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News of the Week:
Nailing Down Pheromones in Humans
Women exude chemicals that influence the menstrual cycles of other women with whom they have close contact.
Stern, K., and M.K. McClintock. 1998. Regulation of ovulation by human pheromones. Nature 392(March 12):177.
Agosta, W.C. 1992. Chemical Communication: The Language of Pheromones. Scientific American Library. New York.
Preti, G., and C.J. Wysocki. In Press. Human Pheromones: Releasers or Primers Fact or Myth. Advances in Chemical Signals in Vertebrates. New York.
Human ancestor may have taken to sea
Stone artifacts found on an Indonesian island provide evidence for sea travel by a predecessor of humans at least 800,000 years ago.
Morwood, M.J. 1998. Fission-track ages of stone tools and fossils on the east Indonesian island of Flores. Nature 392(March 12):173.
Bower, B. 1997. Ancient roads to Europe. Science News 151(Jan. 4):12.
_____. 1994. Asian hominids make a much earlier entrance. Science News 145(March 5):150.
Math enthusiast wins Science Talent Search
The top winners in the 1998 Westinghouse Science Talent Search are students from Indiana, Arizona, and New York.
Gott, J.R. 1998. Indiana mathematician wins 57th Westinghouse Science competition, $40,000 scholarship on 17th birthday. National Academy of Sciences Awards Ceremony. Washington. March.
Stimulating clue hints how lithium works
New studies of lithiums effects on cells may help explain how the drug combats manic depression.
Nonaka, S., C.J. Hough, and D. Chuang. 1998. Chronic lithium treatment robustly protects neurons in the central nervous system against excitotoxicity by inhibiting N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-mediated calcium influx. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 95(March 3):2641.
Craft finds evidence of ice on the moon
NASAs Lunar Prospector spacecraft has gathered the best evidence so far of frost deep within craters at the moons north and south poles.
Feldman, W., and A. Binder. 1998. Lunar prospector finds evidence of ice at moon. NASA Press Briefing. Mountain View. March.
Cowen, R. 1994. Ice on Earths moon? Science News 145(June 11):383.
Cosmic rays sow the seeds of cloud growth
Atmospheric ions created by cosmic rays could play a role in creating the precursors to cloud droplets.
Turco, R.P., J. Zhao, and F. Yu. 1998. A new source of tropospheric aerosols: Ion-ion recombination. Geophysical Research Letters 25(March 1):635.
Timeless machine detects electric charge
A microscopic device based on an 18th century scientific instrument mechanically measures tiny amounts of electric charge.
Cleland, A.N., and M.L. Roukes. 1998. A nanometre-scale mechanical electrometer. Nature 392(March 12):160.
Peterson, I. 1997. From microdevice to smart dust. Science News 152(July 26):62.
Yoo, M.J., T.A. Fulton, et al. 1997. Scanning single-electron transistor microscopy: Imaging individual charges. Science 276(April 25):579.
Nuclear collisions spawn odd fragments
Physicists report new evidence that fragments created in nuclear collisions sometimes travel unexpectedly short distances before decaying.
Jain. P.L., and G. Singh. 1998. Abnormal behaviour of projectile fragments of a gold beam at relativistic energy. Journal of Physics G: Nuclear and Particle Physics 24(March):627. (Available at http://www.iop.org/Journals/featured/jg1998024030013.)
McHarris, W.C., and J.O. Rasmussen. 1984. High-energy collisions between atomic nuclei. Scientific American (January):58.
Thomsen, D.E. 1984. Anomalous anomalon story: Back again. Science News 125(June 30):405.
______. 1984. Anomalons get more and more anomalous. Science News 125(Feb. 25):118.
______. 1983. Do anomalons exist? Yesso far. Science News 124(July 9):20.
______. 1982. Nuclei that interact before their time. Science News 122(Oct. 30):284.
Rattlesnakes feel the final bite
The sense of touch may play a role in the accuracy of rattlesnake strikes.
Kardong, K.V., and V.L. Bels. 1998. Rattlesnake strike behavior: Kinematics. Journal of Experimental Biology 201(Feb. 18):837.
When the little guys win one
Small birds benefit from harassing big, dangerous predators.
