November 14, 1998 | Volume 154 | Number 20
Cover: Japanese and Canadian engineers drilled a well in arctic Canada this year and pulled up gritty sediments filled with a frozen form of natural gas. Several countries and oil companies are now exploring whether these methane hydrates deposits in the permafrost and under the seafloor could provide a vast new source of energy. (Photo: Scott Dallimore, Geological Survey of Canada)
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News of the Week:
Fish-Eating Dinosaur Found in Africa
Paleontologists discovered a large, 100-million-year-old dinosaur with an extremely long, narrow snout.
Light powers molecular piston and cylinder
A device of molecular dimensions moves like a simple machine when stimulated with light.
Young, nearby supernova remnant shows up
Observations of a newly discovered supernova remnant indicate that the explosion from which it arose was the nearest one to Earth during the past 1,500 years.
Lock-on-a-chip may close hackers out
Engineers have created a miniature, electromechanical combination lock that presents a stronger barrier than security software.
Faraway comet spins into the light
The 6-hour spin cycle of a grayish-blue ball of ice orbiting the sun out beyond Neptune and Pluto may hold clues to the formation of the solar system.
Superstud grass menaces San Francisco Bay
Through superior pollen power, an invasive salt-marsh species from the East Coast threatens to overwhelm the native cordgrass of San Francisco Bay.
Cholesterol-busting products provoke FDA
The Food and Drug Administration argues that a margarine substitute known as Benecol is not a cholesterol-lowering dietary supplement but a food subject to regulation.
Tongue ties across continents draw fire
A controversial report concludes that a language family in Siberia and another in North America share a common origin in central Asia.
The brain gets a (new) earful
To hear correctly, the human brain must gradually learn the shapes of its bodys ears.
Pollen for the prosecution?
An analysis of pollen species found in the nasal cavities of 32 skeletons unearthed in Magdeburg, Germany, points to summer deaths, implicating Soviet secret police as the murderers.
Taking a bite out of the plague
Dental remains more than 4 centuries old harbor genetic proof of the bubonic plague.
Cancer tests can heighten anxiety
Testing positive for a mutation in one of the so-called breast cancer genes can boost anxiety and depression in a woman for months after the test.
Prostate cancer genetic region mapped
Researchers have mapped a mutation that causes prostate cancer and discovered that brain cancer patients have a higher-than-average incidence of that genetic defect.
Can methane hydrates fuel the 21st century?
Vast frozen deposits of natural gas beneath the seafloor may provide energy after inexpensive petroleum runs out.
Can unstable segments of DNA explain some cancers?
Common fragile sites on chromosomes are often damaged in tumor cells, suggesting a link between these genetic weak spots and cancer.
All In the Timing
Taking a tape measure to neutron stars
By recording extremely rapid fluctuations in X-ray emissions, a spacecraft is homing in on activity at the surface of neutron stars and testing a key prediction of Einsteins general theory of relativity.
Letters: A Selection from Letters to the Editor
|copyright 1998 Science Service|