NYT > Science

    Bigger, Faster Avalanches, Triggered by Climate Change

    Bigger, Faster Avalanches, Triggered by Climate Change


    A satellite image showing the aftermath of two avalanches in western Tibet in 2016, when two glaciers on the Aru range collapsed and spread across five miles. Researchers say this unusual event was due to climate...

    A deadly 2016 glacier collapse in Tibet surpassed scientists’ expectations — until it happened again. They worry it’s only the beginning.
    Trilobites: Ancient Crocodiles Once Feasted on Giant Tortoises on This Island

    Trilobites: Ancient Crocodiles Once Feasted on Giant Tortoises on This Island


    An Aldabran giant tortoise from the Aldabra Atoll in the Indian Ocean, feeding on algae. A new study suggests these giant tortoises might once have been hunted by giant, prehistoric...

    Bite marks on fossils found on an atoll near eastern Africa suggest that this paradise for the world’s most common giant tortoise may have once been a much scarier place.
    Skin Deep: Making Age Spots a Thing of the Past

    Skin Deep: Making Age Spots a Thing of the Past


    The Food and Drug Administration has approved a first-of-its-kind treatment to rid patients of these unsightly...

    The Food and Drug Administration has approved a first-of-its-kind treatment to rid patients of these unsightly lesions.
    For Tsunami Forecasters, Speed Is Everything

    For Tsunami Forecasters, Speed Is Everything


    Left, damage from the 9.2-magnitude earthquake that struck Alaska in 1964. Right, after a 7.9-magnitude earthquake was recorded off the Alaskan coast on Tuesday morning, phones lit up with warnings of a...

    In many major earthquakes, most destruction is caused by water. To warn the public, forecasters have to shoot first and ask questions later.
    Global Health: New Index Rates Drug Companies in Fight Against ‘Superbugs’

    Global Health: New Index Rates Drug Companies in Fight Against ‘Superbugs’


    Mixing chemicals in a lab at a GlaxoSmithKline facility in Collegeville, Pa. According to a new index, the company is a leader at addressing the threat of antibiotic-resistant...

    Glaxo and Johnson & Johnson top a new measure of how drugmakers do against antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which are becoming a global emergency.
    Science Group Ranks Evidence on E-Cigarette Safety

    Science Group Ranks Evidence on E-Cigarette Safety


    Vaping may be safer than smoking cigarettes, but a national panel of experts stopped short of saying that e-cigarettes were entirely...

    Vaping may help smokers quit, and are safer than conventional cigarettes, but they’re not risk-free, a national public health panel says.
    Mind: Given Medicine, the Patients Got Better. They Remained in Shackles Anyway.

    Mind: Given Medicine, the Patients Got Better. They Remained in Shackles Anyway.


    Komi Gbete, a person with mental problems, chained by the ankle in the Mt. Calvaira prayer camp in Legbassito in Togo in 2014. Such people in neighboring Ghana treated with Western medication showed improvements, but still remained in chains, according...

    In West Africa, people with psychoses are often chained at prayer camps. Giving them psychiatric drugs lessened their symptoms, but did not shorten their captivity.
    The Google Lunar X Prize’s Race to the Moon Is Over. Nobody Won.

    The Google Lunar X Prize’s Race to the Moon Is Over. Nobody Won.


    From left, Robert K. Weiss, now vice chairman of the X Prize Foundation, Larry Page, founder of Google, Peter Diamandis, now the executive chairman of X Prize and the astronaut Buzz Aldrin, at an announcement for the Lunar X Prize competition in Los...

    None of the remaining competitors for the $20 million award will be able to get off the ground by March 31, a deadline that had already been extended multiple times.
    Q&A: Why the Forest Doesn’t Fear the Fire

    Q&A: Why the Forest Doesn’t Fear the Fire


    Plants are not “aware” of fire, but many species have developed adaptations to...

    Plants are not “aware” of fire, but many species have developed adaptations to it.
    Trilobites: They Hunt. They Gather. They’re Very Good at Talking About Smells.

    Trilobites: They Hunt. They Gather. They’re Very Good at Talking About Smells.


    The Tembeling River in Malaysia’s Taman Negara National Park, near the home areas of hunter-gatherers and other groups that scientists studied to test the relationship between culture and the ability to name...

    A study of hunter-gatherers on the Malay Peninsula suggests that culture plays a role in how we describe the odors all around us.
    Trump Passed a Cognitive Exam. What Does That Really Mean?

    Trump Passed a Cognitive Exam. What Does That Really Mean?


    President Trump with Dr. Ronny Jackson after Mr. Trump’s physical exam at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda,...

