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Your search has returned 29 articles:
  • Science Past from the issue of August 26, 1961

    EARTH ONCE GLOWED — The earth’s surface in its early years of life may have glowed like a beautiful rainbow, shimmering with the colorful array of light emitted by primitive organisms. Light emission may have occurred soon after life appeared on earth, when the atmosphere lacked oxygen…. As small amounts of oxygen appeared in the atmosphere, not all of the organisms could tolerate the...

    08/12/2011 - 10:17
  • Science Future

    Science Future for August 27, 2011

    September 6 In New York City, author Joshua Foer discusses the history and science of competitive memorization. See

    September 15 Deadline to submit photos illustrating “chemistry in our microbes” to the Colors of Chemistry calendar contest. For info go to

    08/12/2011 - 10:17
  • SN Online

    SN Online

    SCIENCE & THE PUBLIC BLOG Smoke-exposed kids are more likely to have neuro-behavioral disorders. See "Young minds at risk from secondhand smoke."

    BODY & BRAIN At-risk newborns may avoid death and disability by cooling off. See "News in Brief: Body & Brain."

    Active neurons trigger changes that speed up signaling. Read "How exercise benefits nerve cells."


    08/12/2011 - 10:16
  • Feature

    When Birds Go to Town

    Anne Clark and Kevin McGowan are discussing, perfectly seriously, how a crow might be able to recognize a car. Not tell a car from, say, a cat, but pick out the red Subaru from other cars in the parking lot.

    Clark, an animal behaviorist at Binghamton University in New York, is sitting in her own red Subaru with McGowan, of...

    08/12/2011 - 10:14
  • Feature

    The Color of Controversy

    When it comes to the safety of dyeing food, the one true shade is gray.

    Artificial colorings have been around for decades, and for just about as long, people have questioned whether tinted food is a good idea. In the 1800s, when merchants colored their products with outright poisons, critics had a pretty good case. Today’s safety...

    08/12/2011 - 10:13
  • Feature

    Sparing the rare earths

    The Toyota Prius isn’t exactly a muscle car. But the magnets under the hood certainly pack a punch.

    Pound for pound, these permanent magnets are some of the most powerful on the planet. They generate fields 10 times stronger than those of typical refrigerator magnets, helping the hybrid car’s motor and generator to turn the...

    08/12/2011 - 10:13 Technology, Humans & Society, Matter & Energy, Earth & Environment, Chemistry
  • Reviews & Previews

    BOOK REVIEW: The Man of Numbers: Fibonacci’s Arithmetic Revolution by Keith Devlin

    Leonardo of Pisa, also known as Fibonacci, is best remembered today for introducing a sequence of numbers: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5 and so on, each number after 0 and 1 equaling the sum of the two before it. The Fibonacci sequence is closely connected to the “golden ratio” used in art and architecture and turns up frequently in mathematics and nature.

    For Devlin, NPR’s “Math Guy,”...

    08/12/2011 - 10:06
  • Reviews & Previews

    BOOK REVIEW: The New Universe and the Human Future: How a Shared Cosmology Could Transform the World by Nancy Ellen Abrams and Joel R. Primack

    Living only for the present, using up natural resources, polluting the environment without considering future generations — can humans ever change? Lawyer and popular-culture lecturer Abrams and her husband Primack, an astrophysicist noted for his work on dark matter, argue that people might, if only they learned a little cosmology.

    Echoing the words of Joseph Campbell, who...

    08/12/2011 - 10:06
  • Reviews & Previews

    The Bleeding Disease: Hemophilia and the Unintended Consequences of Medical Progress by Stephen Pemberton

    A historian shows how advances in treatment made hemophilia manageable — yet led to many deaths from HIV-tainted plasma.

    Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2011, 377 p., $50

    08/12/2011 - 10:05
  • Reviews & Previews

    Vulture by Thom van Dooren

    The much-maligned birds get their due attention in this thoughtful look at vultures’ natural and cultural history.

    Reaktion Books, 2011, 192 p., $19.95

    08/12/2011 - 10:00