Vol. 165 No. #14
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More Stories from the April 3, 2004 issue

  1. Chemistry

    Microbes craft unusual crystals

    Bacteria dwelling in an abandoned iron mine form unusual crystals that could help scientists look for signs of previous life on Mars.

  2. Health & Medicine

    Phthalate exposure from drugs?

    Use of an ingestible prescription drug may explain the highest blood concentration of a chemical plasticizer ever observed.

  3. Earth

    New U.N. treaty on toxic exports

    The United Nations enacted a new treaty to ban exportation of any of a list of toxic chemicals without the prior informed consent of an importing nation.

  4. Suppressed thoughts rebound in dreams

    Thoughts that are consciously suppressed during the day often pop up in dreams, regardless of whether they involve emotionally charged desires, a new study suggests.

  5. Humans

    Medieval cure-all may actually have spread disease

    Powdered mummies, one of medieval Europe's most popular concoctions for treating disease, might instead have been an agent of widespread germ transmission, new research suggests.

  6. Archaeology

    Laser scanners map rock art

    Researchers have developed a way to use laser-based surveying equipment to quickly and easily create detailed images of ancient rock art.

  7. Earth

    Night space images show development

    Scientists may have come up with a way to use satellite images taken at night to estimate the rate of population growth in fire-prone areas and thereby better assess fire risk to specific groups of residents.

  8. Materials Science

    Tiny Trouble: Nanoscale materials damage fish brains

    Although nanomaterials could one day lead to more powerful electronics and better medicines, new research shows these tiny materials can also be toxic to fish.

  9. Devil’s Lapdog Gets Its Due: The lab rat bares its DNA to biologists

    Scientists announced that they have deciphered the full DNA sequence of the standard lab rat, setting the stage for a new flurry of biomedical research on this rodent and providing insight into mammalian evolution.

  10. Animals

    Long Horns Win: Selection in action—Attacks favor spike length for lizards

    A hunting bird's quirk—a tendency to impale prey on thorns—leaves a record that has allowed scientists to catch a glimpse of an evolutionary force in action.

  11. Health & Medicine

    Better-Off Circumcised? Foreskin may permit HIV entry, infection

    Circumcision seems to offer partial protection against HIV infection, but not other sexually transmitted diseases.

  12. Astronomy

    Foraging among the Galaxies: Andromeda’s dining habits are documented

    A new survey is adding to the evidence that Andromeda, the Milky Way’s sister galaxy, has not only grown bigger in the past by feasting on smaller galaxies but is continuing to do so.

  13. Tech

    Soaring at Hyperspeed: Long-sought technology finally propels a plane

    For the first time, an airplane flew at hypersonic speed under power of a scramjet, an engine that operates at high velocities using oxygen from the atmosphere.

  14. Plants

    A Frond Fared Well: Genes hint that ferns proliferated in shade of flowering plants

    Analyses of genetic material from a multitude of fern species suggest that much of that plant group branched out millions of years after flowering plants first appeared, a notion that contradicts many scientists' views of plant evolution.

  15. Health & Medicine

    All Roads Lead to RUNX

    Genetic mutations that predispose some people to the autoimmune diseases lupus, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis appear to have a common molecular feature: They derail the work of a protein, called RUNX1, that regulates how active certain genes are.

  16. Anthropology

    Monkey Business

    They're pugnacious and clever, and they have complex social lives—but do capuchin monkeys actually exhibit cultural behaviors?

  17. Humans

    Letters from the April 3, 2004, issue of Science News

    Lack of data? Something jumped out at me from “Telltale Charts: Is anticipating heart disease as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4?” (SN: 1/31/04, p. 72: Telltale Charts). It’s that there were no published data supporting the 50 percent rule taught for years in medical schools. I think this speaks volumes about science and medicine […]