Discover December 2019

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Getting Cute
New Science reveals its power goes way beyond babies.
By Gemma Tarlach

The Dark Matter Derby
Decades out of the gate, scientists still don’t know what makes up the bulk of the universe’s matter. But they have some strong contenders.
By Adam Hadhazy

70,00 Generations and Counting
One evolutionary biologist has been growing bacteria for 30 years. His epic experiment shows that evolution never stops.
By Nathaniel Scharping

Respect Your elders
From dolphins to redwoods, species learn from – and rely on – their parents.
By Gary Ferguson

Editor’s Note
What’s So Cute?
Big eyes and a button notes trip our brain’s wiring like few stimuli.

Readers had a range of reactions to our recent feature on gun violence.

The Crux
Saving L.A.’s lions; a creative cocktail to restore reefs; an ideal galaxy, bar-none; cruising the ocular highway; seeing faces everywhere; our bookish picks for holiday gift-giving; and more.

Vital Signs
Running Into Dead Ends
A fit 30-year-old’s pancreas keeps flaring up, and no one can figure out why.
By Douglas G. Adler

Origin Story
Stuck on You
Mites, lice and other parasites give us a new view on human evolution.
By Bridget Alex

Mind Over Matter
The Shape of Thought
Advance in imaging technology let us see what we’re thinking more clearly than ever.
By Jonathan Keats

Out There
Making a Greener Space
Growing plants off-world will be an essential part of exploring the cosmos.
By Jonathon Keats

History Lessons
Heavy Metal
Thanks to one man’s tenacity, we know even small doses of lead can cause permanent harm.
By Linda Marsa

20 Things You Didn’t Know About…
The Amazon
More than a river (or a major online retailer), this vast rainforest remains full mysteries – and under growing threat.
By Daniel Bastardo Blanco

Astronomy Discover