Top stories: Supersized fruit, a new human ancestor, and cancer-sniffing bacteria
(LEFT TO RIGHT) Zach Lipmman; Laura Dempsey; Chris Bickel/Science

Top stories: Supersized fruit, a new human ancestor, and cancer-sniffing bacteria

Scientists find way to create supersized fruit

Fruit lovers who think bigger is better are in luck—scientists have figured out the genetics behind supersized fruit! They suspect plant breeders can use the discovery to improve crops, and even increase the number of kernels on a corncob.

New human ancestor was Lucy’s cousin and neighbor

Scientists have discovered jawbones and teeth near the spot where Lucy, one of our most famous ancestors, was found. The bones may belong to a new species of human relative, making our family tree a little more complicated.

Engineered bacteria detect cancer and diabetes in urine

Bacteria aren’t all bad—in fact, our bodies are full of trillions of beneficial microbes. Now, researchers have figured out how to manufacture more friendlies. This week, two teams report that they’ve genetically modified bacteria that can detect cancer in mice and diabetes in humans.

How space travel messes with mouse skin

A new study shows that space travel can mess with mouse skin, disrupting its growth and possibly causing irritation. The results may help us figure out why space messes with human skin, too.

In Syria, Islamic State group apparently spares Palmyra’s stunning ruins—for now

Archaeologists around the world feared for the spectacular ruins in Palmyra, Syria, after Islamic State militants took over the city last week. However, examination of the latest satellite images from Palmyra finds no new damage to the stunning ruins—for now.