Table of Contents April 2014


Just when you thought science had left Sigmund Freud in the dust, the hybrid field of neuropsychoanalysis is showing us that Freud's theories could still resolve many mysteries of the brain. Go on a journey to the earliest days of the universe as astronomer Avi Loeb searches for the first stars. And mathematics and art may seem like complete opposites, but you'll see how equations and geometry are used to create beautiful and meaningful works of art. 

From mapping Angkor's cityscape, to a mysterious bullet wound that left one doctor doubly surprised, there's plenty to explore in April's issue of Discover

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From alien angels to hyperbolic lamp shades, these works of art were created not with paintbrush or chisel, but with equations and geometry. 


The earliest stars began to glow mere eons after the Big Bang. Finding them now isn't easy. 


Wilderness physician Matt Lewin has traveled to the nether reaches of the planet to treat scientists in the field.


Just as the old psychoanalyst seemed destined for history's trash heap, neuroscientists are resurrecting his most defining insights. 



A speech prosthetic could give voice to people who can't speak, by converting their brain activity into words. 


Doctors were prepared to give the patient's family bad news, but an unlikely chain of events may have saved his life.


A slumbering monster known as Sagittarius A* sits quietly at the center of our galaxy — for now. 

bang fake gun

April Fools' Day started with Julius Caesar, and 19 other things you didn't know about hoaxes. But be careful: don't believe everything you read...


Scientists beamed a laser pulse from a helicopter to map a long-lost metropolis. 

Inspired by a plant in his office, a researcher created a mathematical model to explain why foliage holes could be a smart strategy.

While working in schools in northern Australia, Carmel O’Shannessy realized the children there had invented an entirely new language.

Geologists investigate why some earthquakes drag on for months, instead of mere seconds. 

Even when Indian blue peacocks have their mates in range, they'll make the reckless decision to call out. Why?

Physicists have created a device that binds photons together to form "light molecules."

Researchers are combining aerial views with underwater autonomous vehicles to get an unprecedented look at undersea environments in real time. 

The thick slime left behind by garden snails tells some plants to become less tasty.



A Q&A with producer David Kaplan about the making of "Particle Fever," a behind-the-scenes documentary at the Large Hadron Collider.


From the Atomic Age to health benefits of a good laugh, we've collected some of the best reads for April. 


A citizen science project aims to build a global database of individual microbiome data.


Some of the most well-known star patterns in the sky aren't constellations, they're asterisms. 


An interactive exhibit all about the famous mathematical puzzle will open April 26 in New Jersey. 


Two new public television shows explore the connection between our species and the rest of the animal kingdom, with surprising results. 


Support National Library Week and mark your calendar for a total lunar eclipse.