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cover of the October 4 Science News
The bacterium Clostridium difficile

LOW-TECH BACTERIA BATTLE  Clostridium difficile (shown) is common in hospitals and is hard to treat.

Sahara Desert

DRIED OUT  The Sahara Desert formed 7 million years ago as the ancient Tethys Sea dried out, a new climate simulation suggests.

Two tobacco plants

EFFICIENTLY GREEN  These tobacco plants’ photosynthesis relies on a borrowed bacterial version of a major enzyme that replaces their own clunky one. The idea might someday make food crops more efficient.

shoe box–sized robotic octopus

UNDERWATER ROBOT  A shoe box–sized robotic octopus with arms and a web made of soft silicone can speed through the water faster than bots without a web.

The galaxies M60-UCD1 and M60

ITTY BITTY LIVING SPACE  The tiny galaxy M60-UCD1 (circled in white) harbors a black hole with the mass of around 21 million suns. M60-UCD1 may be a remnant of a larger galaxy torn apart by the massive galaxy M60 (center), which is also pulling in a nearby spiral galaxy (upper right).

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