August 1, 1998 | Volume 154 | Number 5Cover: Neandertals may have used stone points, like these found in the Near East, as spear tips. Some Neandertals may have hunted regularly and invented a distinct style of jewelry. (Photo: John J. Shea, State University of New York at Stony Brook)
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News of the Week:
Starlight Shows Life the Right Path
In a nearby star-forming region, astronomers have discovered circularly polarized light that could explain why terrestrial life uses only left-handed amino acids and right-handed sugars.
Lung cancer radiation uses questioned
Radiation treatments for some types of lung cancer have decreased survival in certain patients, according to a review covering 30 years of studies.
How a middling quake made a giant tsunami
The killer waves that struck Papua New Guinea may have drawn their power from an unusually slow and shallow earthquake.
Ring around the virus: RNA packs in the DNA
A circle of RNA helps viruses stuff DNA into their empty shells.
Glow-in-the-dark shark has killer smudge
A small, light-emitting shark gouges cookie-shaped plugs out of bigger animals attracted by its dark, fish-shaped chin patch.
Illuminating 3-D chaotic mixing in liquids
A novel apparatus for studying flow patterns in a stirred liquid helps researchers elucidate the link between mixing and chaos.
Two types of tundra affect carbon balance
Two kinds of tundra differ in their capacity to store carbon dioxide, a distinction that may affect predictions of global climate change.
Local temperatures dance to global beat
The correlation between air temperatures from one day to the next declines at an identical rate for different places around the world, suggesting a fundamental, planet-wide influence.
BiologyCloned mice make long-awaited debut
Scientists have cloned about 50 mice from adult cells, proving Dolly the cloned sheep was no fluke.
Frozen in time: Cells clocks tick on
Rat skin cells thawed after 25 years show daily rhythms of gene activity evidence that individual cells maintain biological clocks.
ComputersQuick cracking of secret code
Cryptographers have dramatically reduced the time required to identify the numerical key for decoding a message encoded with the widely used Data Encryption Standard.
Computers in the house
The proportion of households with computers increased from 8 percent in 1983 to 43 percent in 1997.
BiomedicineResearchers solve syphilis genome
Biochemists have mapped the entire genome of Treponema pallidum, the bacterium that causes syphilis.
Asthma drugs effect fades over time
After 2 weeks of regular use, morning doses of an asthma preventive, salmeterol, fail to ward off attacks late in the day.
Material ScienceSmart threads act sensibly when hit
Fibers of a compound that converts mechanical energy to electricity and vice versa can be integrated into a composite material to sense movement or dampen vibrations.
Vacuuming metals into molds
Drawing molten metal into a mold from the bottom by means of suction enables the production of thin-walled steel components.
Burger boxes as starchy as the bun
Biodegradable foam packaging can be manufactured out of starch, chalk, and wood fiber.
Giving Neandertals Their Due
New studies suggest that Neandertals may have hunted extensively and made personal ornaments for symbolic communication.
The Bacteria in the Stone
Extra-tiny microorganisms may lead to kidney stones and other diseases
Unusually small bacteria that precipitate calcium and other minerals to create shells are found inside kidney stones.
Letters: A Selection from Letters to the Editor
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