Table of Contents June 2015


Einstein theorized that time was an illusion and the future was predetermined. But Einstein may have been wrong, says a South African cosmologist who’s on a mission to prove we can shape our futures.

Also in this issue: Six years ago, a young lab assistant died in a lab fire. Now, her family is on a crusade to make research safer — but will they succeed? And new haptic screen technology may enable our future devices to create sensations as varied as real life.

Plus: Is polio resurfacing? Can we build a human body-on-a-chip? What does estrogen have to do with testosterone? We promise to deliver answers science to each of those questions and more in the June issue of Discover.

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From smooth glass to rough sandpaper, tomorrow's haptic screens could create sensations as varied as real life.
A conscientious cosmologist rejects Einstein’s notion that time is an illusion and the future is set.
Once at risk from salvage and plunder, these shipwrecks are preserved in place as historical treasures for all.
A UCLA laboratory fire took Sheri Sangji’s life. Her boss and the university closed ranks. Will her family’s crusade for justice make researchers any safer?
How a Dutch fabric-maker became the father of microbiology.


With the discovery of fast radio bursts, astronomers once again navigate the path from weird result to verified science.
A fever and cough strike a busy, young mom. But this is no routine case of influenza.
Sophisticated speech analysis could lead to earlier screening and treatment for autism, depression, dementia and more.
A California microbiologist is unearthing startling clues about how tiny wetland organisms influence greenhouse gas emissions.
New analysis of old finds upends conventional wisdom about where and when the first artists evolved. Hint: They weren’t Homo sapiens.
Advances in spaceship propulsion are speeding up, promising a means to finally explore the outer solar system.
strong shoulders
The manly hormone evolved 500 million years ago — from estrogen.


After an outbreak reminiscent of the early 1950s, neurologists worry about what's coming this summer.
How an insect-turned-syringe helped save the Iberian lynx.
Scientists have made a battery that's virtually harmless if ingested.
Miniature plastic chips with cells embedded are a quick and effective way to test drugs.
An affordable and portable use of quantum-based tech may soon come to a smartphone near you.
Ancient ostracod had long, and long-lived, sex cells.
Researchers recover more meteorites from Antarctica, but that doesn't mean more land there.
A newly discovered brain area could help us fall fast asleep without needing sedatives.
A wandering gas cloud escapes uncertain doom in our galaxy's center.
A scientist battles nutrition deficiencies with high beta-carotenoid orange corn.
Why libraries matter, the history of science, and separating the wheat from the chaff.
Vultures help forensic experts with CSI research.
A NASA engineer discovers a last-minute error with just days to spare.