NYT > Science

    Trilobites: An 8th Planet Is Found Orbiting a Distant Star, With A.I.’s Help

    Trilobites: An 8th Planet Is Found Orbiting a Distant Star, With A.I.’s Help


    A comparison of planets in our own solar system, bottom, with planets observed circling Kepler 90, a star more than 2,000 light-years from Earth. Scientists using artificial intelligence supplied by Google researchers just detected an eighth planet...

    A Google neural network analyzed data collected by NASA and helped astronomers detect another planet around a star some 2,500 light years away.
    Trilobites: An Ancient Step Toward Modern Birds

    Trilobites: An Ancient Step Toward Modern Birds


    Anchiornis was a birdlike dinosaur with four wings that lived 160 million years ago. Fossils found in China demonstrate the evolution of feathers in modern...

    Anchiornis was a feathered dinosaur, about the size of a pigeon and incapable of flight. Its wings say a lot about how birds came to be.
    As Zika Babies Become Toddlers, Some Can’t See, Walk or Talk

    As Zika Babies Become Toddlers, Some Can’t See, Walk or Talk


    A baby born with microcephaly caused by Zika virus in a rehabilitation center in Recife, Brazil, last year. The most severely affected babies have little language or mobility and will likely require a lifetime of care, a new study...

    They are 2 years old, but developmentally they are 6 months old. The children most severely affected by Zika face a lifetime of care, new research shows.
    Q&A: The Sands of Time

    Q&A: The Sands of Time


    The depth of sand on a beach can vary considerably from location to location. Human intervention often doesn’t last for...

    The depth of sand on a beach can vary considerably from location to location. Human intervention often doesn’t last for long.
    Here’s What Oil Drilling Looks Like in the Arctic Refuge, 30 Years Later

    Here’s What Oil Drilling Looks Like in the Arctic Refuge, 30 Years Later


    A false-color infrared satellite image from this year (in closer detail at right) shows natural tundra in pink. The yellow area shows the footprint of the old...

    Satellite images of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge show the effects of an oil well that operated there in the mid-1980s.
    How Global Warming Fueled Five Extreme Weather Events

    How Global Warming Fueled Five Extreme Weather Events


    A wildfire in Azusa, Calif., in 2016. New research has analyzed 27 extreme weather events from that year for links to climate...

    Scientists analyzed 27 extreme weather events from 2016 and found that global warming was a “significant driver” for most of them. We look at five cases.
    Marijuana and Vaping Are More Popular Than Cigarettes Among Teenagers

    Marijuana and Vaping Are More Popular Than Cigarettes Among Teenagers


    The Juul brand e-cigarette, which resembles a flash drive, is popular among underage vapers. Conventional cigarette smoking has dropped so sharply among American teenagers that marijuana use and vaping are now more...

    The latest national survey of adolescent drug use found declining use of most substances, including alcohol, tobacco, prescription opioids and stimulants.
    Trump’s E.P.A. Chemical Safety Nominee Withdraws

    Trump’s E.P.A. Chemical Safety Nominee Withdraws


    Michael L. Dourson, President Trump’s nominee to oversee the Environmental Protection Agency’s chemical safety division, at his Senate confirmation hearing in October. In recent weeks, two Republican senators came forward to say they would not...

    The nominee, Michael L. Dourson, had faced criticism on several fronts for his ties to the chemical industry.
    A ‘Game Changer’ for Patients With Irregular Heart Rhythm

    A ‘Game Changer’ for Patients With Irregular Heart Rhythm


    John Sueme of St. Louis was the first patient to receive an experimental treatment that exposes scarred heart tissue to radiation, eliminating damaged cells that cause rapid, sometimes fatal...

    Rapid, erratic heartbeats — called ventricular tachycardia — can lead to sudden death. An experimental radiation treatment has eased the condition in five patients.
    Trilobites: The Great Red Spot Descends Deep Into Jupiter

    Trilobites: The Great Red Spot Descends Deep Into Jupiter


    An artist’s rendering of the Juno spacecraft with Jupiter, including the red spot, behind it. The spacecraft is about a fourth of the way through its...

    The iconic storm plunges 200 miles beneath the clouds of the solar system’s largest planet, and possibly much deeper, according to data from NASA’s Juno spacecraft.
    Baby Born With Heart Outside Her Body Is Saved by U.K. Surgeons

    Baby Born With Heart Outside Her Body Is Saved by U.K. Surgeons


    Naomi Findlay and Dean Wilkins with their 3-week-old daughter, Vanellope Hope Wilkins, at a hospital in Leicester, England, on Monday. The baby’s condition is extremely rare — estimated at five to eight cases per one million live...

    Vanellope Hope Wilkins, who had her first operation within an hour of birth, is believed to be first newborn in Britain to survive the corrective procedure.
    Belgium’s Lavish Energy Use Sheds Light on More Than Just Its Roads

    Belgium’s Lavish Energy Use Sheds Light on More Than Just Its Roads


    A well-lit highway south of Brussels. The official explanation for Belgium’s unusual approach to public lighting is that it helps road safety and provides...

    The country keeps two million streetlights on overnight, generating profits for utilities and politicians at a cost for consumers and the environment.
    Another Human Foot Washes Ashore in Canada. That Makes 13.

    Another Human Foot Washes Ashore in Canada. That Makes 13.


