Table of Contents October 2018

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The key to weight loss could be simply not eating — at least for specific periods. We dive into the surprising science — and controversy — behind the fasting trend. Later, we take a look at why cheaters sometimes prosper in nature and step briefly inside a Salvador Dali painting for a glimpse of the head-spinning, and paradigm-altering, world of topology.

Also in this issue: The coroner crisis you didn't know we were having, the researchers reprogramming cells and 20 things you didn't know about poison.

Digital editions

FEATURES

Plate
Fasting might seem like just another diet trend, but the science behind it is revealing some surprising health benefits.
Sandman
History is full of scientists' attempts to explain why we sleep, but some researchers think zebrafish could be the key.
Shape-Shifters

The quirky rules of topology, a field of math, could help us understand everything from big data to quantum computing.

Bee

Mutually beneficial relationships, or mutualism, is common in nature. But sometimes, animals cheat. These scientists are trying to figure out how they keep getting away with it.

DEPARTMENTS

Shaving
When a teenage girl starts developing facial hair and her voice starts to deepen, doctors think it might be a hormonal imbalance from PCOS. But further tests point to another culprit.
Amazon
To unlock the Amazon's secrets, one scientist has immersed himself in its silty sediments.
Coroner
In 1920s Chicago, forensic pathologists were overworked and taking shortcuts. Today they face a similar problem amid a nationwide opioid epidemic.
Cellularcyborg
The future of medicine may involve cellular cyborgs: programmable, living circuits.
PoisonThings
The wrong dose can do you harm, but when it’s right, your pain and wrinkles might go away.
bulletfire
Improved instruments are helping crime-fighters bring science and rigor to the analysis of bullets.

THE CRUX

Scientists debate whether brain cells are created throughout life.
The low point of any sea.
A new paper could shake up California’s earthquake predictions.
Degrees of Separation
From screen time to ancient footprints.
Game Time
Sporting events take a bite out of crime in the Windy City.
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