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Top stories: Mite-proof bees, dark matter ‘bullets,’ and the tiny monkeys replanting the Amazon

Breeders toughen up bees to resist deadly mites

The recent rise of Varroa destructor, a type of mite that lives in bee colonies, has spurred the demise of bee populations worldwide. Scientists and beekeepers are on a wild search for a better bee—or at least one that can survive the onslaught of these tiny pests.

If this type of dark matter existed, people would be dying of unexplained ‘gunshot’ wounds

Dark matter, the mysterious substance that makes up most of the mass of the universe, has proved notoriously hard to detect. But scientists have now proposed a surprising new sensor: human flesh.

These squirrel-size monkeys helped bring Peru’s Amazon back to life

Northeastern Peru’s lush Amazon rainforest lost most of its trees when it was logged and converted to water buffalo pastures in 1990. But after humans abandoned the area about 10 years later, the forest slowly began to regrow. Now, scientists have an explanation for how it revived so quickly: the foraging activities of tamarins, squirrel-size monkeys native to the area.

Mexico’s new president shocks scientists with budget cuts and disparaging remarks

The initially warm relations between Mexico’s academic community and the country’s new president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, have decidedly cooled. Scientists say a package of harsh austerity measures, implemented on 3 May, threaten the future of Mexican research. Meanwhile, López Obrador, who promised to support science and technology during his 2018 campaign, alarmed scientists with a proposal—later withdrawn—to personally approve researchers’ travel abroad, which he called “tourism.”

Debate intensifies over speed of expanding universe

Last week, leading experts at clocking the Hubble constant, the rate at which the universe expands, gathered in hopes that new measurements could point the way out of a brewing storm in cosmology. No luck so far, but astronomers worry the debate is becoming a “crisis.”