Science News Magazine:Vol. 165 No. #14
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More Stories from the April 3, 2004 issue
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.
Health & Medicine
Phthalate exposure from drugs?
Use of an ingestible prescription drug may explain the highest blood concentration of a chemical plasticizer ever observed.By Ben Harder
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.By Janet Raloff
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.By Bruce Bower
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.By John Travis
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.By Susan Milius
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.By Nathan Seppa
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.By Ron Cowen
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.By Peter Weiss
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.
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.By Ben Harder
They're pugnacious and clever, and they have complex social lives—but do capuchin monkeys actually exhibit cultural behaviors?
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 […]By Science News