Buddy system: A dwarf galaxy containing hundreds of thousands of stars seems to be merging with the Milky Way. The new companion galaxy lies 30,000 light-years from Earth, toward the constellation Virgo.

Sloan Digital Sky Survey announcement, January 9

Patterns of frog extinctions and lethal fungus outbreaks appear to be synchronized. To some scientists, the connection implicates global warming, which stimulates the fungal growth.

Nature, January 12

Just hand me the leash and go away: nursing home residents felt much less lonely when they spent time with a dog, rather than with a dog and other people.

Anthrozoos, March

Seeing a person who behaved unfairly get an electric shock triggered the empathy areas in women's brains, but in men the reward centers were activated instead. Men may find pleasure in retribution, although both sexes reported disliking the unfair person.

Nature online, January 18