    Mike Johns, left, and his dog Taz discovered a human foot last week in the hamlet of Jordan River on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. It was the 13th foot to wash ashore in the province since...

    A man walking his dog on Vancouver Island found a leg with a foot in a black sneaker on a beach. The authorities are trying to get a DNA sample from it.
    Trilobites: How Layers in a Latte Form

    Trilobites: How Layers in a Latte Form


    A layered latte made at home by Bob Fankauser, a retired engineer in Oregon, who wanted to know how espresso poured into heated milk created those...

    A retired engineer’s accident while making a coffee drink spurred fluid dynamics researchers to study how espresso and milk arrange themselves in a glass.
    Matter: Ancient Penguins Were Giant Waddling Predators

    Matter: Ancient Penguins Were Giant Waddling Predators


    An artist’s rendering compares Kumimanu biceae, an extinct giant penguin, to a human diver. Kumimanu stood 5 feet 7 inches and weighed 220 pounds. It is among the earliest known penguin...

    Scientists have discovered an fossilized penguin as big as a human, and with a long, spear-like beak.

    A Glimpse of Oumuamua


    Astronomers have discovered a passing rock from another star — the first interstellar...

    Astronomers have discovered a passing rock from another star — the first interstellar asteroid.
    A Nasty, Nafta-Related Surprise: Mexico’s Soaring Obesity

    A Nasty, Nafta-Related Surprise: Mexico’s Soaring Obesity


    An Oxxo convenience store in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico. The chain, which had 400 stores in the country in 1990, now has nearly...

    Few predicted when Mexico joined the free-trade deal that it would transform the country in a way that would saddle millions with diet-related illnesses.

    In Captivity, Orangutans Unlock Greater Curiosity and Intelligence


    Orangutans become more curious if they spend a lot of time with humans in a safe environment. And that means they are better at solving cognitive...

    Orangutans become more curious if they spend a lot of time with humans in a safe environment. And that means they are better at solving cognitive puzzles.
    Trump Announces That the Moon Is Astronauts’ Next Destination

    Trump Announces That the Moon Is Astronauts’ Next Destination


    A so-called ‘supermoon’ behind the Capitol and the Jefferson Memorial in Washington earlier this month. President Trump signed a policy directive Monday confirming that the moon should be the next destination for...

    The presidential directive called for partnership with other nations and commercial companies but did not offer details about schedule or cost.
    With Climate Change, Tree Die-Offs May Spread in the West

    With Climate Change, Tree Die-Offs May Spread in the West


    Areas in the Santa Fe National Forest, near Bandalier National Monument in New Mexico, were still scarred in September 2015, four years after the Las Conchas...

    Forests will be decimated as trees become less resilient to drought and higher temperatures, new data suggest.
    Trilobites: New Pacific Island Could Resemble Ancient Martian Volcanoes

    Trilobites: New Pacific Island Could Resemble Ancient Martian Volcanoes


    The crater lake from the summit rim at the center of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai, which was formed by an underwater volcanic eruption in 2014. Scientists studying the new land mass hope it can serve as a template for better understanding ancient...

    An explosive volcanic eruption in 2014 resulted in a new addition to the Tonga Islands. Its shifting landscape could help scientists studying Mars.
    Basics: Precious Gems Bear Messages From Earth’s Molten Heart

    Basics: Precious Gems Bear Messages From Earth’s Molten Heart


    The Patricia Emerald is one of the largest uncut emeralds in the world, weighing 632 carats. Many of the qualities that make rubies, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds so exceptional — their hardness, brilliant coloring and rarity — are also key to...

    We may covet gemstones for their beauty, but their real value lies in what they tell scientists about the extreme forces at work deep underground.
    To Test for Climate Disasters: Break, Burn and Throw Stuff

    To Test for Climate Disasters: Break, Burn and Throw Stuff


    The projectile launcher can hurl debris at 100 miles an hour, or about the speed of a Category 2 hurricane, at a target about 20 feet...

    A team of researchers is destroying things — with wind, water and fire — to help insurers manage the increasing risks of extreme weather.
    Q&A: Neanderthals: The Original Globetrotters

    Q&A: Neanderthals: The Original Globetrotters


    Modern humans and Neanderthals had a long history together. Many of us still carry the genetic...

    Modern humans and Neanderthals had a long history together. Many of us still carry the genetic traces.
    DNA Tattoos Are the Final Frontier of Love

    DNA Tattoos Are the Final Frontier of Love


    Virginia Elwood and Stephanie Tamez, tattoo artists and partners, have matching body art made with their...

    A nifty new patented technology allows you to take your loved ones with you wherever and forever. Yes, even cats. Talk about “Winona Forever”!
    Prescription Drugs May Cost More With Insurance Than Without It

    Prescription Drugs May Cost More With Insurance Than Without It


    The generic version of Crestor — rosuvastatin — cost Patrik Swanljung of Anacortes, Wash., about $38 less when he bought it through a website rather than using his health insurance. Consumers are finding that they can sometimes save money on their...

    Some consumers are finding they can get a better deal on prescription drugs by leaving their insurance cards at home.
    How to Save Money on Your Prescription Drugs

    How to Save Money on Your Prescription Drugs


    The website for GoodRx shows the varying prices for an antibiotic used to treat eye...

    Online prescription sites may help you find cheaper prices for some drugs, sometimes without using your insurance.