Vol. 163 No. #17
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More Stories from the April 26, 2003 issue

  1. Animals

    Chicks open wide, ultraviolet mouths

    The first analysis of what the mouths of begging birds look like in the ultraviolet spectrum reveals a dramatic display that birds can see but people can't.

  2. Paleontology

    Ancestors Go South

    A group of new and previously excavated fossils in South Africa represents 4-million-year-old members of the human evolutionary family, according to an analysis of the sediment that covered the finds.

  3. Earth

    Traces of lead cause outsize harm

    Minute amounts of lead in blood are worse for children than had been realized.

  4. Health & Medicine

    Little vessels react to magnetic switch

    Magnets can act like vascular switches, increasing or decreasing blood flow to a region of the body.

  5. Earth

    Prenatal nicotine: A role in SIDS?

    New data suggest why exposure to nicotine in the womb can put an infant at greater risk of sudden infant death syndrome.

  6. Health & Medicine

    Athletes develop whey-better muscles

    Dietary supplements coupling whey and creatine promote the development of bigger, stronger muscles in experienced body builders.

  7. Health & Medicine

    Teen taters, too

    The epidemic of adolescent obesity may owe more to a paucity of exercise than to a growing intake of calories.

  8. Math

    Spheres in Disguise: Solid proof offered for famous conjecture

    A Russian mathematician has proposed a proof of the Poincaré conjecture, a question about the shapes of three-dimensional spaces.

  9. Fig-Wasp Upset: Classic partnership isn’t so tidy after all

    Genetic analysis suggests that a textbook example of a tight buddy system in nature—fig species that supposedly each have their own pollinating wasp species—may need to be rewritten.

  10. Earth

    Feel the Heat: Rain forests may slow their growth in warmer world

    During a long-term research project in a Central American rain forest, mature trees grew more slowly in warm years than they did in cooler ones.

  11. Genetic Clue to Aging? Mutation causes early-aging syndrome

    A gene defect that causes accelerated aging may provide insight into normal aging.

  12. Materials Science

    Bone Fix: New material responds to growing tissue

    A new scaffolding material stimulates bone regeneration.

  13. Materials Science

    Blunt Answer: Cracking the puzzle of elastic solids’ toughness

    Rubbery materials prove tougher than theory predicts because cracks trying to penetrate those stretchy materials grow blunt at their tips.

  14. Out of China: SARS virus’ genome hints at independent evolution

    The newly identified SARS virus is the product of a long and private evolutionary history, clues from its genome suggest.

  15. Tech

    Digital Cells

    Researchers are gearing up to create cells with computer programs hardwired into the DNA.

  16. Earth

    Eye of the Tiger

    Recent research has upended a 130-year-old, previously unchallenged theory about how the semiprecious stone called tiger's-eye is formed.

  17. A Rocky Start

    A new origin-of-life theory holds that life began within the confines of iron sulfide rocks surrounding hydrothermal vents at the ocean bottom.