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  • Science Stats

    Germs you carry around

    Like uptowners and downtowners, different bacterial communities hang out on your cell phone and your shoes. Scientists from the Home Microbiome Study swabbed the shoe soles and phones of about 30 reporters (including one from Science News) in February at the AAAS meeting in Vancouver. The researchers found similar bacterial profiles across reporters, including two types normally found in the...

    03/24/2012 - 00:00 Microbes, Microbiology
  • SN Online

    SN Online

    LIFE Plants use adhesion and bubbles to spread spores. See “Plants’ reproductive weaponry unfurled.”

    Sharp scales (shown) help propel sharks. See “Shark’s skin adds forward boost.”

    MOLECULES The sugar in corn syrup may be a concern for diabetics. Read “Taste of fructose revs up metabolism.”

    DELETED SCENES BLOG Measurements of the W boson hint at the mass of...

    03/09/2012 - 14:57
  • Science Future

    Science Future for March 24, 2012

    April 4 Artists and scientists come together at the Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous at Stanford University. See

    April 13–29 Science talks, lab tours and hands-on activities will be held statewide as part of the North Carolina Science Festival. For a schedule of events, go to

    03/09/2012 - 14:48
  • Science Past from the issue of March 24, 1962

    ANTI-PARTICLE DISCOVERED — Three international teams of scientists, working in the United States, Switzerland and France, have discovered and identified one of the last predicted anti-particles of matter, the anti-Xi-minus. Also known as the anti-cascade-hyperon, the tiny particle of anti-matter exists only for one ten-billionth of a second. Nevertheless, it has been observed, measured and...

    03/09/2012 - 14:46
  • Three-inch pieces of light

      Vote on future topic | Search archives     

    January 1, 1927 | Vol. 11 | No. 299

    Three-inch pieces of light

    A method of cutting off three-inch pieces from a beam of light, like a meat cutter slicing a bologna sausage, though the light moves at 186,000 miles a...

    03/09/2012 - 14:41
  • Letters to the Editor


    Pondering speedy neutrinos Regarding “Hints of a flaw in special relativity” (SN: 10/22/11, p. 18), there could be a simple explanation for neutrinos being measured as traveling faster than the speed of light in a vacuum. While a vacuum is typically defined as a space entirely devoid of matter, in fact a vacuum is a busy medium with virtual particles continually being created and destroyed....

    03/09/2012 - 14:41
  • Reviews & Previews

    Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science by Michael Nielsen

    The most common edit to a Wikipedia article changes only a single line of text. The same is true for Linux, the open-source computer operating system: A typical contribution changes just one line of code. Such “microcontributions” are one way to bring more expertise to any enterprise, argues Nielsen, a physicist. And by using such approaches to make all of science open and collaborative —...

    03/09/2012 - 14:34
  • Reviews & Previews

    Babel No More: The Search for the World's Most Extraordinary Language Learners by Michael Erard

    Some people speak several languages — lots of people, actually. But imagine understanding 15 or 30. That’s rare company, and Erard finds such people irresistible. He explores the world of “hyperpolyglots,” superlearners who test the upper limits of language abilities.

    The book covers a lot of territory: hypotheses about how specific brain developments might contribute to...

    03/09/2012 - 14:23
  • Reviews & Previews

    Lights of Mankind: The Earth at Night as Seen from Space by L. Douglas Keeney

    Panoramic images of Earth at night illustrate the story of humankind’s global spread.

    Lyons Press, 2012, 282 p., $32.50

    03/09/2012 - 14:18
  • Reviews & Previews

    Roald Hoffmann on the Philosophy, Art, and Science of Chemistry by Jeffrey Kovac and Michael Weisberg, eds.

    A selection of the Nobel laureate’s essays reveals his thoughts on everything from the beauty of molecules to teaching strategies.

    Oxford Univ., 2012, 416 p., $35

    03/09/2012 - 14:15