Vol. 157 No. #14

More Stories from the April 1, 2000 issue

  1. Earth

    More Waters Test Positive for Drugs

    Traces of drugs, excreted by people and livestock, pollute surface and ground waters in the United States, as had already been confirmed in Europe.

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  2. Paleontology

    Salvaged DNA adds to Neandertals’ mystique

    Researchers who isolated a sample of Neandertal mitochondrial DNA say that it provides no evidence that Neandertals contributed to modern human evolution.

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  3. Chemistry

    Toxin in absinthe makes neurons run wild

    The alpha-thujone in absinthe—Vincent Van Gogh's favorite drink—blocks brain receptors for a natural inhibitor of nerve impulses, causing brain cells to fire uncontrollably.

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  4. Lady-killing genes offer pest control

    Two new fruit fly lines—with females that die on cue—could lead to changes in pest control.

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  5. Health & Medicine

    Cell mixture attacks pancreas tumors

    White blood cells injected into patients with pancreatic tumors incite an immune response that blunts the cancer in some patients and extends survival.

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  6. Planetary Science

    Reviewers see red over recent Mars programs

    NASA's two most recent missions to Mars failed because they were underfunded, managed by inexperienced people, and insufficiently tested, according to a report released March 28.

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  7. Earth

    Titanic iceberg sets sail from Antarctica

    An iceberg about the size of Connecticut recently split off from the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica.

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  8. Hey, we’re richer than we thought!

    The latest inventory of life in the United States has turned up an extra 100,000 species of plants, animals, and fungi.

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  9. Fading to black doesn’t empower fish

    Field studies of three-spined stickleback fish dash a textbook example of the theory of how one species can take on a competitor's characteristics.

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  10. Math

    Orbiting in a figure-eight loop

    Three gravitationally interacting bodies of equal mass can, according to precise calculations, trace out a figure-eight-shape orbit in space.

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  11. Math

    Random packing of spheres

    A new definition of random packing allows a more consistent and mathematically precise approach to characterizing disordered arrangements of identical spheres.

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  12. Paleontology

    Fossil gets a leg up on snake family tree

    A 95-million-year-old fossil snake with legs may be an advanced big-mouthed snake, not a primitive ancestor.

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  13. Paleontology

    Dinosaurs, party of six, meat eating

    The bones of six carnivorous dinosaurs discovered in a fossil bed in Patagonia may indicate that big, meat-eating dinosaurs were social creatures.

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  14. Physics

    Devilish polygons speak of past stress

    A new theory and a simple test with cornstarch and water may help explain the polygonal geometry of rock columns in the Devil's Postpile in California and elsewhere.

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  15. Physics

    Nanotubes get into gear for new roll

    Atoms on the surface of carbon nanotubes appear to mesh when tubes roll across a graphite surface, making the tubes possible atomic-scale gears, which have been long-sought in nanotechnology.

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  16. Materials Science

    The Buck Starts Here

    The U.S. Mint performed some neat tricks to make a golden dollar.

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  17. Astronomy

    Less Massive than Saturn?

    Astronomers pass a milestone in the search for new worlds.

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