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  • News

    Searchers capture a champion megaprime

    A participant in the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS) has identified the largest prime number yet. When printed out, its digits would fill more than 450 pages of Science News.

    Discovered by 20-year-old Michael Cameron of Owen Sound, Ontario, the new champion prime is 213,466,917 – 1, which runs to 4,053,946 decimal digits.

    A prime is a whole number evenly divisible by...

    12/11/2001 - 11:14 Numbers
  • News

    She-male garter snakes: Some like it hot

    Male garter snakes limping out of hibernation in northern Manitoba can mimic females and drive dozens of other guys to wriggle over them. The force behind this deluded orgy may not be sex, though.

    Until now, scientists presumed that female mimicry gives its perpetrators an edge in mating, explains Rick Shine of the University of Sydney in Australia. But there's no evidence for...

    11/14/2001 - 15:08 Animals