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  • Feature

    Embracing the Dark Side

    Now entertain conjecture of a timeWhen creeping murmur and the poring darkFills the wide vessel of the universe—Shakespeare, Henry VOn Jan. 12, 1998, just before leaving for his honeymoon, astronomer Adam Riess e-mailed his colleagues that the universe appeared to be completely dark and utterly repulsive. Fortunately, he was talking about a matter of gravity.Riess was part of a...
    01/29/2008 - 13:17 Astronomy
  • News

    Groundwater use adds CO2 to the air

    Using groundwater for crop irrigation or industrial purposes adds more planet-warming carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than volcanoes do, a new study suggests.As water soaks through soil, it picks up carbon dioxide that's generated when organic matter in the soil decomposes. On average, groundwater holds from 10 to 100 times as much carbon dioxide as the water in lakes and rivers, says Gwen L....
    11/06/2007 - 14:00 Earth
  • News

    Check on Checkers: In perfect game, there's no winner

    Computers can now play a flawless game of checkers. A calculation that began almost 2 decades ago shows that if both players make perfect moves, the game will be a draw every time. The achievement makes checkers the most complicated game to have been solved completely.Computers have been able to beat people at checkers since 1994, when a program called Chinook won the checkers world championship...
    07/18/2007 - 14:18 Computing
  • Food for Thought

    Cinnamon and Diabetes—Disease Type Appears to Matter

    Cinnamon—it's not just for perking up the flavor of pies and applesauce anymore. A teaspoonful of the spice can have medicinal properties, at least for most people with diabetes, several trials have indicated. However, the latest study identifies one population that cinnamon doesn't seem to benefit: individuals suffering from what was once referred to as juvenile diabetes."Ours is just one study...
    04/12/2007 - 02:07 Nutrition
  • Math Trek

    Cutting a Pie Is No Piece of Cake

    Cutting pie is harder than slicing cake, at least if you want to do it fairly. Bizarre as that may sound, mathematicians have proven it.Julius B. Barbanel of Union College and political scientist Steven J. Brams of New York University have long studied the classical mathematical problem of cake cutting. The question is this: Suppose you have an elaborately decorated sheet cake, with chocolate...
    Numbers
  • News

    Orexin-blocking pill speeds sleep onset

    A new compound that inhibits the activity of alertness-promoting brain peptides called orexins shows promise as a sleeping pill, according to tests in people and animals.Men who took the drug fell asleep more quickly than did men who took a placebo, neurobiologist François Jenck of Actelion Pharmaceuticals in Allschwil, Switzerland, and his collaborators report in the February Nature...
    02/13/2007 - 10:59 Biomedicine
  • Letters to the Editor

    Letters from the September 2, 2006, issue of Science News

    B line"A Vexing Enigma: New insights confront chronic fatigue syndrome" (SN: 7/1/06, p. 10) implies that there's not an available cure for chronic fatigue syndrome. I was amazed to find no mention of vitamin B12. I can attest to the remarkable effect.Earl L. PyeOak Hills, Calif.Limited evidence suggests that vitamin B12 absorption may be...
    08/28/2006 - 13:12 Humans & Society
  • Letters to the Editor

    Letters from the December 17, 2005, issue of Science News

    C plusEwan Cameron, who in 1971 began to collaborate with Linus Pauling on vitamin C and cancer, typically initiated patients with 10 grams per day of vitamin C given intravenously for about 2 weeks, followed by an oral dosage continued indefinitely. The two Mayo Clinic trials referred to in "Vitamin C may treat cancer after all" (SN: 10/15/05, p. 253)...
    12/14/2005 - 14:57 Humans & Society
  • Feature

    Mars or Bust!

    The Apollo moon missions were a 21st-century idea that was slipped into the 20th century, said former astronaut Eugene Cernan in his 1999 book The Last Man on the Moon (St. Martin's Press). In the 1970s, soon after Cernan and his Apollo 17 crew completed the last moon mission of the 20th century, NASA developed the ferrylike space shuttle that has since dominated the U.S. space fleet....
    11/21/2005 - 13:15 Planetary Science
  • Food for Thought

    Leaden Chocolates

    Here's something that might give you pause after Halloween: Chocolates are among the more lead-contaminated foods. A new study has probed the source of chocolate's lead and concludes it's not the cocoa bean. Its concentrations of the toxic metal were among the lowest recorded for any foodstuff.The issue of lead-tainted chocolates is hardly new. Indeed, it was the basis of a 2002 lawsuit brought...
    11/03/2005 - 16:10 Nutrition