Vol. 181 No. #8

More Stories from the April 21, 2012 issue

  1. Life

    Bee genes may drive them to adventure

    Scouting behavior linked to certain molecules in insect brains.

  2. Paleontology

    Triceratops reigns alone again

    Fossil comparison fends off a challenge that holds the dinosaur is but the immature version of the Torosaurus.

  3. Chemistry

    Polymer power drives tiny reactions

    Applying pressure to a building block of plastic in water, researchers generate enough energy to make your Nikes glow and do other chemical work.

  4. Life

    Carnivores can lose sweet genes

    A gene involved in taste detection has glitches in some, but not all, highly carnivorous mammals.

  5. Life

    Size doesn’t matter for crayfish’s one-two crunch

    Biological deception may give crustaceans an advantage during a fight.

  6. Health & Medicine

    Retina can help reveal brain health

    Among older women, diseased blood vessels at the back of the eye are linked to lower scores on mental tests and other signs of possible ministrokes.

  7. Life

    Geneticists go ape for better primate family tree

    The first gorilla genome and a more detailed look at chimp genetics provide new clues to evolution of humans and their closest relatives.

  8. Chemistry

    Better hydrogen storage process unveiled

    Scientists create a chemical switch that can catch and release the useful gas.

  9. Earth

    Nanopollutants change blood vessel reactivity

    Tiny particles alter normal vessel functions, animal studies show.

  10. Space

    Titan’s haze is dropping

    Change in elevation of cloudy layer suggests seasonal cycles on Saturn’s moon.

  11. Life

    Industrial roar changes nearby plant reproduction

    Trees and wildflowers register the effects as animals flee (or not) from grinding engines.

  12. Health & Medicine

    Abnormal cells may signal hidden heart risk

    Damage to blood vessel lining shows up in blood tests.

  13. Life

    Making mouse memories

    Neuroscientists create a synthetic recollection of fear in rodents.

  14. Life

    The yin and yang of male pattern baldness

    The discovery of a hormone-like molecule in the scalp may offer new clues for treating baldness.

  15. Chemistry

    Opioids’ molecular magic unmasked

    New 3-D structures of opiumlike drugs bound to the body’s proteins will aid the development of better painkillers and the battle against drug abuse.

  16. Space

    Smallest planet yields big surprises

    Spacecraft images reveal Mercury has a complicated inside and an active geologic past.

  17. Space

    Vesta seems more planet than asteroid

    Spacecraft explorations reveal a layered, beat-up celestial body.

  18. Planetary Science

    Highlights from the 43rd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, The Woodlands, Texas, March 19-23

    Geologic activity and weather on Saturnian moons, and studies in Greenland to learn about Mars.

  19. Chemistry

    Life’s building blocks grow close to home

    Chemical reactions in the early solar system create complex organic molecules.

  20. Highlights from the Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting, San Francisco

    Fungus products among us Fungal-derived estrogen mimics may delay puberty in girls, an ongoing study concludes. Experts have widely believed that the compounds would never be detectable in humans. Yet urine from 58 adolescents tested as part of a project called the Jersey Girl Study contained the estrogen mimics zearalenone — which is produced by […]

  21. Science Past from the issue of April 21, 1962

    GLENN REPORTS ON FLIGHT — The brilliant light from the “fireball” Astronaut John H. Glenn Jr. saw passing the window of his space capsule was observed by more than 1,400 scientists at a symposium in Washington, D.C. A color film, showing the astronaut in his cabin during flight, clearly revealed reflections of the burning chunks […]

  22. Science Future for April 21, 2012

    April 28 Celebrate Astronomy Day with stargazing, workshops and other events nationwide. For more information, see bit.ly/GTe2wm May 3 An underwater archaeologist talks about surveys of pirate ships as part of a Science Museum of Minnesota series on the science and history of pirates. See bit.ly/xAPeLZ

  23. SN Online

    SCIENCE & THE PUBLIC BLOG A court orders FDA hearings on livestock drugs. See “Growth-promoting antibiotics: On the way out?” Jason Brougham/Univ. of Texas LIFE A birdlike dinosaur (illustrated below) was iridescent. Read “Microraptor’s true blue colors.” ENVIRONMENT Deep corals were harmed by the BP spill. Learn more in “The farther the better for corals […]

  24. The Quantum Universe (And Why Anything That Can Happen, Does) by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw

    Two physicists use simple analogies to explain the weird world of quantum theory. Da Capo Press, 2011, 256 p., $25

  25. Virtually You: The Dangerous Powers of the E-Personality by Elias Aboujaoude

    A psychiatrist examines online alter egos and how they can affect life offline, sometimes for the worse. W.W. Norton, 2011, 349 p., $17.95

  26. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

    A journalist explores research on how habits are formed in the brain, how to create new ones and what it takes to break them. Random House, 2012, 371 p., $28

  27. The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care by Eric Topol

    A look at new technologies such as genome sequencing and organ growth suggests that digital advances could usher in a new age of personalized medicine. Basic Books, 2012, 304 p., $27.99

  28. BOOK REVIEW: The Undead: Organ Harvesting, the Ice-Water Test, Beating Heart Cadavers–How Medicine Is Blurring the Line Between Life and Death by Dick Teresi

    “Are you dead or alive?” The Undead opens with a question that seems like it should have an easy answer. But Teresi, a science writer, argues that in today’s age of beating-heart cadavers that can breathe, urinate and even give birth while legally dead, it can be hard to tell. Historically, Egyptians and ancient Greeks […]

  29. BOOK REVIEW: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

    At least one in three people are introverts, and this book may prove a revelation for them and everyone who lives, works or interacts with them. Quiet cites a wealth of new and ongoing research about this psychological trait: who is an introvert, how these introspective souls got that way, and why they can be […]

  30. Volcanic Rush

    The fiery fountains of erupting volcanoes seem tailor-made for the Discovery Channel. But scientists, too, are interested in capturing footage of these natural spectacles, especially for what it can reveal about how superheated gas and rock blast out at up to supersonic speeds. Lab-made volcanic eruptions (shown) support field data showing rocks flying out of […]

  31. Health & Medicine

    Throat Therapy

    Each year more than 26 million people in the United States go to a doctor complaining about a cough. Most have colds and will just have to wait it out. Other people cough because they have allergies, asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia or even cancer. In rare instances, there is no known culprit — a person simply […]

  32. Mixed Results

    Watching coworkers in paper masks swim among the office cubicles acting out fish personalities turns out to be pretty informative. A sociable mosquito fish that tries to hang out with loners may have better access to food than a social fish that travels with other fish of its type. ONE BAD STRIDER | One hyperaggressive […]

  33. Letters

    Consciousness series pondered Hofstadter’s “strange loop” and other ideas presented in the article “Self as symbol” (SN: 2/11/12, p. 28) suggest, but never say, that the notion of “I” exists in the dimension of time, not space. Obviously then, consciousness is not a tangible object — not any part of the brain. Rather, the “I” […]

  34. Suggest Cancer Preventive

    Read the full article (PDF) | Vote on future topic | Search archives           January 5, 1957 | Vol. 71 | No. 1         Suggest Cancer Preventive Cancer could be drastically reduced if people were not such gluttons and if increasing income and food supply did not overfeed the average person. […]

  35. Lone Survivors: How We Came to Be the Only Humans on Earth by Chris Stringer

    A paleoanthropologist argues that multiple early human groups arose and competed in Africa. Times Books, 2012, 320 p., $28