Top Stories of the Week

Sloppy Barnacle Sex Shocks Scientists

Pacific gooseneck barnacles don't let their shorter penises get in the way of getting it on: They ooze sperm directly into the water for waiting mates to capture. Scientists previously assumed that less well-endowed barnacles, which couldn't reach potential mates with their penises, used self-fertilization to reproduce.

Obama Lifts Ban on Funding Gun Violence Research

The White House announced 23 new actions to curb gun violence last week in the wake of the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. President Barack Obama lifted a 17-year ban on gun violence research and is seeking limits on weapons sales and stricter background checks.

Leprosy Reprograms Body's Cells

A mouse study provides new insight into how leprosy does its disfiguring damage: The bacterium can reprogram nerve cells to act like stem cells, which infiltrate the body's nervous system and muscles.

The Elephant Killing Fields

The largest study to date tracking the impact of poaching on African elephant populations determines that the animals are more likely to die by human hands than of natural causes. Signs that the elephants are responding to the threat with a baby boom offer slim hope for their survival.

What You Should Know About This Year's Flu

We've got you covered on everything you need to know about this year's flu season.

Soot Is Warming the World, A Lot

A massive assessment finds that soot could be warming the world twice as much as previously thought.

Common Pesticides Threaten Bees, E.U. Watchdog Warns

The European Food Safety Authority warns that three commonly used pesticides pose an "acute risk" to honey bees, whose dwindling populations are an international cause of concern, and recommends that none of the pesticides be used on crops attractive to bees. E.U. officials are set to discuss the matter at the end of the month.