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This Week’s Coolest Science Stories

First-week-of-summer highlights include tech-savvy trees, gloppy oatmeal and vast swarms of now-extinct birds



Hidden, tricked-out cell phones help fight poachers and loggers in Indonesia.
Credit: Rainforest Connection via Flickr

Hey! We heard you like science, so we rustled up some of this week’s best stories on Scientific American. We’ve got junkie mice, a mathematical holiday (everyone’s favorite kind) and a smart new way to test cancer drugs. Enjoy!
 
Boom-and-bust birdie
How did passenger pigeons go from blotting out the sun for days to vanishing in just a few decades? A long-dead pigeon’s toe reveals some answers.
 
Slimy gut feeling
Goopy oatmeal talks directly to our intestines, keeping us feeling full for hours.
 
Did carrots help defeat Hitler’s air force?
Maybe not, but they’re still good for our eyes.
 
Adaptive cancer trial
A new type of clinical trial learns as it grows, letting researchers test five brand-new drugs at once.
 
Even the trees have ears
Hidden, tricked-out cell phones help fight poachers and loggers in Indonesia.
 
Eat a double dose of pie
Saturday is Tau Day. Help celebrate the newest and most controversial holiday (and constant) in mathematics.
 
Addicted to sunshine
Mice exposed to ultraviolet light amped up their production of opioid endorphins, and went through mousy withdrawal when cut off from the opioids.

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