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Top stories: The quietest places in America, stopping HIV, and the science of pot This week’s top science news
(Left to right): Silver Lab; Marcobeltrametti/Wikimedia Commons; NPS Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division

Top stories: The quietest places in America, stopping HIV, and the science of pot

New map shows America's quietest places

Craving some silence? Now you know where to go! Based on 1.5 million hours of acoustical monitoring, scientists have created a map of noise levels across the country on an average summer day. Unsurprisingly, national parks like Yellowstone corner the market on quiet, offering a silence likely as deep as that before European colonization.

Stopping HIV with an artificial protein

A lab-made molecule that mimics a human antibody may help us beat HIV. In tests, the new molecule kept four monkeys free of HIV infection despite injection of large doses of the virus.

Drones and satellites spot lost civilizations in unlikely places

Until recently, archaeologists would have told you there weren't any big human settlements in inhospitable environments like the Sahara desert or the Amazon rainforest. But they were wrong! Remote sensing technology like satellites and drones is now revealing past civilizations that have been hiding right under our noses.

Everything you wanted to know about medical marijuana, but were too afraid to ask

Humans have been using pot for more than 5000 years. So why don’t scientists know more about it? Three experts discuss what scientists and doctors know about the drug and what they still need to learn.

Human DNA enlarges mouse brains

Researchers have increased the size of mouse brains by giving the rodents a piece of human DNA that controls gene activity. The work provides some of the strongest genetic evidence yet for how the human intellect surpassed those of all other apes.

Rapid test for Ebola now available

The World Health Organization has approved the first rapid diagnostic test for Ebola, a huge help to health workers in remote areas. The test needs no electricity, requires just a few drops of blood from a finger prick, and can return results in 15 minutes.