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Top stories: Why we love dogs, the world’s oldest tools, and Saturn superstorms
(Left to right) anyaivanova/iStockphoto; Ken Gillespie/Alamy; NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Top stories: Why we love dogs, the world’s oldest tools, and Saturn superstorms

How dogs stole our hearts

If you think of your dog as your “fur baby,” science has your back! New research shows that when dogs stare into our eyes, they activate the same hormonal response that bonds us to babies. The study is the first to show this hormonal bonding effect between humans and any other species.

For more on man's best friend, see Science’s latest coverage of doggy science.

World’s oldest stone tools discovered in Kenya

Researchers have found the oldest tools made by human ancestors! They’re 3.3 million years old, 700,000 years older than the oldest known tools to date. That means our ancestors were crafting tools several hundred thousand years before the first fully fledged humans arrived on the scene.

Sixth extinction, rivaling that of the dinosaurs, should join the big five, scientists say

Earth has seen its share of catastrophes, the worst being the “big five” mass extinctions scientists traditionally talk about. Now, paleontologists are arguing that a sixth extinction, 260 million years ago, deserves to be a member of the exclusive club.

Women best men in STEM faculty hiring study

A woman applying for a tenure-track faculty position in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) at a U.S. university is twice as likely to be hired as an equally qualified man, if both candidates are highly qualified, according to a new study. These surprising results run counter to widely held perceptions, but some observers warn that the study—which involved actual faculty members rating hypothetical candidates—may not be relevant to real-world hiring.

Saturn's 'great white spots' linked to water

About once every Saturn year—29.5 of our years—a mysterious great white spot erupts in the planet's atmosphere that can outshine the planet’s brilliant rings. Now, planetary scientists suggest that these superstorms are linked to water!