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  • Reviews & Previews

    Permanent Present Tense

    Sixty years ago, 27-year-old Henry Molaison underwent an experimental operation in a last-ditch attempt to stop his debilitating epileptic seizures. By removing tissue from each side of Molaison’s brain, the surgeon helped quell the attacks but destroyed his patient’s ability to form new memories.

    At the time, scientists didn’t know that the ability to establish long-term...

    07/11/2013 - 16:42 Mental Health
  • Reviews & Previews

    A Piece of the Sun

    It’s not a great time to be a scientist studying fusion. U.S. experiments such as the $3.5 billion National Ignition Facility are losing funding (SN: 4/20/13, p. 26), while a $20 billion international project called ITER is delayed and over budget. Clery, a science writer, chronicles these setbacks, along with 70 years’ worth of others, in efforts to harness the process that lights...

    07/11/2013 - 16:36 Physics
  • Chromosome Variations

    The normal number of chromosomes in each human cell is 46, but it can vary in different cells … Dr. D.G. Harnden of the Medical Research Council, Edinburgh, Scotland, told the International Conference on Congenital Malformations in New York…. Among others from the nine countries attending the conference was Dr. Mary L. Lyon, of the Medical Research Council Radiobiological Unit,...

    07/11/2013 - 16:26 Genetics
  • Letters to the Editor

    Letters to the editor

    European family ties are knotty I have trouble understanding “Europeans are one big family” (SN: 6/15/13, p. 8). It says that every person living in Europe today shares a common set of ancestors. First, what does “set” mean? “Set” implies there are certain common characteristics of the members, but people living in Europe 1,000 years ago had only one thing in common: living in Europe. Second...

    07/11/2013 - 16:24
  • People

    Finding the brain's common language

    Erich Jarvis dreams of creating a talking chimpanzee. If his theories on language are right, that just might happen one day.

    Jarvis says that the ability to imitate sounds, not higher intelligence, is the key to language. Most animals are born already knowing the calls they’ll croon, but human babies learn words by mimicking how others talk. “I argue it’s what makes spoken language...

    07/11/2013 - 16:13 Neuroscience