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A simple two-dimensional grid can convey a lot of information – whether making pictures with Lite-Brite or storing data in DNA. Justin Day/Flickr

DNA ‘Lite-Brite’ is a promising way to archive data for decades or longer

DNA has been storing vast amounts of biological information for billions of years. Researchers are working to harness DNA for archiving data. A new method uses light to simplify the process.
An orchard near Kettleman City in California’s San Joaquin Valley on April 2, 2021. Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Water wells are at risk of going dry in the US and worldwide

The US has one of the highest groundwater use rates in the world. When wells run dry, households may opt to conserve water, find new sources or sell and move.
Protest signs on the ground before a march on March 28, 2021, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to denounce President Jovenel Moïse’s efforts to stay in office past his term. Valerie Baeriswyl/AFP via Getty Images

Haitians protest their president in English as well as Creole, indicting US for its role in country’s political crisis

Haitian president Jovenel Moïse is accused of overstaying his term, embezzling funds and dismantling parliament. Protests are a hallmark of his presidency – but the language of them has changed.
The need for shut-eye is universal. Justin Lewis/Stone via Getty Images

How much sleep do you really need?

Getting a good night's sleep on a regular basis can help you do well in school or at work. It might even make you better-looking.
A visualization of daily life around Angkor Wat in the late 12th century. Tom Chandler, Mike Yeates, Chandara Ung and Brent McKee, Monash University, 2021

A metropolis arose in medieval Cambodia – new research shows how many people lived in the Angkor Empire over time

Combining archaeological evidence, aerial scans and machine learning algorithms, researchers modeled how this medieval city grew over time.
Fossils of Shuvuuia deserti depict a small predatory creature with exceptional night vision and hearing. Mick Ellison/American Natural History Museum

Nocturnal dinosaurs: Night vision and superb hearing in a small theropod suggest it was a moonlight predator

By looking at the eye bones and ear canals of extinct dinosaurs, researchers show that a small ancient predator likely hunted at night and had senses as good as a modern barn owl.
Methane is the world’s second most abundant greenhouse gas. It doesn’t stay in the atmosphere as long as CO2, but it’s many times more potent. Photo by Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times via Getty Image

Reducing methane is crucial for protecting climate and health, and it can pay for itself – so why aren’t more companies doing it?

The lead author of a new UN report on methane explains the findings and how oil and gas companies could be making money and saving the climate at the same time.
Mary Washington helped her son develop into the leader he became. While her son was the subject of several portrait artists, there is no record that Mary ever was. Stock Montage/Getty Images

Mary Ball Washington, George’s single mother, often gets overlooked – but she’s well worth saluting

Mary Washington raised George and his four siblings mainly alone, imbuing in George many of his best traits. Historians have focused instead on George's complaints about her.

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