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  • Porpoises Can Teach Man Marine Diving, Detection

    Cetaceans—the technical term for whales and porpoises—can give scientists a fund of valuable information for developing our mechanical equipment, especially for target detection and identification, and for long-range underwater communication and navigation, stated Dr. Sidney R. Galler, head of the biology branch of the biological sciences division, Office of Naval Research…. The ability...

    08/23/2013 - 14:43 Animals
  • Letters to the Editor

    Letters to the editor

    Seeing ice In the photo series shown in “Taking Antarctica’s temperature”(SN: 7/27/13, p. 18), the ice appears to be increasing from January to April as one would expect in the Southern Hemisphere. How does this demonstrate the rapid collapse of the Larsen B Ice Shelf?William Meadows, Dripping Springs, Texas

    The satellite images show a large area of the Antarctic Peninsula; the Larsen B...

    08/23/2013 - 14:35 Earth, Language
  • Say What?

    Shergottite \SHER-goh-tite\ n.

    The most common kind of Martian meteorite. First discovered in Shergotty, India, in 1865, these rocks originally come from Martian volcanoes. Shergottites (one shown left) give geologists clues to the composition of Mars’ mantle, the layer beneath the crust. Geologists J. Brian Balta and Harry Y. McSween Jr. of the University of Tennessee say that data from shergottites...

    08/23/2013 - 14:35 Planetary Science
  • People

    Let the bedbugs bite

    Harold Harlan has been feeding bedbugs, intentionally, on his own blood since 1973. He keeps pint or quart jars in his home containing at least 4,000 bugs. And now Harlan’s self-sacrifice is helping other researchers studying the recent resurgence of bedbugs in the United States and other parts of the world.

    For most of the first 25 years of this enterprise, Harlan (below) worked as a...

    08/23/2013 - 14:29 Microbes
  • Feature

    Familiar faces

    If you’re someone who enjoys being recognized, Julian Lim is your kind of waiter. Lim, who’s working his way through college waiting tables, remembers the face of everyone that walks through the door of the South Bend, Ind., restaurant where he works. His abilities go beyond making his customers feel special. This spring, when he cut his hand on broken glass, he pegged the emergency room nurse...

    08/23/2013 - 13:08 Psychology
  • Feature

    Everlasting light

    On the next clear night, go outside and look up. If you’re away from city lights, you may be amazed by the darkness of the sky between the stars. But what looks like inky black isn’t really so. Even the darkest of night skies still contains the light of all the stars that ever shone.

    Photons, or particles of light, are born in the nuclear furnaces of stars and...

    08/23/2013 - 12:41 Cosmology
  • Science Stats

    Not really nine months

    The length of human pregnancy varies naturally by five weeks, researchers have found. A new study followed 125 women from conception to live single births and found the longest pregnancies in women who were older, had previously had long pregnancies or were themselves heavier at birth.

    08/23/2013 - 12:21 Human Development
  • Feature

    Life under ice

    Even by Antarctic standards, the Lake Vostok research station is inhospitable. The outpost at the heart of the frozen continent holds the record for the lowest naturally occurring temperature ever observed on Earth. Scientists commonly describe the place as punishing, unforgiving, the most desolate place on the planet.

    That’s nothing. Nearly 4,000 meters below the...

    08/23/2013 - 12:00 Earth
  • Reviews & Previews

    How We Do It

    Many parents have questions about how to raise children “naturally.” When is the natural time to wean a baby? Is early toilet training natural? What about suggestions to eat the placenta?

    Martin, a primatologist, looks to evolutionary history for clues to how humans have parented through time. He leads a dizzying tour through evolutionary aspects of human reproduction, starting...

    08/23/2013 - 11:26 Human Evolution
  • Reviews & Previews

    What Makes a Hero?

    Stories of heroes are all over the news: First responders and even concerned passersby put themselves in harm’s way to help others, going against every instinct for self-preservation. What could explain such selfless acts? Even Charles Darwin struggled to understand the evolutionary upside of self-sacrifice.

    Svoboda, a science writer, takes an in-depth look at some of the...

    08/23/2013 - 11:00 Psychology