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Hidden Threats Take Toll in Amazon
By overlooking logging and suface fires, deforestation estimates have missed more than half of the actual damage occurring in the Amazon rainforest each year.
Slow motion sets in when the light dims
Movement perceived by rods, the cells in the retina that register dim light, looks slower than the same motion detected by the color-sensitive cones, which are active in bright light.
Shutting off plaque's lifeline of blood
A study in mice shows that drugs designed to restrict the growth of new blood vessels also limit the size of plaques, the gummy substances in arteries that can cause heart disease.
Radiation helps break down toxic waste
Gamma rays can activate common minerals found in underground nuclear waste storage tanks, and the activated minerals speed up the decomposition of toxic organic compounds that are also present.
Electrons display their antisocial nature
Experiments on electrons confirm the Pauli exclusion principle, which asserts that matter particles known as fermions can't cohabit locations or energy levels.
Social fears may raise alcoholism risk
Children from families with widespread alcoholism often display severe inhibition in social situations, which may make them more likely to abuse alcohol later in life.
The green genes don't get out much
A field study of oilseed rape suggests that confining transplanted genes to chloroplasts would limit the escape of such genes via wild hybrids.
Stopping leaks may boost cancer drugs
A small protein fragment within two promising cancer drugs underlies their dangerous side effect, leaky blood vessels.
Big dust, little harm
New data confirm that relatively large, airborne dust particles from sources such as eroded soil are far more toxic than small ones spewed by combustion.
Computing at the Edge
Capturing a flame's flicker, an ink jet's splatter, and other shifting shapes
Applied mathematicians use novel computer methods based on mathematical structures called level sets to model complex behavior at interfaces.
Making Sense of Scents
Scientists begin to decipher the alphabet of odors
Distinct odorants bind to different arrays of receptors in the nose, a strategy that allows people to discriminate more than 10,000 odors even though there are only about 1,000 odorant receptors.
A Greek god explains anemic mice
A protein named after the Greek god Hephaestus is required to move iron from the gut into the blood.
Drugs tackle cancer in unexpected way
Drugs known as farnesyltransferase inhibitors appear to check tumor growth by their effects on a protein called RhoB.
Science & Society
A call for more college science and math
A National Research Council panel concluded that colleges need to mandate more science, math, and technology courses, especially with supervised research, for nonscience majors.
Whistle-blower wins back safety job
A federal court ruled that a whistle-blower who had been fired after complaining about problems in a chemical-weapons incineration facility must be reinstated as the plant's safety officer.
Court puts Yellowstone deal on hold
A federal judge has suspended an unprecedented bioprospecting contract forged between Yellowstone National Park and a biotechnology company.