Bacteria to the Rescue
February 7, 1998 | Volume 153 | Number 6
Cover: The production of cheese, yogurt, buttermilk, and many sausages relies on a fermentation step that is fostered by added bacteria. These bacteria also make proteins that can kill many food-poisoning microbes. Scientists are working to harness these proteins for use as a new type of food preservation.
Yolks of Yore: Oldest Animals Found
Fossilized embryos, found in 570-million-year-old Chinese rocks, provide the earliest record of animal life.
Did water carve canyon on Mars?
The first image of a dried-up channel at the bottom of the canyon Nanedi Vallis provides evidence that a steady source of water once flowed on Mars.
Beavers bite trees, benefit baby beetles
When beavers cut down cottonwood trees, they indirectly help cottonwood leaf beetles grow faster and taste nastier.
How low will we go in fishing for dinner?
Fisheries are propping up yields by harvesting stocks that are increasingly lower down the marine food chain.
Protein switch curls bacterial propellers
When a bacterium throws its motors into reverse, its flagella change the structure of their protein components.
New Budget Provides Lift for Science
The President's proposed 1999 budget offers significant increases in funding for many, but not all, science agencies.
Mysteries of a massive star
The star Eta Carinae has unexpectedly stopped emitting X rays, which had reached an unprecedented peak.
Asteroid impact: Beware the tsunami
An asteroid landing in the middle of the ocean has a greater potential for destruction than an asteroid landing on solid ground.
Seeing how much stuff sticks to snow
Measuring the total surface area of a volume of snow could help improve determinations of the amount of pollution picked up from the air.
Cocaine-laced locks tell hairy tales
Pressurized carbon dioxide can selectively dissolve cocaine out of hair as part of a drug-testing process.
Blinded by beauty
Extremely handsome people are often mistakenly rated as healthier than their peers.
Genetic hint of psychosis
An as-yet-unspecified gene appears to contribute to the psychotic symptoms that characterize schizophrenia.
'Feathered' dinosaur makes debut
Chinese scientists describe a dinosaur covered with downy fibers.
Another dinosaur sells for millions
A North Carolina museum pays $3 million for a rare dinosaur skeleton.
Liquid Bose-Einstein condensate found
A new analysis of data obtained years ago confirms a decades-old suspicion that a measurable fraction of the atoms in liquid helium form a Bose-Einstein condensate.
Whither heapeth the dancing sands?
A computer model has predicted the patterns formed by granular materials on vibrating surfaces.
Staging Germ Warfare in Foods
Science harnesses bacteria to fend off food poisoning and spoilage
An unusual group of bacterial proteins that can kill harmful germs may be added to foods or their packages.
Light from the Early Universe
Discerning patterns in galaxies from long ago
After finding some 440 galaxies so distant that the light they emit takes 12 billion years to reach Earth, astronomers are beginning to identify patterns in the distribution of visible matter in the early universe.
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