The status of women in science, the nature of black holes and the role of cattle domestication in human prehistory were the topics of some of our favorite long-form pieces of 2013.

Taxonomy: The spy who loved frogs

To track the fate of threatened species, a young scientist must follow the jungle path of a herpetologist who led a secret double life.

11 September 2013

Brain decoding: Reading minds

By scanning blobs of brain activity, scientists may be able to decode people's thoughts, their dreams and even their intentions.

17 July 2013

Astrophysics: Fire in the hole!

Will an astronaut who falls into a black hole be crushed or burned to a crisp?

3 April 2013

Antibiotic resistance: The last resort

Health officials are watching in horror as bacteria become resistant to powerful carbapenem antibiotics — one of the last drugs on the shelf.

24 July 2013

Archaeology: The milk revolution

When a single genetic mutation first let ancient Europeans drink milk, it set the stage for a continental upheaval.

31 July 2013

Inequality quantified: Mind the gender gap

Despite improvements, female scientists continue to face discrimination, unequal pay and funding disparities.

6 March 2013

Climate assessments: 25 years of the IPCC

A graphical tour through the history of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the science that underlies it.

18 September 2013

Graphene: The quest for supercarbon

Graphene's dazzling properties promise a technological revolution, but Europe may have to spend €1 billion to overcome fundamental problems.

20 November 2013

Health: The big fat truth

More and more studies show that being overweight does not always shorten life — but some researchers would rather not talk about them.

22 May 2013

Medical research: Cell division

A cell strain extracted from an aborted fetus in 1962 remains a crucial, but controversial, source of cells more than 50 years later.

26 June 2013

This article is reproduced with permission from the Nature magazine. The article was first published on December 18, 2013.