Vol. 157 No. #18

More Stories from the April 29, 2000 issue

  1. Astronomy

    Balloon Sounds Out the Early Universe

    A balloon-borne experiment circling Antarctica has measured the curvature of the universe and revealed that it's perfectly flat.

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  2. Health & Medicine

    Calcium may become a dieter’s best friend

    Enriching the diet with calcium, especially from dairy products, can switch the body's fat cells from storing calories to burning them.

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  3. Health & Medicine

    ‘Bubble’ babies thrive on gene therapy

    Gene therapy to repair mutations that thwart development of essential immune cells has helped three babies to overcome severe combined immunodeficiency, in which a child is born without a functional immune system.

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  4. Placebos for depression attract scrutiny

    FDA clinical trials suggest that placebos provide substantial relief to depressed patients, but debate continues about whether it's ethical to use placebos in studies of antidepressant drugs.

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  5. Do oxpeckers help or mostly just freeload?

    A textbook example of mutualism—birds that ride around picking ticks off big African mammals—may not be mutually beneficial at all.

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  6. Cloning extends life of cells—and cows?

    A study of cloned cows provides reassurance that cloned animals won't die prematurely and may even live extra-long.

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  7. Physics

    Cooled device unveils a quantum limit

    A novel suspended device chilled near absolute zero demonstrates the existence of a basic unit, or quantum, of heat conductance—the first evidence of quantum mechanics in mechanical structures.

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  8. Earth

    Global warming is marmot wake-up call

    Marmots are coming out of hibernation earlier, while chipmunks and ground squirrels sleep longer-effects that could be attributed to global warming.

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  9. Archaeology

    Guard dogs and horse riders

    More than 5,000 years ago, the Botai people of central Asia had ritual practices that appeared in many later cultures.

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  10. Archaeology

    Ancient origins of fire use

    Human ancestors may have learned to control fire 1.7 million years ago in eastern Africa.

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  11. Physics

    Writing with warm atoms

    Researchers demonstrated that they can use a scanning tunneling microscope to position atoms in microscopic patterns at room temperature.

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  12. Physics

    Ring around the proton

    An orbiting electron accelerated to relativistic velocities by a laser in a strong magnetic field can behave like a ring-shaped electron cloud spinning around the nucleus.

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  13. Cries and Greetings

    Baboon intimacy and detachment present vexing clues.

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  14. The Meaning of Life

    Computers are unscrambling genomes to reveal the secrets in DNA codes.

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