Why sleep matters for personal and public health

EVENT: Disrupted sleep ups the risks for heart disease, cancer and depression. How? And what can be done about the inequities that leave communities of color and poor people at greater risk? 

The ancient origins of glass

Featuring ingots, shipwrecks, pharaohs and an international trade in colors, the material’s rich history is being traced using modern archaeology and materials science

What does it mean to have prediabetes?

It’s complicated: Prediabetes has multiple definitions and there may be different subtypes. But for many people who develop it, changes in lifestyle drastically lower the risk of progressing to diabetes.

Will glow-in-the-dark materials someday light our cities?

Substances that persistently luminesce are already used in some bike lanes, and in the future could be applied to sidewalks, streets and buildings — saving energy and reducing urban heat

What the world can learn from Britain’s humble hedge

Hedgerows were historically planted as barriers between fields, but in a human-dominated world, they are critical havens, corridors and connectors for wildlife

Spiders are much smarter than you think

Cognition researchers are discovering surprising capabilities among a group of itsy-bitsy arachnids

Viral variants: From Covid to the flu

VIDEO: Some variants of SARS-CoV-2, such as Delta, will drive new waves of COVID-19 infections. What can previous studies of the flu, HIV and SARS tell us about the course that this pandemic may take?

Prey tell: How moths elude bats

Millions of years of coevolution have given the insects a bag of tricks to escape their predators — from signal-jamming and decoys to acoustic camouflage

The curious case of the shrinking genome

Scientists are exploring why some creatures throw away bits of their DNA during development

Bee gold: Honey as a superfood

From pesticide detox to increased longevity, the benefits of the sweet stuff go well beyond simply nourishing the hardworking insects in the hive

Chloroplasts do the darndest things

As if harvesting the sun’s energy to sustain life on Earth weren’t enough, the small green organelles and their relatives are involved in a broad range of other tasks, from manufacturing nutrients and signaling stress to fostering plant immunity

Using virtual reality to help counter domestic abuse

In immersive interventions, batterers can experience what it’s like to be attacked and learn some empathy

Why Covid-19 testing went so wrong in the US, and what to do now

VIDEO: Delays, errors and a fragmented response initially kept public health officials in the dark about the spread of SARS-CoV-2. More tests and easy access could still play a critical role in slowing the virus.

Dignity therapy: Making the last words count

Guided conversations with the terminally ill are popular with patients, families and doctors who’ve experienced them. But are they truly beneficial? Researchers are looking beneath the anecdotal appeal.

Now is the time to prepare for the economic shocks of battling climate change

Shedding reliance on fossil fuels is key to making the leap from a carbon-intensive present to a greener future. Experts say that smart planning and transparent policymaking can ease the transition — and balance the worst financial risks.

How to handle climate anxiety

Worry over the planet’s future is taking a toll on emotional well-being, researchers say. Here’s how to cope so we don’t lose hope for our planet and for ourselves.

Animals that take advice from bacteria

The larvae of many marine creatures drift in the plankton, then settle to the seafloor and transform into adults. Bacteria often help the critters pick where to settle — and that may be just a snippet of a far more extensive conversation.

The psychology and politics of conspiracy theories

VIDEO: In the past year, conspiracy theories have had a big impact on politics and public health. What makes them so appealing? How can we disrupt their influence? Join us to explore these issues and more.

Covid’s main lesson? For this journalist, it’s unpredictability

VIDEO: New York Times science reporter Apoorva Mandavilli chronicles the rise of the delta variant, the latest of many twists in the pandemic that she’s covered since it began. Delta has left parents in an especially tough spot, with schools opening but young children still vulnerable.

Are we ready? Understanding just how big solar flares can get

Recasting the iconic Carrington Event as just one of many superstorms in Earth’s past, scientists reveal the potential for even more massive, and potentially destructive, eruptions from the sun

The two sides of envy at work

When workers feel envious of their peers, it can undermine collaborations — or inspire them to do better on the job. Can organizations harness the green gremlin to boost productivity?

Salmonella: Why it’s a chicken and egg thing

Eliminating this food-poisoning bacterium from poultry is tricky — not least because rapid, precise tests are still unavailable. Researchers are looking at vaccines, probiotics, prebiotics and even essential oils as ways to reduce contamination on the farm.