Vol. 159 No. #14

More Stories from the April 7, 2001 issue

  1. Health & Medicine

    Gene variant linked to early puberty

    A highly active version of a gene for faster testosterone metabolism is also associated with early breast development—by the age of 9.5 years—in girls.

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  2. Health & Medicine

    Synthetic enzyme wards off side effects

    A synthetic enzyme that lowers blood pressure and causes blood vessels to constrict shows promise for treating skin and kidney cancers that have spread throughout the body.

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  3. Health & Medicine

    Gene linked to aggressive prostate cancer

    A gene that is more active in prostate cancer tumors from African-American men than in tumors from white men may help explain why prostate cancer is both more common and more aggressive in African Americans.

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  4. Earth

    How polluted we are

    Most people carry traces of toxic pollutiants, including metals, pesticides, and phthalates.

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  5. Earth

    Oops! Tougher arsenic rule retracted

    The new EPA administrator has delayed by 60 days the implementation of a final rule issued by the Clinton administration lowering the amount of arsenic allowed in drinking water.

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  6. Physics

    Cold sliver may sense electron quiver

    By detecting vibrations of less than an atom's width of a tiny cantilever, physicists have made the most sensitive measurement of force ever by mechanical means.

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  7. Physics

    Surface reaction recorded in real time

    Ultrafast laser pulses may have for the first time revealed the incredibly rapid, step-by-step progress of a complete chemical reaction on a surface, at the actual speed at which it took place.

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  8. Gender-bending flowers spice forests

    In a newly discovered trick for avoiding self-pollination, ginger flowers take turns at gender roles, switching from female to male or vice versa in unison around lunchtime.

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  9. Do eggs go cuckoo under UV light?

    People don't see ultraviolet light but birds do, so studies of egg mimickry may need to stop relying so much on human vision.

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  10. Anthropology

    Early Brazilians Unveil African Look

    Prehistoric human skulls found in Brazil share some traits with modern Africans, leading a Brazilian scientist to theorize that Africans rather than Asians first arrived in the Americas sometime before 11,000 years ago.

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  11. RNA world gets support as prelife scenario

    Scientists tinkering with a chemical now vital to life think they've recreated one of the central molecules that gave rise to the chemistry of life.

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  12. Fungi slay insects and feed host plants

    Researchers are discovering that some plants get their nutrients by robbing nitrogen from the flesh of soil-dwelling insects.

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  13. Astronomy

    A comet’s odd orbit hints at hidden planet

    Far beyond the solar system's nine known planets, a body as massive as Mars may once have been part of our planetary system, and it might still be there.

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  14. Tech

    Optical biopsy hunts would-be cancers

    A new optical tool allows physicians to scout for precancerous tissue by analyzing the fluorescent responses of cells when light is shone on them.

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  15. Health & Medicine

    Immune cells rush to gut in food allergy

    In mice, allergic reactions to food coincide with an accumulation of white blood cells called eosinophils in the small intestine.

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  16. Tapeworms tell tales of deeper human past

    A new analysis of tapeworm history suggests that people have been wrong about where we picked up pests: It was not domestication of cattle and pigs but increased meat eating in Africa.

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  17. Earth

    Lasers show atmosphere differs from models

    New observations of the middle and upper atmosphere over Earth's polar regions may require scientists to revamp their mathematical models of temperature and other environmental conditions at high altitudes.

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  18. Gray Matters

    Once believed to be a supporting cast, the brain cells called astrocytes appear to play important roles in many brain scenarios.

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  19. Astronomy

    A Dark Force in the Universe

    Cosmologists are thinking dark thoughts about what kind of mystery force may be contorting the cosmos, pushing galaxies apart at a faster and faster rate.

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