Table of Contents May 2013


Find out how unexpected data sent researchers on a race to understand dark energy and figure out the future of the universe. Read how your grandparents' experiences may be impacting your behavior, as well as an unconventional ornithologist's theories on feathered dinosaurs. Plus, inspiration from insects is leading to swarms of new robots, materials and technologies of the future.

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After illness made him deaf to birdcalls, Richard Prum became the first to reconstruct the plumage of feathered dinosaurs and trace the evolution of feathers to beauty instead of flight.


A mysterious dark energy dating back to the dawn of the universe could be poised to rip it apart.


Your ancestors' lousy childhoods or excellent adventures might change your personality, bequeathing anxiety or resilience by altering the epigenetic expressions of genes in the brain.


They creep. They crawl. They fly. Now insects are inspiring innovation, from robots to display screens.


Pests or potential problem-solvers? Fleas, spiders and other insects are the new muses of engineering.


Supersize your summer movies with giant robots and zombie gore galore. Also: Iron Man is rust-free at 50, a museum to count on and why you don't have a jetpack.

May is the month to bike it, climb it and remember to tell Mom she's the best. And don't forget your towel.

A cave in South Africa may be the site of the world's oldest barbecue — and a clue to early humans' development.

A delicate surgery could stop a woman's crippling pain from trigeminal neuralgia — or threaten her life.

The hormone may help some people with autism make social connections.

Carl Agee finds ways to get his hands on samples of Earth's hellish interior and the exotic surfaces of other worlds.

Saturn, visible all night this month, is among the most beautiful of planets. But ancient observers saw it as a symbol of mortality.

We cut it, color it and coif it, but there's much more to hair than a style statement: It can remove toxins, reveal where you live and even "hear."



The ravages of chronic fatigue syndrome may be the result of an overlooked but essential part of the body's own immune system.


Physicists find the secret to more efficient hopping.


Despite being an evolutionary dead end, one ant species rebels against the tyranny of another.


Good news for fans of planet Earth: hole in the ozone layer may be healing.


Like science-backed palm reading, new studies use digit ratio to predict aggressive behavior and risk of disease.


Should we track great apes to save them or simply leave them alone?