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In Review

Lessons from sports psychology research

Scientists are probing the head games that influence athletic performance, from coaching to coping with pressure

Pliny the Elder’s radical idea to catalog knowledge

This year marks 2,000 years since the birth of the Roman author of the first natural encyclopedia

How the brain calculates a quick escape

Whether fly or human, fleeing from danger is key to staying alive. Scientists are beginning to unravel the complex circuitry behind the split-second decision to beat a hasty retreat.

Human life span may have no limit, analysis of supercentenarians suggests

Statistical methods predict that old-age record could reach 130 by century’s end

Foods of abuse? Nutritionists consider food addiction

Cookies, chips, hot dogs and other ultraprocessed fare raise risk of runaway eating

Why some artificial intelligence is smart until it’s dumb

Machine learning has found uses in fields as diverse as particle physics and radiology, and its influence is growing. But so is the understanding of its limits.

New projects broaden the search for alien signals from space

A longer list of Earth-like planets, eavesdropping on radio waves and looking for laser light shows: All raise the chances of detecting E.T.

Physicists probe validity of Einstein’s gravity on cosmic scales

New tests could verify general theory of relativity, or find flaws

Winding the body’s clock

Medicines and other small molecules may play a role in fixing rhythms gone awry

Cell meets robot in hybrid microbots

Researchers are developing microbe-propelled tiny bots to deliver drugs, target cancer or do other work in the body

A quantum origin for spacetime

Physicists find hints that entanglement explains Einstein’s equations for gravity

Why speech is a human innovation

Many animals have the equipment for spoken language, but only people have all the right neural connections

Fighting crime with statistics

Taking advantage of “natural experiments,” researchers analyze data to look at what works

Top 10 secrets about stress and health

The strain of life — from everyday conflicts to major losses — can stretch our well-being to the breaking point. Here’s what scientists know, and still don’t know, about the stress-illness connection.

Cracking life’s code

We think we know DNA, but little progress has been made in understanding the evolution of how it encodes proteins

Heterostructures get a quantum buildup

A summary of “Quantum-Matter Heterostructures” by H. Boschker and J. Mannhart that appears in the 2017 Annual Review of Condensed Matter Physics

Alzheimer’s holds science at bay

A summary of “Update on Alzheimer’s Disease Therapy and Prevention Strategies” by W. Vallen Graham and coauthors, in the 2017 issue of the Annual Review of Medicine

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