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  • Letters to the Editor

    Letters from the April 23, 2005, issue of Science News

    The shark as red herring

    I'm sure you published "A Fishy Therapy," (SN: 3/5/05, p. 154) in good faith, but I believe that claims for shark cartilage are not made seriously by anyone who studies the role of natural substances in cancer prevention. It was proved ineffective long ago. I think your article does a disservice to honest people who are trying to fight the drug-industry prejudice...

    04/20/2005 - 14:49 Humans & Society
  • News

    Coming Storms: Method predicts intensity of U.S. hurricane seasons

    A new computer model that analyzes summer-wind patterns can predict whether the United States will suffer a damaging hurricane season, according to the scientists who developed the tool.

    Hurricanes are among nature's most destructive disasters. Eight of the 10 costliest U.S. calamities were hurricanes, says Mark A. Saunders, an atmospheric physicist at University College...

    04/20/2005 - 13:15 Earth
  • News

    Mood Brighteners: Light therapy gets nod as depression buster

    A new scientific era may have dawned for light therapy, a potential depression fighter that has languished in the shadows of antidepressant medication and psychotherapy for the past 20 years.

    A research review commissioned by the American Psychiatric Association in Washington, D.C., concludes that in trials, daily exposure to bright light is about as effective as antidepressant drugs in...

    04/20/2005 - 13:04
  • News

    Double bubble comes off in a pinch

    Scientists at Harvard University have nestled droplets inside droplets by squeezing three concentrically arranged streams of fluids into a glass tube. The double droplets could be useful for encapsulating food additives and components of cosmetics. The innermost (1) and outermost (3) fluids shown here are silicon oil, and the middle fluid (2) is a water-glycerol mixture. The two inner fluids...

    04/20/2005 - 12:44 Technology
  • News

    Frozen in Time: Gas puts mice metabolically on ice

    Putting people into a state of suspended animation is a mainstay of science fiction, but a new study may have brought the idea closer to reality. By exposing mice to low concentrations of hydrogen sulfide gas in air, researchers slowed the animals' metabolic rate to a near standstill with no apparent ill effects.

    Many animals undergo periods of extreme metabolic slowdown, or torpor, in...

    04/20/2005 - 12:30
  • News

    Fast Start: Sex readily spreads HIV in infection's first weeks

    People with the AIDS virus are many times more infectious to their sexual partners in the weeks or months just after they acquire the virus than they are later on, researchers in Uganda have determined. The study confirms the long-standing hypothesis that, compared with those infected for years, people recently infected with HIV contribute to the spread of the virus in excess proportion to...

    04/20/2005 - 12:17 Biomedicine
  • News

    Ambush Ants: Beware the moldy patch on that branch

    On the plants where they live, tiny tropical ants build fungus platforms and then hide underneath, ready to ambush insects that may be far larger than themselves.

    The ants use the plant's natural hairs as pillars supporting a hole-riddled roof of fungus and other tidbits, says Jérôme Orivel of Toulouse University in France. Lurking beneath this structure, the...

    04/20/2005 - 12:07 Ecology
  • News

    Distant Dust: Asteroid belt or boiling comet?

    Astronomers this week announced that they have discovered signs of an asteroid belt circling a sunlike star 41 light-years from Earth. If confirmed, the belt would be the closest known analog to the asteroid belt in the solar system and a possible indicator of rocky planets.

    Charles Beichman of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and his colleagues base their...

    04/20/2005 - 11:37 Astronomy
  • News

    Extreme Matter: Mother of all material flows into view

    When matter was new in the universe, it was an exotic gas whose components later congealed into the more-ordinary matter made of atoms. At least, that was the story. Now, physicists trying to re-create that gas in an accelerator say that the universe's original stuff appears to have been a liquid.

    Like the gas that had been expected, the ur-liquid the physicists made is ultrahot and...

    04/20/2005 - 10:40 Physics
  • News

    These spines were made for walking

    From Milwaukee, at a joint meeting of the Paleoanthropology Society and American Association of Physical Anthropologists

    Human ancestors that lived in Africa around 3 million years ago possessed backbones like those of people today and thus walked much as we now do, says Carol V. Ward of the University of Missouri-Columbia.

    Ward and Bruce Latimer of the Cleveland Museum of...

    04/20/2005 - 10:11 Anthropology