover of Science must contact AAAS to request permission to do so.

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Eddies Move Mountains (of Ocean Water)

Swirling ocean currents called mesoscale eddies — previously underestimated as influential global ocean circulation — can trap and transport as much water as other elements thought to drive ocean circulation, a new study reports. Since most climate models simulating global warming underestimate the transport of ocean materials by mesocale eddies, the researchers say, these models must function at higher resolutions to capture the effects they observed. 

Read more about this research from the 26 June issue of Science Express here.

[Image courtesy of Sergey Kryazhimskiy. Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Eddies Move Mountains (of Ocean Water)

Swirling ocean currents called mesoscale eddies — previously underestimated as influential global ocean circulation — can trap and transport as much water as other elements thought to drive ocean circulation, a new study reports. Since most climate models simulating global warming underestimate the transport of ocean materials by mesocale eddies, the researchers say, these models must function at higher resolutions to capture the effects they observed.

Read more about this research from the 26 June issue of Science Express here.

[Image courtesy of Sergey Kryazhimskiy. Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Why the Same Electric Organs Showed Up In Unrelated Fish

The electric organs fish use to navigate and communicate — mystifying to scientists in that they have shown up repeatedly in unrelated fish species — evolved in their hosts because certain developmental pathways were modified in each one, a new study reports. Jason Gallant and colleagues assembled the genome of the electric eel. The work of Gallant and colleagues suggests that a common genetic regulatory network was repeatedly targeted by natural selection, shaping the development of electric organs in creatures that needed them to survive. It helps explain the genetic mechanisms leading to convergent evolution.

Read more about this research from the 27 June issue of Science here.

[Image © 2014 Jason Gallant. Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Why the Same Electric Organs Showed Up In Unrelated Fish

The electric organs fish use to navigate and communicate — mystifying to scientists in that they have shown up repeatedly in unrelated fish species — evolved in their hosts because certain developmental pathways were modified in each one, a new study reports. Jason Gallant and colleagues assembled the genome of the electric eel. The work of Gallant and colleagues suggests that a common genetic regulatory network was repeatedly targeted by natural selection, shaping the development of electric organs in creatures that needed them to survive. It helps explain the genetic mechanisms leading to convergent evolution.

Read more about this research from the 27 June issue of Science here.

[Image © 2014 Jason Gallant. Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Finding Flowers Gets Harder amid Competing Smells

Insects follow the odors of flowers to find their next nectar nibble, but a new study reports that competing odors, including manmade odors, make this task harder by altering odor perception of the target odor in the insects’ brains. Until now, scientists haven’t known much about how insects discriminate the odors of certain flowers amid the variety of natural and manmade odors in the air. The work of Riffell et al. reveals that both target odor frequency and odor background content dictate the ability of an insect to track a target scent. Changes to the natural odor background, potentially by human-produced odors, could make finding target flowers more difficult for pollinators. 

Read more about this research from the 27 June issue of Science here.

[Image courtesy of Kiley Riffell. Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Finding Flowers Gets Harder amid Competing Smells

Insects follow the odors of flowers to find their next nectar nibble, but a new study reports that competing odors, including manmade odors, make this task harder by altering odor perception of the target odor in the insects’ brains. Until now, scientists haven’t known much about how insects discriminate the odors of certain flowers amid the variety of natural and manmade odors in the air. The work of Riffell et al. reveals that both target odor frequency and odor background content dictate the ability of an insect to track a target scent. Changes to the natural odor background, potentially by human-produced odors, could make finding target flowers more difficult for pollinators.

Read more about this research from the 27 June issue of Science here.

[Image courtesy of Kiley Riffell. Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

A More Ancient Origin of Animal-Built Reefs

The discovery of an approximately 548-million-year-old reef in Namibia, made of the world’s earliest known skeletal animals, suggests that these aquatic organisms built reefs before the Cambrian explosion (currently dated to have begun around 540 million years ago). Until now, the oldest reefs on record made of such metazoans had been dated to about 530 million years of age. The researchers’ findings not only imply that metazoans had been building reefs millions of years before the Cambrian explosion, but also that the evolutionary pressures that led to hard parts on and connecting animals, such as skeletons and reefs, were present millions of years prior to that great speciation event as well.

Read more about this research from the 27 June issue of Science here.

[Image courtesy of Fred Bowyer. Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

A More Ancient Origin of Animal-Built Reefs

The discovery of an approximately 548-million-year-old reef in Namibia, made of the world’s earliest known skeletal animals, suggests that these aquatic organisms built reefs before the Cambrian explosion (currently dated to have begun around 540 million years ago). Until now, the oldest reefs on record made of such metazoans had been dated to about 530 million years of age. The researchers’ findings not only imply that metazoans had been building reefs millions of years before the Cambrian explosion, but also that the evolutionary pressures that led to hard parts on and connecting animals, such as skeletons and reefs, were present millions of years prior to that great speciation event as well.

Read more about this research from the 27 June issue of Science here.

[Image courtesy of Fred Bowyer. Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Skulls with Mix of Traits Illuminate Human Evolution

Neandertals’ trademark facial features took shape as a first step in their evolution, while their other defining features came along later, and not all at once, researchers have reported. These researchers were studying a collection of skulls in a Spanish cave, where they identified both Neandertal-derived features in the skulls and features associated with more primitive humans. Having this new data has allowed scientists to better understand hominin evolution during the Middle Pleistocene, a period in which the path of hominin evolution has been controversial. 

The work of Arsuaga et al. helps address hypotheses about Neandertal evolution, specifically the accretion model hypothesis, which suggests that Neandertals evolved their defining features at different times, not in a single linear sweep. 

Read more about this research from the 20 June issue of Science here.

[Image © Javier Trueba / Madrid Scientific Films. Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Skulls with Mix of Traits Illuminate Human Evolution

Neandertals’ trademark facial features took shape as a first step in their evolution, while their other defining features came along later, and not all at once, researchers have reported. These researchers were studying a collection of skulls in a Spanish cave, where they identified both Neandertal-derived features in the skulls and features associated with more primitive humans. Having this new data has allowed scientists to better understand hominin evolution during the Middle Pleistocene, a period in which the path of hominin evolution has been controversial.

The work of Arsuaga et al. helps address hypotheses about Neandertal evolution, specifically the accretion model hypothesis, which suggests that Neandertals evolved their defining features at different times, not in a single linear sweep.

Read more about this research from the 20 June issue of Science here.

[Image © Javier Trueba / Madrid Scientific Films. Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Cell Proliferation in Hard Environments

A new study identifies a signaling pathway that cells use to convert information about the stiffness of the material that surrounds them into intracellular stiffness, a process that in turn influences cellular behavior.  This could help researchers understand how to improve or maintain blood flow in conditions like fibrosis or other diseases in which the ECM surrounding the blood vessels is altered. 

Read more about this research from the 17 June issue of Science Signaling here.

[Image courtesy of Keeley L. Mui. Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Cell Proliferation in Hard Environments

A new study identifies a signaling pathway that cells use to convert information about the stiffness of the material that surrounds them into intracellular stiffness, a process that in turn influences cellular behavior. This could help researchers understand how to improve or maintain blood flow in conditions like fibrosis or other diseases in which the ECM surrounding the blood vessels is altered.

Read more about this research from the 17 June issue of Science Signaling here.

[Image courtesy of Keeley L. Mui. Please click here for more information.]

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.