Pavey, C.R., and A.K. Smyth. 1997. Effects of avian mobbing on roost use and diet powerful owls, Ninox strenua. Animal Behaviour 55(February):313.
Heart benefits from sneaky calcium ions
Calcium ions may enter heart cells through an unexpected pathway.
Santana, L.F., A.M. Gómez, and W.J. Lederer. 1998. Ca2+ flux through promiscuous cardiac Na+ channels: Slip-mode conductance. Science 279(Feb. 13):1027.
Stopping coughs . . . and cancer?
A cough suppressant known as noscapine may also combat tumors.
Ye, K., et al. 1998. Opium alkaloid noscapine is an antitumor agent that arrests metaphase and induces apoptosis in dividing cells. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 95(Feb. 17):1601.
Flat-footed fossil of former flyer
The remains of a Jurassic-aged pterosaur indicate these animals could not walk on their toes.
Clark, J.M., et al. 1998. Foot posture in a primitive pterosaur. Nature 391(Feb. 26):886.
Dinosaur denizens of the dark
A duck-billed dinosaur has been discovered in Antarctica.
Monastersky, R. 1993. From Antarctica: The Elvis of dinosaurs. Science News 144(Oct. 23):261.
Watching washes out interference
Increasing the ability of a detector to determine whether an electron has passed through one opening or another of a pair of narrow slits reduces the amount of quantum interference observed.
Buks, E., et al. 1998. Dephasing in electron interference by a "which-path" detector. Nature 391(Feb. 26):871.
Interactions between electrons in a metal and those in another material may contribute to friction.
Dayo, A., W. Alnasrallah, and J. Krim. 1998. Superconductivity-dependent sliding friction. Physical Review Letters 80(Feb. 23):1690.
Bhushan, B., J.N. Israelachvili, and U. Landman. 1995. Nanotribology: Friction, wear and lubrication at the atomic scale. Nature 374(April 13):607.
Krim, J. 1996. Friction at the atomic scale. Scientific American (October):74.
Peterson, I. 1995. Metal against metal. Science News 147(April 15):239.
Gene therapy aims to build cells that thwart HIV replication
Intracellular immunization tests are stepping from animals to people.
Ranga, U. . . . G.J. Nabel. 1998. Enchanced T cell engraftment after retroviral delivery of an antiviral gene in HIV-infected individuals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 95(Feb. 10):1201.
Donahue, R.E. . . . R.A. Morgan. 1998. Reduction in SIV replication in rhesus macaques infused with autologous lymphocytes engineered with antiviral genes. Nature Medicine 4(February):181.
Marasco, W.A. 1997. Intrabodies: Turning the humoral immune system outside in for intracellular immunization. Gene Therapy 4:11.
Pennisi, E. 1993. High-tech gene therapy to target HIV. Science News 144(Sept. 18):182.
Poznansky, M.C., et al. 1998. Inhibition of human immunodeficiency virus replication and growth advantage of CD4+ T cells from HIV-infected individuals that express intracellular antibodies against HIV-1 gp120 or tat. Human Gene Therapy 9(March 1):487.
Weiss, R. 1988. Well-bred cells: Poor hosts to viruses. Science News 134(Oct. 1):213.
Racing the Waves
Seismologists try to catch quake tremors quickly enough to save lives
A new network of earthquake sensors in southern California will soon provide information about quakes even before the shaking starts.
Goltz, J.D. 1997. The role of real-time seismic information in emergency management: Decision support in the Northridge earthquake and future applications in Southern California. Meeting of the American Geophysical Union. San Francisco. December.
Jones, L.M., et al. 1997. System specifications for SCSN/TriNet: A modern, digital multi-functional real-time seismographic network. Meeting of the American Geophysical Union. San Francisco. December.
Nishenko, S., and J. Murray. 1997. The federal response plan and real-time earthquake hazard information - A FEMA perspective. Meeting of the American Geophysical Union. San Francisco. December.
Kanamori, H., E. Hauksson, and T. Heaton. 1997. Real-time seismology and earthquake hazard mitigation. Nature 390(Dec. 4):461.
Monastersky, R. 1997. The overdue quake. Science News 152(July 5):8.
______. 1994. The fatal fling. Science News 145(June 25):408.
Table of Contents - 3/14/98
copyright 1998 Science Service