Vol. 176 No. #3

More Stories from the August 1, 2009 issue

  1. Health & Medicine

    Rheumatoid arthritis drug clears hurdle

    Anti-inflammatory injections of golimumab work in people with rheumatoid arthritis who failed to improve on other meds.

  2. Paleontology

    Flexible molars made chewing champions out of duck-billed dinosaurs

    Tiny scratches in the fossilized teeth of Edmontosaurus suggest what these large herbivores ate and how they ate it.

  3. Chemistry

    Salt stretches in nanoworld

    Finding could lead to new technique for making tiny wires.

  4. Physics

    Mass mismatch makes mystery for proton’s strange cousin

    An exotic cousin of the proton is caught in action again. But its measured mass doesn’t match previous results.

  5. Life

    Salamanders don’t regrow limbs from scratch

    A closer look at regeneration in axolotl amputees shows that tissue replacement relies on cellular “memory.”

  6. Health & Medicine

    Schizophrenia risk gets more complex

    Three studies find that large collections of variants, rather than just a few key mutations, probably predispose someone to schizophrenia.

  7. Psychology

    2-year-olds possess grammatical insights

    Toddlers discern basic rules for using nouns and verbs at least one year before speaking in complete sentences, French brain researchers report.

  8. Life

    New drug hits leukemia early

    An experimental drug may stop a deadly leukemia in its early stages, a study of mice shows.

  9. Life

    Climate change shrinks sheep

    Milder winters help small, weak lambs survive but more competition for food slows growth.

  10. Earth

    New cyclone predictor

    Researchers link occasional sea-surface warming in central Pacific with more, stronger hurricanes in North Atlantic.

  11. Life

    Hornets suffocate in bee ball

    Researchers find a spike in carbon dioxide, along with an increase in heat, makes honeybees' enemies vulnerable.

  12. Physics

    Capping the length of extra dimensions

    The existence of a small, elderly black hole places a new upper limit on the length of any extra dimension, a new study suggests.

  13. Anthropology

    Maize may have fueled ancient Andean civilization

    A chemical analysis of skeletons from Peru’s Andes Mountains suggests that cultivation of key crop made building a prehistoric civilization possible.

  14. Health & Medicine

    Caloric restriction extends life in monkeys, study finds

    New study finds calorie restriction delays age-related diseases in monkeys. Another study reports that an immune-suppressing drug helps elderly mice live longer.

  15. Space

    Pairing off in the early universe

    New simulations reveal that some of the first stars in the universe formed in pairs.

  16. Animals

    Turtles make sense after all

    The odd bodies of turtles add a wrinkle to standard land-dwelling vertebrates.

  17. Humans

    “%&#$!” makes you feel better

    Study finds that swearing may alleviate pain.

  18. Earth

    Erosion, on the down low

    Experiments show how microscopic fungi attack minerals to begin the erosion process.

  19. Science Future for August 1, 2009

    August 12–15 Scientists convene at the American Ornithologists’ Union meeting in Philadelphia. Visit www.birdmeetings.org/aou2009 August 31 Proposals to digitize scientist Wernher von Braun’s notes due to NASA. See www.nasa.gov/directorates/somd/home September 12 The Smithsonian Institution hosts a symposium on Darwin in Washington, D.C. See www.mnh.si.edu/calendar.asp

  20. Understanding Perennials: A New Look at an Old Favorite by William Cullina

    An intimate portrait of perennials aims to give a deeper understanding of these garden standbys. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009, 247 p., $40. Understanding Perennials: A New Look at an Old Favorite by William Cullina

  21. Cogent Science in Context: The Science Wars, Argumentation Theory, and Habermas by William Rehg

    A philosopher reflects on the best way to validate a scientific claim. MIT Press, 2009, 345 p., $40. Cogent Science in Context: The Science Wars, Argumentation Theory, and Habermas by William Rehg

  22. Alien Ocean: Anthropological Voyages in Microbial Seas by Stefan Helmreich

    Research reveals the complexity and diversity of microbial life in the sea. Univ. of California, 2009, 403 p., $24.95. Alien Ocean: Anthropological Voyages in Microbial Seas by Stefan Helmreich

  23. Decoding the Heavens by Jo Marchant

    A science writer takes readers on a quest to decode the Antikythera Mechanism, the first analog computer. Da Capo Press, 2009, 328 p., $25. Decoding the Heavens by Jo Marchant

  24. Book Review: Conservation Refugees: The Hundred-Year Conflict Between Global Conservation and Native Peoples by Mark Dowie

    Wilderness: The word evokes ideas of a land pristine, where native flora and fauna thrive untouched by humans. But Dowie, an investigative journalist, argues that the notion of virgin wilderness is largely a fantasy and shows how efforts to preserve land have upset the lives of millions of indigenous people around the world. This thought-provoking […]

  25. Book Review: Historic Photos of the Manhattan Project by Timothy Joseph

    Atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki 64 years ago this month, bringing World War II to an end. The research and development program that spawned those weapons had been officially launched only three years earlier. Historic Photos of the Manhattan Project is a captivating pictorial chronicle of this supersecret race to develop atomic […]

  26. Accept it: Talk about evolution needs to evolve

    W atch your language! It’s a common message from Eugenie Scott, a physical anthropologist and director of the National Center for Science Education (www.ncseweb.org), an organization dedicated to promoting and defending the teaching of evolution in public schools. Scott recently spoke with Science News writer Susan Milius. So you urge scientists not to say that […]

  27. When Humor Humiliates

    It started as a quiet dinner conversation, punctuated with laughter. Soon, the rapid-fire “ha-ha-has” took on the tone of gunfire. Convinced it was directed at him, the young man got up to confront the noisy diners. Naturally, the guests at the next table had no idea what the problem was. They were simply enjoying themselves […]

  28. The Biofuel Future

    Biofuels are liquid energy Version 2.0. Unlike their fossil fuel counterparts — the cadaverous remains of plants that died hundreds of millions of years ago — biofuels come from vegetation grown in the here and now. So they should offer a carbon-neutral energy source: Plants that become biofuels ideally consume more carbon dioxide during photosynthesis […]

  29. Letters

    Lead or poverty’s later toll Most toxic materials have the most deleterious effects at the earliest exposure ages, so I was puzzled by the study outcome in “School-age lead exposures may do more harm than earlier exposures” (SN: 6/6/09, p. 13). Did the study control for social and financial background? It would make sense for […]

  30. Science Past from the issue of August 1, 1959

    Rename discomfort index — This summer you have a chance to “do something about,” not the weather, but the combination of heat and humidity that often makes so many persons so uncomfortable. The Weather Bureau in June started experimentally … publishing for the summer what it then called the “Discomfort Index.” The immediate results were […]

  31. Building a Meal: From Molecular Gastronomy to Culinary Constructivism by Hervé This

    A chemist trained in culinary arts explores the science of a good meal, with tips for how to make one. Columbia Univ., 2009, 135 p., $19.95. Building a Meal: From Molecular Gastronomy to Culinary Constructivism by Hervé This