Science News Magazine:Vol. 167 No. #15
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More Stories from the April 9, 2005 issue
The Mars rover Spirit recently had its dirty solar arrays cleaned off, possibly by a dust devil, allowing the craft to generate nearly as much energy as it did when it first landed on the Red Planet in January 2004.By Ron Cowen
Plants fix genes using copies from ancestors
Some plants can reinstate genes missing from their own chromosomes but that had been carried by previous generations.
Moon story waxes fuller
A new analysis may have put the final piece in the puzzle of how the Moon formed.
Lightning creates radiation-safe zone
A relatively safe region within the seas of radiation that surround Earth owes its existence to lightning storms.By David Shiga
Phages take breaks while ejecting DNA
Bacterial viruses, or phages, inject DNA into their prey in a way that is more complicated than researchers had previously thought.
DNA tells pigs’ tale of diverse ancestry
A genetic study indicates that pigs were domesticated in at least seven different parts of Asia and Europe, not in just two regions, as many researchers had assumed.By Bruce Bower
Health & Medicine
Detecting cancer in a flash
Instant identification of cancer cells may become possible following experiments demonstrating that healthy and cancerous cells alter laser light in different, and distinguishable, ways.
Tense encounters drive a nanomotor
Exploiting the relative strength of surface tension forces in the world of tiny objects, a novel type of nanomotor creates a powerful thrust each time molten metal droplets merge.
Lone protein molecule could tip this scale
A scale-on-a-chip capable of weighing individual, biologically active proteins took a step closer to reality as a minuscule, vibrating bridge detected the mass of a mere 30 xenon atoms.
Untangling Ancient Roots: Earliest hominid shows new, improved face
New fossil finds and a digitally reconstructed skull bolster the claim that the oldest known member of the human evolutionary family lived in central Africa between 6 million and 7 million years ago.By Bruce Bower
Health & Medicine
Molecular Switch: Protein may influence chronic-pain disorder
A cell-surface protein found in the nervous system may play a central role in a chronic-pain condition known as neuropathy.By Nathan Seppa
Stellar Question: Extrasolar planet or failed star?
A tiny dot of light next to a young, sunlike star might be the long-sought image of an extrasolar planet.By Ron Cowen
Remote Control Minds: Light flashes direct fruit fly behavior
Researchers have exerted a little mind control over fruit flies by designing and installing genetic 'remote controls' within the insects' brains.
Open Sesame: Portable devices may achieve magnetic resonance views
Top-notch magnetic resonance sensing now found only in hospitals and chemical labs may become available in portable devices, thanks to a new type of magnetic sensor.
Fish Din: Reef clamor attracts young fish settlers
When looking for a home, young fish seem to prefer a reef that's alive with the sounds of shrimp and fish rather than a quieter environment.By Susan Milius
Color Trails: Natural dyes in historic textiles get a closer look
A new chemical technique for extracting natural dyes from ancient textiles could help identify the plant species from which the colorants came.
Manuscripts as Fossils
A new mathematical model estimates how many medieval manuscripts have survived to the present.
Code of Many Colors
Researchers have yet to find markers for race in the genome, but understanding the biology underlying perceptions of race could have dramatic social and personal consequences.
Letters from the April 9, 2005, issue of Science News
Big ideas Your article “Life on the Scales” (SN: 2/12/05, p. 106) reminded me that taking a bird’s song and transposing it down four octaves makes it sound like a whale’s song. The opposite is also true. To hear this, go to http://www.mind.net/music/birdwhaleDemo.mp3. Todd BartonAshland, Ore. The article would imply that the only anomaly to […]By Science News