Fishing for Answers to Local Problems
November 7, 1998 | Volume 154 | Number 19
Cover: These captured chum salmon are a subsistence food source in central Alaska. When government scientists said they didn't have the resources to fully map the fish's unique spawning grounds, the Alaska Boreal Forest Council volunteered. Such science shops are stepping in to study local issues that traditional research institutions ignore. (Photo: © Douglas Yates/1998)
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News of the Week:
New Drug Keeps HIV Out of Cells
Currently approved HIV drugs wait for the virus to start trouble inside a cell before springing into action, but a promising new drug stops the virus from invading immune cells in the first place.
Ancient Americans show metallic flair
Pieces of copper and gold foil at a Peruvian site date to 3,000 years ago, providing the earliest evidence of metalworking in the New World.
Race to find human stem cells ends in tie
Two research teams have isolated seemingly immortal human cells that can give rise to any cell type in the body.
Radiation gives these plants the blues
A genetically engineered plant serves as a botanical Geiger counter to record the gene-altering threat of radioactive pollution in the environment.
Arctic fossils record evolutionary burst
A rich cache of microscopic fossils points to an evolutionary explosion of complex cells more than 800 million years ago and suggests an early appearance of animals.
Thief-stoppers jam pacemakers, shockers
Antitheft gates that electromagnetically scan customers can throw off cardiac pacemakers and spark unnecessary shocks from defibrillators.
Is natural pesticide too hard on people?
A bacterium discovered in rotting onions might make a great substitute for pesticidesexcept that strains of the versatile microbe sometimes kill people.
Lava may have sculpted Martian plains
The vast northern lowlands on Mars may have been volcanically active as recently as 10 million years ago.
An ocean for Callisto?
Magnetic measurements suggest that Callisto, the outermost of Jupiters four large moons, may possess a salty ocean beneath its icy surface.
A new, distant galaxy
The most distant galaxy found to date lies more than 12 billion light-years from Earth, based on the extreme shift of its light to red wavelengths.
Monkey see, monkey count
Monkeys display the ability to put quantities from 1 to 9 in ascending order, suggesting that they possess basic counting skills.
Glial deal in mood disorders
A reduction of glial cells in a specific brain area may contribute to mood disorders in people who have a family history of these psychiatric ailments.
Why Floridas cormorants looked drunk
Veterinarians now think toxic algal tides are behind the mysterious disorder that makes Floridas cormorants appear intoxicated.
Slugging toads have a mean left jab
A cane toad is more likely to zap a rival with its tongue if the offending toad is crouched to the left instead of the right, evidence of side-to-side differences in the amphibian brain.
Use-it-and-lose-it genitals for birds
Males of the bird species called bearded tit dont bother lugging around a lot of sexual equipment when its not going to be used.
Squeezing oil from ancient rocks
Geologists have discovered droplets of oil in 3-billion-year-old rocks, which were thought too old to preserve petroleum.
Hairy clues to the Icemans diet
The neolithic man discovered in an Italian glacier in 1991 may have carried a bow and arrows, but he was a strict vegetarian just before his death.
Science shops are tackling research for and with communities Small, community-based research centers address local problems ranging from soil contamination to high traffic-accident rates.
The Accidental Immune System
Long ago, a wandering piece of DNAperhaps from a microbecreated a key strategy An ancient infection may have endowed all vertebrates with their sophisticated immune system, which is based on DNA cutting and pasting.
Letters: A Selection from Letters to the Editor
|copyright 1998 Science Service|