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How to detect clandestine nuclear weapons programs

A “policy physicist” explores practical ways to sniff out uranium processing from afar

An invisible liver disease balloons into view

Fat buildup in the body’s filter organ can lead to scarring and worse. In step with obesity and diabetes, incidence is on the rise and a race for a cure is on.

Nudging grows up (and now has a government job)

Ten years after an influential book proposed ways to work with — not against — the irrationalities of human decision-making, practitioners have refined and broadened this gentle tool of persuasion

Unpersuasive: Why arguing about climate change often doesn't work

In the US, where political parties have increasingly staked claims on one side of the issue or the other, beliefs may be more about belonging than facts

Feeling the pressure

How we want to be perceived influences how we act, and that presents persuasion opportunities. But the social factors involved are not easy to unravel.

In promoting health, when to tiptoe — and when to stomp?

Inform, incentivize, legislate: There’s a ladder of escalating approaches for changing citizens’ behavior — and nudges for every rung

A crash of stars reveals the origins of heavy elements

Colliding neutron stars sent out a gravitational wave as well as new clues about where gold, platinum and other atoms are forged.

Coffee declared healthy (for most) — yay!

A comprehensive, full-bodied analysis is brimming with encouraging data

Microbes in the medical bag

Genetically engineered gut bacteria hold promise for safe, targeted therapies

The photosynthesis fix

As world food needs rise, so does the need for faster, more efficient plant growth. Bypassing an error-prone enzyme is one way to do it.

The whole food diet for bees

A balanced menu makes for healthy, productive bees — but the loss of wildflowers means that many fail to find the kind of nutrition they need

Snot what you think: The unknown toll of chronic sinus problems

A not-so-simple affliction of the sinuses engenders misery, $8 billion in yearly costs and overuse of antibiotics

How snowflakes grow

The cold, finicky science of ice crystal formation

A Notch on the many paths to cancer

Tumors and more may be fueled by an ancient protein with myriad jobs in the body. Scientists hope to tap this knowledge to generate novel therapies.

Cracking life’s code

We think we know DNA, but little progress has been made in understanding the evolution of how it encodes proteins