Vol. 175 No. #8

More Stories from the April 11, 2009 issue

  1. Animals

    Public tantrums defeat monkey moms too

    Rhesus macaque moms are more likely to give in to screaming babies when bystanders are watching and reacting

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  2. Anthropology

    Peking Man fossils show their age

    Scientists have pushed back the age of Peking Man, raising questions about whether Homo erectus trekked to eastern Asia in two separate migrations.

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  3. Chemistry

    Light could heal materials

    Scientists have created a new material that repairs itself when exposed to ultraviolet light.

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  4. Planetary Science

    Seeing the future hot spells

    Satellite data could help scientists better predict killer heat waves, such as the one that hit Europe in 2003.

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  5. Earth

    Goo gives eels just the right buoyancy

    Scientists survey the specific gravity of 25 marine critters.

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  6. Earth

    Pushing back an oxygen-rich atmosphere

    Hematite crystals in Australian rocks hint that Earth’s atmosphere was oxygenated earlier than previously thought.

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  7. Health & Medicine

    Gradual treatment of peanut allergies shows promise

    A slow and incremental introduction of peanuts into the diet helps some children overcome an allergy to the food, but it takes time and close supervision.

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  8. Health & Medicine

    MicroRNAs provide telltale signature of organ rejection

    Levels of microRNAs in the blood and tissue distinguish rejected transplants from healthy tissue.

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  9. Plants

    Plants reveal pollen-luring secrets

    Scientists finally pin down the proteins one plant uses to lure pollen tubes to its plant ovaries.

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  10. Physics

    Evidence mounts for an exotic supersolid

    Rubidium atoms simultaneously act like a solid and a superfluid.

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  11. Health & Medicine

    Vaccine could protect against virus that causes birth defects

    An experimental vaccine against cytomegalovirus has the ability to prevent infection half the time it’s administered, suggesting the vaccine might prevent birth defects the virus can cause.

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  12. Psychology

    Feelings, universal musical feelings

    Africans who spurn all things Western provide evidence that people everywhere recognize expressions of happiness, sadness and fear in music. Listen to some of the audio samples the study used.

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  13. Space

    Hotter than the sun

    Researchers for the first time directly observe Alfvén waves.

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  14. Health & Medicine

    How deep brain stimulation works for Parkinson’s

    New studies in rodents show that methods that are less invasive than deep brain stimulation may help people with Parkinson's disease regain movement.

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  15. Space

    Brines on Mars

    Unusually high concentration of perchlorate salts found in Martian soil suggests that the Red Planet may harbor shallow, extremely briny oceans just below its surface. The existence of these brines may explain a host of puzzles on Mars.

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  16. Life

    Dissing a loaded label for some unicellular life

    Prominent biologist calls ‘prokaryote’ outdated term.

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  17. Science Past for April 11, 2009

    Science Past | from the issue of April 11, 1959 Scientists urged to dig for specimens of Peking Man — Give up the loss of the bones of ancient Peking Man, one of man’s earliest ancestors, as a “perfect crime,” and start digging for new specimens of this Pleistocene forebear. This is the advice to […]

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  18. The Empathy Gap: Building Bridges to the Good Life and the Good Society by J.D. Trout

    This book argues that empathy and rationality are key to good personal and political decisions. Viking, 2009, 320 p., $25.95. THE EMPATHY GAP: BUILDING BRIDGES TO THE GOOD LIFE AND THE GOOD SOCIETY BY J.D. TROUT

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  19. Standards and Their Stories: How Quantifying, Classifying, and Formalizing Practices Shape Everyday Life by Martha Lampland and Susan Leigh Star, eds.

    Standards are a fact of life, from cradle to coffin size. Cornell Univ., 2009, 244 p., $22.95. Standards and Their Stories: How Quantifying, Classifying, and Formalizing Practices Shape Everyday Life by Martha Lampland and Susan Leigh Star, eds.

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  20. Global Health Narratives: A Reader for Youth by Emily Mendenhall, ed.

    Short stories for youngsters reveal  worldwide public health problems. Univ. of New Mexico, 2009, 238 p., $21.95. GLOBAL HEALTH NARRATIVES: A READER FOR YOUTH BY EMILY MENDENHALL, ED.

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  21. Science & Society

    Book Review: Made for Each Other: The Biology of the Human-Animal Bond by Meg Daley Olmert

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  22. Book Review: Professor Stewart’s Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities by Ian Stewart

    What positive integer is equal to its own Scrabble score when spelled out in full? Stewart, a mathematician at the University of Warwick in England, offers this and a hodgepodge of other puzzles, paradoxes, brainteasers, tricks, facts and jokes, which he accurately calls “curiosities.” “I incline to the view that a miscellany should be miscellaneous, […]

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  23. Life in Space: Astrobiology for Everyone by Lucas John Mix

    How the search for extraterrestrial life helps us understand Earth. Harvard Univ., 2009, 344 p., $29.95. Life in Space: Astrobiology for Everyone by Lucas John Mix

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  24. Bracing for global climate change is a local challenge

    Weather and climate extremes have been affecting people around the world, from recent droughts in China and Australia to strong storms in Asia to a cold wave in large parts of Europe and the United States — all within a month of the World Meteorological Organization reporting 2008 would likely rank among the 10 warmest […]

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  25. Astronomy

    Planck by Planck

    The launch of the European Space Agency’s Planck mission, set for late April or early May, will put into orbit a new tool —the microwave equivalent of polarized sunglasses — that may offer a view of the dawn of time.

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  26. Building Beauty

    Flowers are essentially variations on a single theme: Come hither. Instead of lipstick and lace, flowers advertise with vivid petals and ultraviolet stripes. Some plants offer a legitimate exchange of goods — visitors are rewarded with protein-rich pollen or sweet nectar. Other flowers deceive, mimicking the scent, color and feel of a rotting carcass to […]

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  27. Urban heat

    In life, as in boxing, the combined effects of a one-two punch are often more devastating than either blow alone. Imagine, then, the devastation from a triple whammy that city dwellers might suffer this century as three unfavorable trends converge to afflict an already warming world. First, there’s temperature. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on […]

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  28. Science Future for April 11, 2009

    April 22–26 Annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology to be held in Atlanta. See www.saa.org April 29 Psychologist Daniel Levitin and Grammy Award–winner Rosanne Cash speak at What Is Music to Your Ears? The Science of Hearing in New York City. See www.nyas.org June 1–3 The e-Biosphere 09 International Conference on Biodiversity Informatics […]

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  29. Before Sudoku: The World of Magic Squares by Seymour S. Block and Santiago A. Tavares

    Fascination with sudoku puzzles is not new. Oxford Univ., 2009, 239 p., $14.95. Before Sudoku: The World of Magic Squares by Seymour S. Block and Santiago A. Tavares

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