This Week in Science: Martian Mystery, Rock-Hard Snail Teeth, and the Big Apple Underwater

02/20/2015 05:14 pm ET | Updated Apr 22, 2015

Seven days, lots of science in the news. Here's our roundup of some of the week's most notable and quotable items:


Illustration by Sarah Peavey

Scientists think a mysterious plume seen above Mars might be a large cloud or an aurora--but neither of these explanations squares with what we think we know about the Martian upper atmosphere.

Scientists now think sea snail teeth (not spider silk) are the strongest natural material.

The tails on the wings of a luna moth may serve as decoys to divert the sonic tracking of predatory bats.

Researchers created a protein that is extremely effective at blocking the AIDS virus from attaching to cells, making it an attractive candidate for an HIV vaccine.

Contaminated medical instruments may have contributed to the outbreak of a drug-resistant superbug in California that has killed at least two patients.

Adding human DNA to mice increases the size of their brains.

Study finds people tend to spend more when they're hungry.

Record numbers of stranded sea lion pups are showing up on the beaches of California, likely thanks to unusually warm waters that are disrupting fish populations.

By 2100, New York City could see a six-foot sea level rise, according to an independent panel of climate scientists.

Methane emissions from major natural gas fields in the United States are not as high as many had feared.

A cave in Madagascar turned out to be a vast graveyard of extinct giant lemurs.


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