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  • Editor's Note

    Prying tales from ancient DNA and a far-away moon

    Farming didn’t originate in Europe. It was an import. But over thousands of years, it steadily took hold and transformed the landscape of the continent. Along with it came a transformation of Europe’s population.

    Since the 1970s, genetics has been used to shed light on the spread of agriculture from the Middle East, as well as to look into the ancestry of modern Europeans. But only in...

    05/02/2014 - 15:00 Other
  • Letters to the Editor


    Clams light up the deep

    Disco clams produce flashy displays by bouncing light off reflective strips located on their lips. Susan Milius described marine biologist Lindsey Dougherty’s research on these aquatic spectacles, which might help clams lure in small prey, in “Disco clams put on a streak show” (SN: 2/8/14, p. 5).

    “The display is striking and it’s astounding that it’s not...

    02/25/2014 - 12:00 Other
  • Becoming Human

    Killer whales, grandmas and what men want: Evolutionary biologists consider menopause

    Menopause seems like a cruel prank that Mother Nature plays on women. First come the hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, irregular periods, irritability and weight gain. Then menstruation stops and fertility ends. Why, many women ask, must they suffer through this? Evolutionary biologists, it turns out, ask themselves more or less the same question. How on Earth could such a seemingly...

    08/19/2013 - 09:36 Other
  • News in Brief

    Pre-Inca empire tomb found untouched in Peru

    Archaeologists have discovered the first unlooted royal tomb of the Wari empire, a pre-Inca civilization that covered what’s now western Peru from 700 to 1000.

    A team led by Milosz Giersz of the University of Warsaw dug through rubble at a Wari site near Peru’s northern coast last September and entered a ceremonial room that contained a stone throne. There they found more than 1,000...

    06/28/2013 - 11:55 Archaeology, Anthropology, Other
  • Letters to the Editor

    Letters to the editor

    Fructose fever I was fascinated by the article “Sweet confusion” (SN: 6/1/13, p. 22) about the ambiguous health effects of high fructose corn syrup. I was surprised, however, to find little mention of taste, flavor and satiety. I can clearly recall from my childhood the satisfaction from a bottle of Coca-Cola. The transition in America in the 1970s from sucrose to corn syrup as a sweetener in...

    06/28/2013 - 09:59 Other
  • 50 Years Ago

    Science Past from the issue of December 29, 1962

    INSULIN SYNTHESIS SEEN — Synthesis of insulin for the first time may be realized early in 1963…. Dr.  Panayotis G. Katsoyannis [of the University of Pittsburgh] is hopeful  that the last problems are about to be  solved in synthesis of the life-saving protein-hormone important to  diabetic patients. Chinese scientists, either  in Shanghai or Peking, are believed to be working on the insulin-B...

    12/14/2012 - 15:50 Other
  • News in Brief

    Highlights from the Psychonomic Society annual meeting

    Gestures have timely impact on thought People think differently about the passage of time based on gestures someone else uses while describing, say, a day’s events or the growth of a seed into a flower, Stanford University psychologist Barbara Tversky reported on November 17. In a series of experiments, Tversky’s colleague Azadeh Jamalian of Columbia University asked volunteers to diagram...

    11/19/2012 - 16:01 Psychology, Humans & Society, Other
  • Letters to the Editor


    Quick facial thinking I have always found it remarkable that the average person can identify probably thousands of individuals by face “Face Smarts,” (SN: 10/6/12, p. 20) and perhaps hundreds by voice, as well as some just by their gait. Clearly such identification at a distance must have been a crucial survival advantage during our evolution; this unfortunately suggests to me that the larger...

    11/02/2012 - 10:23 Other
  • SN Online

    SN Online

    ATOM & COSMOS Astronomers see two baby black holes where they expected none. See “Cohabiting black holes challenge theory.”

    EARTH Meteorological conditions combine to make Sandy a record-breaker. See “Low central pressure among Hurricane Sandy’s unusual features.”

    Warm temperatures in the Antarctic have helped hold down the size of the hole in the ozone layer this fall....

    11/02/2012 - 10:19 Other
  • News

    A moving lift for poor families

    Single mothers mired in extreme poverty feel considerably better about their lives and are mentally healthier after moving out of public housing with the help of federal housing vouchers, a new study finds. But here’s the bad news: That type of helping hand isn’t strong enough to break the cycle of poverty.

    This two-sided trend, uncovered by economist Jens Ludwig of the University of...

    09/20/2012 - 14:10 Humans & Society, Other