New Year in Space
January 3, 1998 | Volume 153 | Number 1
Cover: Known as the Hubble Space Telescope of the X-ray universe, the $1.4 billion Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility is scheduled for launch in November. (Illustration:TRW)
The Cosmos' Fate: World Without End
Two new studies provide strong hints that the universe may expand forever.
Zeroing in on an infinite number of primes
Mathematicians have proved there are infinitely many primes among whole numbers of the form a^2 + b^4.
New foam tames an asbestos
A chemical foam converts asbestos fireproofing materials to nontoxic but still protective minerals.
Xenon injects images with brightness
Injected into the body, the inert gas xenon can enhance magnetic resonance images.
Mongolian dinosaurs give up sandy secrets
Geologists propose that recently uncovered dinosaurs lived in rolling meadows, rather than deserts, more than 70 million years ago.
DNA tests find phony seal penises
Material sold as seal penises for use as aphrodisiacs includes parts of species that aren't even close to being seals.
A surprising encounter of the NEAR kind
Pictures and data obtained during last summer's flyby of asteroid 253 Mathilde indicate that the carbon-rich, heavily cratered body has an extremely low density.
Gene pushes cells into forced retirement
A newly identified gene induces cancer cells to enter senescence, a nondividing state that might play a role in aging.
Europa's salty surface
Evidence of magnesium sulfate on the surface of Europa lends further support to the notion that this Jovian moon recently had and might still harbor an underground ocean.
Fossils from Mars: Point, counterpoint
Researchers continue to debate whether a rock from Mars contains tiny fossils of primitive bacteria.
Evolution of attention
Symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder may sometimes represent adaptive responses to certain environments.
Magentic mood brightener
A pilot study suggests that magnetic stimulation of the brain improves the mood of people suffering from major depression.
Frogs that talk through their ears
The North American bullfrog uses its ears as amplifiers to broadcast its commanding croak.
Frog real estate: More than location
Proposed fixes for fragmented habitat may help one frog species but not another in the same forest.
Mammograms get boost for women over 40
Women who get regular mammograms in their 40s are less likely to die of breast cancer, a Swedish study shows.
Role of cancer mutation scrutinized
A genetic mutation thought to predispose people to colorectal cancer didn't have that effect when scientists focused on families with histories of breast and ovarian cancer.
From the moon to Mars and beyond
Ranging from a close-up tour of the moon to an orbiting telescope searching for distant galaxies, the majority of missions scheduled for 1998 are diminutive.
Children of the C4 World
Did a decline in carbon dioxide concentrations spur our evolution?
A change in the atmosphere may have altered global vegetation and mammalian species 8 million years ago.
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A Selection from Letters to the Editor
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