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  • News in Brief

    International Congress of Neuroethology, College Park, Md., August 5–10

    Galloping dung beetlesPachysoma dung beetles in Africa have a gait never before described in insects — almost a gallop. Biologists hadn’t recognized the motion because it’s hard to see scuttling beetle legs, said Jochen Smolka of Sweden's Lund University. He videotaped beetle sprints and analyzed them in slow replays. Most insects move their six legs as two tripods. In one stride, the first...

    09/07/2012 - 12:45 Life & Evolution
  • People

    The volcano watcher

    Matt Patrick’s office is perched not far from the summit of Hawaii’s busiest volcano: Kilauea. When it erupts, he has a good view. Of course, it’s his job to see every possible vista of the peak, whether it’s flying over in a helicopter, hiking to fissures and along lava fields or checking webcams, seismometers and satellites. Working at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano...

    09/07/2012 - 12:04
  • Letters to the Editor


    Cartilage risk I enjoyed Nathan Seppa’s article “Cartilage creation,” (SN: 8/11/12, p. 22) about attempts to generate new cartilage from somatic stem cells. He writes that cartilage evolved “in ancestors who lived shorter lives, carried less body weight and roamed an unpaved world.” Implications: The risk of osteoarthritis increases with age, body weight and impact on concrete, such as a...

    09/07/2012 - 12:04
  • SN Online

    SN Online

    ON THE SCENE BLOG Spinning neutron stars called pulsars keep turning up in new and exotic flavors. Read “Weird pulsars debut at Beijing astronomy meeting.”

    SCIENCE & SOCIETY The world’s first moonwalker left a legacy of exploration. See “Neil Armstrong, first man on moon, dies at 82.”

    NUMBERS The busiest air-traffic hubs aren’t always tops for epidemics. See “...

    09/07/2012 - 12:02
  • Science Future

    Science Future for September 22, 2012

    September 29 The “Make it Science Day” at the Columbus, Ohio, Center of Science and Industry explores the science of manufacturing. You can even try your hand at basic soldering. See

    October 17 For National Fossil Day, a part of Earth Science Week, paleontologists and U.S. National Park rangers will explain fossil discoveries at events nationwide. See

    09/07/2012 - 12:02
  • Science Past from the issue of September 22, 1962

    PIGMENT MAY HELP VISION — The same chemical that gives you that golden tan from the summer sun may also help you to see. The brown pigment, melanin, may take part in controlling the messages sent from the eye to the brain, Lieut. Raymond J. Sever, U.S. Navy, told the American Chemical Society in Atlantic City. Melanin is found in the retina, the light sensitive part of the eye. Here, the...

    09/07/2012 - 12:01
  • Reviews & Previews

    BOOK REVIEW: The Ravenous Brain: How the New Science of Consciousness Explains Our Insatiable Search for Meaning by Daniel Bor

    In this dispatch from the front lines of consciousness research, neuroscientist Bor offers an introspective interpretation of what the human mind is and what it’s good for.

    Consciousness, Bor argues, is a “chronic mental hunger,” the brain’s demand for more and more information about the world. This insatiable appetite has propelled humans to the moon, ushered in medical...

    09/07/2012 - 11:47
  • Reviews & Previews

    BOOK REVIEW: DNA USA: A Genetic Portrait of America by Bryan Sykes

    A human geneticist has dipped his DNA testing kit into the great melting pot, exploring the genetic history, genealogy and anthropology of Americans. Sykes travels across the country meeting ordinary people and creating portraits of their chromosomes that reflect from whence their ancestors hailed. All the volunteers are given pseudonyms drawn from Hollywood movies, but the stories of their...

    09/07/2012 - 11:47
  • Reviews & Previews

    Mathletics: A Scientist Explains 100 Amazing Things About the World of Sports by John D. Barrow

    See what math reveals about sports, from the possibility of speeding up Usain Bolt to the physics of high jumping’s backward flop.

    W.W. Norton & Co., 2012, 298 p., $26.95

    09/07/2012 - 11:46
  • Reviews & Previews

    Finding the Arctic: History and Culture Along a 2,500-Mile Snowmobile Journey from Alaska to Hudson's Bay by Matthew Sturm

    A climate researcher intertwines the story of his own snow-mobile expedition with the history of life and exploration in the Arctic.

    Univ. of Alaska, 2012, 258 p., $24.95

    09/07/2012 - 11:46