Dark Matter? Getting Warmer... Massive exoplanets could be trapping dark matter in their cores, and glowing with excess heat as a result, Max Levy reports for Wired. Measuring exoplanets' heat is just one of the search strategies that physicists are turning to after repeated experimental failures to detect the prime dark matter candidate, Charlie Wood reported for Quanta last year.
Viral Remix Dozens of viruses use an alternative genetic alphabet, swapping the A for a "Z," perhaps as camouflage against bacterial enemies, John Timmer reports for Ars Technica. Nature seems to prefer a four-letter alphabet, but it's not the only way. Biologists are expanding genetic systems to pack in more information, Jordana Cepelewicz reported for Quanta in 2018.