October 16 Issue

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Cover story Tech & Science
Some species get cancer all the time; others, rarely at all. A young researcher in Salt Lake City is trying to figure out why.
Afghanistan Redux?
In Focus

Afghanistan Redux?

St. Petersburg, Russia—A woman watches Russian airstrikes in Syria on a Russia-24 news program on September 30. Two days after President Vladimir Putin delivered a speech at the U.N., Russia began a series of airstrikes it said targeted ISIS facilities. Russia’s parliament approved the use of force in Syria at the request of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The initial wave of airstrikes included locations in the western city of Homs held by anti-regime rebel forces, raising suspicions that Putin’s move was more about propping up Assad than fighting terrorism. U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter warned that Russia was at risk of “pouring gasoline on the fire.”
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The Kremlin's military action into Syria might save Assad. Less clear is whether it can save Russia.
New World
Scientists designed a brain-computer interface that enabled the patient to send instructions directly to his legs.
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Downtime
He made drawings that linked the secret flow of capital; he may have paid for his art with his life.