Art Most Ancient
December 19 & 26, 1998 | Volume 154 | Number 25 & 26
Cover: A pattern of curving folds suggesting fingerprints adorns the surface of a 140-million-year-old limestone slab from southern Germany, shown here in a cast of the original. As part of the exhibit "Fossil Art," such pieces straddle the divide separating art from science. (Photo: William K. Sacco, Peabody Museum of Natural History)
News of the Week:
New Gene Therapy Fights Frailty
Gene therapy in animals successfully halted age-related muscle loss, pointing a way to a treatment for people.
Fishing trawlers scrape rock bottom
Marine researchers now say that fishing trawlers destroy an area twice the size of the contiguous United States every year, but its still unclear how long it takes seafloor communities to recover.
Cosmic lenses magnify distant galaxies
Magnified by gravitational lenses, 15 newly discovered distant galaxies loom larger and brighter than the rest.
Ancient ancestor reveals skeletal stamina
Scientists announced the discovery of a nearly complete skeleton of an early member of the human evolutionary family, dating to more than 3 million years ago.
Potent laser twirls electron figure eights
Blasting electrons with ultrahigh-power lasers forces the particles to move in figure eightsa predicted consequence of Einsteins theory of relativity.
Sleeping birds might be proofing songs
Part of the song machinery in a birds brain gets more sensitive to sounds when the bird falls asleep, possibly reviewing the days music silently.
Do HIV-infected blobs run amok in AIDS?
HIV infection causes some immune-system cells to fuse into huge blobs that may cause damage within the body.
Tumors often have phony protein receptor
Tumor tissue often has a membrane molecule that prevents the cells from responding to a signal that thwarts initiating programmed cell death, and thus the cancerous cell survives and replicates.
Stressful aftermath of early losses
College students who had lost a parent to death or had grown up feeling emotionally separated from their parents exhibited especially elevated blood pressure and hormonal responses to stress later in life.
Antipsychotics and brain changes
Antipsychotic drugs may cause some of the brain abnormalities noted in patients suffering from schizophrenia.
Central U.S. quake threat debated
The earthquake risk of the central United States may not be as high as feared.
The swell side of El Niņo
El Niņo caused a temporary but dramatic rise in global sea levels.
The Greatest Story Ever Told
Is cosmology solved?
Astronomers recently debated whether the discoveries made during the past few years, such as evidence that the universe's expansion is accelerating, constitute a breakthrough in the understanding of the cosmos.
Tune in for previews of hot new TV science shows!
Television science programs receive a humorous and entirely imaginary send-up.
A Billion Years of Beauty
Exhibit of fossils strains the definition of art
A collection of geological designs straddles the divide separating art from science.
Fossil Art Contest: Name Nature's Masterpieces