    The exam, called the Moca, is widely used in doctor’s offices, but it is not sophisticated enough to diagnose mental decline, experts say.
    Drilling Off Florida Is Still on the Table, Interior Official Says

    Drilling Off Florida Is Still on the Table, Interior Official Says


    Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Interior, in Colorado in July. He announced on Twitter this month that he was “removing Florida from consideration for any new oil and gas...

    A surprise statement on Friday undercut last week’s announcement that Florida had been granted an exemption from President Trump’s offshore-drilling plan.
    The New Old Age: One Day Your Mind May Fade. At Least You’ll Have a Plan.

    The New Old Age: One Day Your Mind May Fade. At Least You’ll Have a Plan.


    Ann Vandervelde, at her home in Seattle, opted to fill out an advance directive for dementia, spelling out to doctors how she would want to be treated at various stages of the...

    A doctor has developed an advance directive specifically to plan for medical care in the event of dementia.
    He Traded a Tortoise for a Turtle. He Got 6 Months in Jail.

    He Traded a Tortoise for a Turtle. He Got 6 Months in Jail.


    Millenium, a 17-year-old African spurred tortoise, was stolen last July from his enclosure at the Alley Pond Environmental Center in...

    A Queens man who traded a 95-pound tortoise stolen from a nature center for $300 and a musk turtle has always been “an animal lover,” his mother says. “That’s really his downfall.”
    Young Women Are Using A.D.H.D. Drugs in Greater Numbers, C.D.C. Reports

    Young Women Are Using A.D.H.D. Drugs in Greater Numbers, C.D.C. Reports


    Women are filling prescriptions for A.D.H.D. drugs like Adderall in growing numbers, government researchers report. The finding raises questions about an uptick in diagnoses once reserved only for children and...

    Since 2003, the percentage of women filling prescriptions for drugs like Ritalin has increased nearly fivefold in some age groups.
    Matter: In the Arctic, More Rain May Mean Fewer Musk Oxen

    Matter: In the Arctic, More Rain May Mean Fewer Musk Oxen


    Musk oxen, massive mammals that live on Arctic tundra, are seeing their numbers dwindle as warmer, rainier winters limit access to food, researchers...

    Winter rain makes it more difficult for the animals to feed, particularly pregnant females, researchers find.
    U.K. Appoints a Minister for Loneliness

    U.K. Appoints a Minister for Loneliness


    Tracey Crouch, left, Britain’s under secretary for sport and civil society, is to coordinate the government’s response to...

    Prime Minister Theresa May said an under secretary would work across government departments to tackle the issue.
    Fed Up With Drug Companies, Hospitals Decide to Start Their Own

    Fed Up With Drug Companies, Hospitals Decide to Start Their Own


    Generic drugs at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah. Intermountain Healthcare is spearheading an effort by a group of hospitals to create a nonprofit generic drug...

    A group of large hospital systems plans to create a nonprofit generic drug company to battle shortages and high prices.
    Trilobites: A Wet and Warm Spring, Then 200,000 Dead Saigas

    Trilobites: A Wet and Warm Spring, Then 200,000 Dead Saigas


    A field of dead saigas in Kazakhstan in May 2015. The die-off of the endangered antelopes was found to be caused by bacteria that somehow became harmful after particularly warm and wet...

    Scientists identified bacteria that caused a mass die-off of the endangered antelopes in Kazakhstan in 2015. But the mechanism that made the bacteria so deadly is not understood.
    Trilobites: Being Antisocial Leads to a Longer Life. For Marmots.

    Trilobites: Being Antisocial Leads to a Longer Life. For Marmots.


    Marmot pups near Crested Butte, Colo. Researchers tracked yellow-bellied marmots’ interactions for 13 years and found that more solitary marmots lived longer...

    Unlike most mammals, yellow-bellied marmots with more active social lives died younger than those that kept to themselves, scientists found after tracking them for 13 years.
    Treatment Offers Hope for Imprisoned California Siblings

    Treatment Offers Hope for Imprisoned California Siblings


    Members of the news media gathered outside the home of David Allen and Louise Anna Turpin in Perris, Calif., where the couple’s 13 children were found imprisoned earlier this...

    Cases of children isolated and abused by parents are rare but not unheard-of, say experts. Many recover.
    Citing ‘Inexcusable’ Treatment, Advisers Quit National Parks Panel

    Citing ‘Inexcusable’ Treatment, Advisers Quit National Parks Panel


    Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in Washington in June. The joint resignation letter said he “appears to have no interest in continuing the agenda of...

    The majority of members of the National Parks System Advisory Board have jointly resigned in protest of Trump administration policies.