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  • Science Visualized

    Visualization offers view of a nerve cell’s dispatch center

    See numbered details • View the video

    Brains run on constant streams of chatter. The roughly 85 billion nerve cells in the human brain converse by sending messages via molecules called neurotransmitters. These chemical conversations allow the brain to think, remember and feel, but the details of how those messages move remain mysterious.

    To get a closer look, researchers led by...

    06/17/2014 - 07:30 Neuroscience
  • Science Stats

    Obesity on the rise globally

    Some 2.1 billion people, almost 30 percent of the world’s population, are overweight or obese.

    Data from 1980 to 2013 show that the biggest increases in the prevalence of obesity in women occurred in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Honduras and Bahrain, and for men, in New Zealand, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United States.

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    06/16/2014 - 10:00 Health
  • Reviews & Previews

    ‘Dinosaurs Without Bones’ gives glimpse of long-gone life

    Dinosaurs Without Bones: Dinosaur Lives Revealed by their Trace FossilsAnthony J. MartinPegasus Books, $29.95

    When people walk into a museum’s dinosaur hall, what makes them gasp in awe are the incredibly huge bones. An adult T. rex, which could be up to 12 meters long, had teeth the size of bananas. A humerus, or upper arm bone, of the largest (thankfully vegetarian) long-...

    06/15/2014 - 10:30 Paleontology
  • Reviews & Previews

    'Prisoners, Lovers, and Spies' reveals the secrets of invisible ink

    Prisoners, Lovers, and Spies: The Story of Invisible Ink from Herodotus to al-Qaeda Kristie MacrakisYale Univ., $27.95

    Pig’s bladder, gypsum, fig sap, alum and onion juice — there’s no eye of newt among invisible ink recipes, but blood of dormouse is fair game. By the end of science historian Macrakis’ nearly 3,000-year accounting of secret messages, she’s all but thrown in...

    06/14/2014 - 10:30 History of Science, Chemistry
  • Letters to the Editor

    Feedback

    Tracing ancient genes

    Prehistoric Europe was home to hunter-gatherers until migrating farmers muscled them out. Genetic information teased from ancient skeletons is helping scientists reconstruct this saga, as Tina Hesman Saey reported in “Written in bone” (SN: 5/17/14, p. 26).

    Sometimes, untangling genetic history can be a little one-sided. Researchers often rely on mitochondrial DNA,...

    06/13/2014 - 15:30 Animals, Genetics, Anthropology