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Your search has returned 31 articles:
  • People

    Building robots that slither

    View the videos Howie Choset is a roboticist, but his team’s creations bear little resemblance to C-3PO or R2-D2. Instead, Choset finds inspiration in nature — specifically, snakes.

    “A lot of people have this notion that robots are modeled after people,” says Choset, of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. But the animal kingdom is full of organisms that use different...

    11/16/2012 - 12:55 Technology
  • Letters to the Editor


    To spot a planet “Planetary peekaboo” (SN: 9/22/12, p. 26) says that to hunt for faraway planets, the Kepler spacecraft “watches for blinks occurring when a planet dims a star’s light by passing in front of it.” For a star to dim when a planet moves in front of it requires us to be in the same plane as the orbits of the remote planets. Evidently it’s expected that this is commonly true. Why...

    11/16/2012 - 12:54
  • SN Online

    SN Online

    ON THE SCENE BLOG Geneticists poke a little fun at themselves during a recent meeting. Read “Buzzword bingo.”

    SCIENCE & SOCIETY Mapping U.S. votes for president according to state population gives a new view of politics. See “Red state, blue state.”

    EARTH Feedback loops are melting more ice than predicted, raising oceans faster. Learn more in “Sea level rise...

    11/16/2012 - 12:54
  • Science Future

    Science Future for December 1, 2012

    December 15 Activities, films and demonstrations reveal physics principles at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. See

    December 17 Learn about super­massive black holes with astronomer Günther Hasinger at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. See

    11/16/2012 - 12:53
  • Science Past from the issue of December 1, 1962

    NEW DATING METHOD FOR MILLION-YEAR-OLD FOSSILS — A new radioactive dating method promises to close one of the major remaining gaps in methods of fixing dates on the geological and archaeological time scales. The new procedure, based on radioactive inequality in nature between uranium-234 and its parent U-238, was originated by David Turber of Columbia’s Lamont Geological Observatory at...

    11/16/2012 - 12:53
  • Reviews & Previews

    Book Review: How Ancient Europeans Saw the World by Peter S. Wells

    Human vision is a curious sense, providing the brain with information about the external world, but not interpreting it. Vision provides only raw data; the brain’s innate Photoshop software constructs a visual reality that depends on how the brain has learned to comprehend what it sees. In other words, thinking and seeing are not separate. So when Wells writes about how ancient Europeans “saw...

    11/16/2012 - 12:45
  • Reviews & Previews

    Book Review: The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success by Kevin Dutton

    “My father was a psychopath,” Dutton admits in his introduction. Never violent, Dutton’s dad was charming, ruthless and fearless. He wasn’t Hannibal Lecter, just a very good salesman.

    Dutton, a research psychologist, believes that his father’s case is not unique. Recent studies are blurring the lines between the psychopath and the average person. The disorder, it turns out...

    11/16/2012 - 12:44
  • Reviews & Previews

    I, Lobster by Nancy Frazier

    More than just a tasty meal — though this book does include recipes — the lobster is a star in history, art and science.

    Univ. of New Hampshire, 2012, 254 p., $24.95

    11/16/2012 - 12:43
  • Reviews & Previews

    Living Color: The Biological and Social Meaning of Skin Color by Nina G. Jablonski

    An anthropologist examines the evolution of human skin pigmentation, its relation to health and the role of skin color in social history.

    Univ. of California, 2012, 260 p., $29.95

    11/16/2012 - 12:43
  • Reviews & Previews

    On a Farther Shore by William Souder

    Fifty years after the publication of Silent Spring, a biographer creates a sensitive portrait of Rachel Carson’s life and research.

    Crown Publishers, 2012, 496 p., $30

    11/16/2012 - 12:41