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Your search has returned 16 articles:
  • Feature

    Bright Lights, Big Cancer

    In late 1987, Richard G. Stevens, then at Pacific Northwest Laboratories in Richland, Wash., typed up a short letter and mailed it to Walter Willett at Harvard Medical School in Boston. The two epidemiologists had met just once, and Stevens wasn't confident that his 209-word note, or the suggestion that it contained about a possible contributor to breast cancer, would inspire any action.

    01/04/2006 - 14:23 Biomedicine
  • News

    Gauging Star Birth: Spacecraft uses gamma rays as stellar tracer

    By detecting the radioactive remains of material hurled into space by dying stars, astronomers have estimated that, on average, our galaxy churns out seven new stars each year.

    The researchers used the European Space Agency's INTEGRAL spacecraft to record gamma-ray light, which is high-energy radiation undetectable from Earth's surface. They collected the particular...

    01/04/2006 - 13:44 Astronomy
  • News

    Mass movement

    Earth's gravitational field changed measurably in response to the December 2004 tsunami-spawning earthquake west of Sumatra. The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission's satellites noted changes associated with the temblor—the first such feat, says Byron D. Tapley, director of the Center for Space Research at the University of Texas at Austin. GRACE's data depict an area—...

    01/04/2006 - 13:30 Earth
  • News

    Quantum Chip: Device handles ions as if they were data

    Physicists have created a microchip that can hold an electrically charged atom and move it back and forth within a narrow channel. These manipulations lay the groundwork for using trapped ions as data bits in computer chips, the developers of the new device say.

    The scientists created the chip as a step toward a new breed of computers, called quantum computers, which...

    01/04/2006 - 13:08 Physics
  • News

    Locust Upset: DNA puts swarmer's origin in Africa

    The desert locust, often blamed for modern crop ruin and biblical plagues, was not an ancient export from the Americas, say DNA analysts.

    Some biologists had recently argued that Africa's storied locust arose from ancestors of today's New World Schistocerca species that crossed the Atlantic Ocean. That's backwards, Nathan R. Lovejoy of the University of Toronto at...

    01/04/2006 - 12:40 Animals
  • Letters to the Editor

    Letters from the January 7, 2006, issue of Science News

    Death in the Americas

    I was wondering if researchers have given any thought to the idea that in the same way that disease devastated human populations after the European discovery of the Americas, perhaps disease was a contributing factor in the demise of much of the fauna of the Western Hemisphere ("Caribbean Extinctions: Climate change probably wasn't the culprit," SN: 10/29/05, p. 275)....

    01/04/2006 - 12:38 Humans & Society
  • News

    Molecular Car Park: Material packs in carbon dioxide

    A crystalline material composed of metal and organic building blocks holds more carbon dioxide than other porous substances do, chemists report. The discovery could lead to a device that reduces power plant emissions of this greenhouse gas.

    About 40 percent of the carbon dioxide released in the United States in 2003 came from electric power plants, according to the Department of Energy...

    01/04/2006 - 12:13 Chemistry
  • News

    Gunning for the Gut: Tiny particles might fight invasive zebra mussels

    By modifying a method used to flavor foods, researchers have made a substance that poisons the zebra mussel. That invasive species clogs water pipes that feed power plants and other facilities.

    Around the Great Lakes and along much of the Mississippi watershed, facility operators lose about $1 billion each year to the mussel. They fight it with various toxicants, including...

    01/04/2006 - 11:37 Earth & Environment
  • News

    Alzheimer Clue: Busy brain connections may have downside

    Brain areas that are chronically activated produce increased amounts of amyloid beta, the waxy protein implicated in Alzheimer's disease, a study in mice shows.

    The work comes on the heels of a report, released 5 months ago, showing that brain areas switched on during daydreaming in young, healthy adults are largely the same spots found to be damaged in Alzheimer's patients...

    01/04/2006 - 11:16 Biomedicine
  • News

    Stone Age Footwork: Ancient human prints turn up down under

    Researchers working near the shore of a dried-up lake basin in southeastern Australia have taken a giant leap backward in time. They've uncovered the largest known collection of Stone Age human footprints.

    The 124-or-more human-foot impressions, as well as a few prints left by kangaroos and other animals, originated between 23,000 and 19,000 years ago in a then-muddy layer...

    01/04/2006 - 10:07 Anthropology