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  • News

    Mining the moon

    With these composite visible-light and ultraviolet images of a 42-kilometer-wide crater called Aristarchus on the moon's near side, the Hubble Space Telescope is mapping the mineral ilmenite. Also known as iron titanium oxide, it could prove invaluable for generating oxygen for human exploration. The mineral's lunar abundance hasn't been well established.

    The black-and-white...

    10/18/2005 - 22:24 Planetary Science
  • News

    Slim and Sturdy Solar Cells: Nanocrystals offer path to electricity

    Engineers have for years been developing solar cells made of inexpensive plastic, but the devices have limitations. For instance, the cells' short lifetimes when exposed to sunlight have prevented these inventions from getting beyond the prototype phase. Now, researchers describe a solar cell made of thin films of inorganic nanocrystals that have several of the advantages of plastic but avoid...

    10/18/2005 - 22:12 Materials
  • News

    Great Galloping Crinoids: Lilylike sea animal takes a brisk walk

    A video has caught an underwater animal, which looks like a flower, practically jogging along the ocean bottom.

    The stalked crinoid spends most of its time sitting and catching food with the flowerlike wheel of feathery arms that have earned it and its relatives the nickname sea lilies. Scientists had known for decades that stalked crinoids sometimes move—but barely. They...

    10/18/2005 - 21:55 Animals
  • News

    Early Stress in Rats Bites Memory Later On: Inadequate care to young animals delivers delayed hit to the brain

    The stress of experiencing inadequate childhood care rebounds with a brain-altering, memory-sapping vengeance in middle age, at least in laboratory rats, a new study indicates.

    Neuroscientist Tallie Z. Baram of the University of California, Irvine and her colleagues have obtained the first evidence that young animals exposed to such stress later in life suffer memory declines...

    10/18/2005 - 21:38
  • News

    Weight-Loss Costs: A critical look at gastric surgery

    Obese people who opt for weight-loss surgery incur increased odds of subsequent hospitalization and, in some groups, a substantial risk of death, say researchers who have investigated this burgeoning treatment. Even so, some of the scientists say, those risks may be justified.

    Gastric-bypass surgery—which detours food around most of the stomach—and other weight-loss, or bariatric,...

    10/18/2005 - 21:19 Biomedicine
  • News

    Macho Makeover: Fish rapidly ascend social ladder

    Some fish really know how to swim to the top. Researchers have found that within minutes of recognizing a social void, a lowly cichlid can alter its looks and behavior to ascend to the dominant spot in its group. Moreover, the same researchers have identified the gene that is primarily responsible for the fish's changing physiology.

    "We had known that social environment...

    10/18/2005 - 21:14
  • News

    Bionic Bacteria: Gold nanoparticles make gadgets of living microbes

    Blurring the boundaries between biology and the realm of electromechanical machinery, technologists have already used components of the natural world such as DNA to make robots. They've also coaxed living nerve cells to grow on a microchip, allowing neuroscientists to eavesdrop on cell-to-cell signaling (SN: 10/6/01, p. 216: Available to subscribers at Nervy chip may open window into brain; 6...

    10/18/2005 - 21:06 Technology
  • News

    Do No Harm: Stem cells created without destroying healthy embryos

    Two independent groups of scientists have devised ways to isolate embryonic stem cells from mice without destroying viable embryos. These new methods are intended to satisfy the ethical concerns of people who oppose destroying human embryos to do research or treat disease.

    Unlike any cell known in adults, embryonic stem cells can morph into virtually any of the body's cell types, such...

    10/18/2005 - 20:10
  • Letters to the Editor

    Former Science News Interns Garner Writing Awards

    If you have looked carefully at the masthead of Science News, you may have noticed that it usually includes an intern. These contributors are gifted reporters at the beginning of their science-writing careers. Each one spends several months covering science shoulder to shoulder with our more experienced staff members. The talents of one recent intern and one from many years ago have now been...

    10/18/2005 - 19:47 Humans & Society
  • Letters to the Editor

    Letters from the October 22, 2005, issue of Science News

    Smell the birdie

    I wonder if any of the researchers had a pet bird ("Myth of the Bad-Nose Birds," SN: 8/20/05, p. 120). My Alexandrine parakeet can smell beer or ice cream from two rooms away—She screams for her share.

    Bruce DowRidge Manor, Fla.


    The research into placebos' pain relief ("Placebo reins in pain in brain," SN: 9/3/05, p. 157) should probably be...

    10/18/2005 - 13:45 Humans & Society