Vol. 180 No. #4

More Stories from the August 13, 2011 issue

  1. Physics

    Rare earth elements plentiful in ocean sediments

    The economically vital metals could be mined from the deep sea, Japanese geologists propose.

    By
  2. Animals

    Chimp has an ear for talk

    Human-raised Panzee challenges the notion that only people can discern acoustically altered words.

    By
  3. Space

    Iapetus gets dusted

    Saturn moon gets its yin-yang surface by plowing through a ring of dust.

    By
  4. Space

    Astronomers probe matter in early universe

    Smeared light from the dawn of time confirms ideas about a mysterious dark energy permeating the cosmos.

    By
  5. Life

    Learnin’ lizards

    Underrated reptiles figure out what to do when the old rules change.

    By
  6. Animals

    Baboon bosses get stressed for success

    In the wild, the most powerful males reign tensely.

    By
  7. Life

    Oil spill didn’t hurt seagrass-dwelling juvenile fish

    Long-term effects of early exposure to hydrocarbons remains unknown.

    By
  8. Math

    Varying efficacy of HIV drug cocktails explained

    Steepness of slope in dose-response curve tips off researchers to importance of timing in virus’s life cycle.

    By
  9. Physics

    A cloak in time

    Physicists hide events in the laboratory for trillionths of a second.

    By
  10. Life

    Genes & Cells

    Human livers implanted in mice, plus new eye of newt, the potato genome and more in this week’s news.

    By
  11. Psychology

    Narcissists need no reality check

    Masters of vanity know they’re arrogant and disliked, but see own bigheadedness as justified.

    By
  12. Humans

    Mirror system gets an assist

    Study finds two brain systems are surprisingly active when an amputee observes a task she can’t perform.

    By
  13. Physics

    Quantum theory gets physical

    New work finds a physical basis for quantum mechanics.

    By
  14. Life

    Shuffling the genetic deck

    Scientists map places where chromosomes mix and match genes.

    By
  15. Health & Medicine

    Something in the air may cause lung damage in troops

    Unexplained breathing problems in soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan come from deposits that damage tiny passages in the lungs.

    By
  16. Life

    The lion eats tonight …

    Attacks on humans peak after a full moon, when feline bellies tend to rumble.

    By
  17. Earth

    Small volcanoes add up to cooler climate

    Airborne particles sent skyward by eruptions since 2000 have counteracted the warming effects of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide.

    By
  18. Life

    A tryst, then the power to resist

    House mice in Europe got some of their tolerance for rodenticides from hybridizing with a completely different species

    By
  19. Life

    Genes & Cells

    Genes for butterfly wings and maintaining maleness, plus turtles meet their lizard relatives and more in this week’s news.

    By
  20. SN Online

    ATOM & COSMOS NASA’s Dawn spacecraft enters orbit around the asteroid Vesta. Read “Dawn on Vesta.” MOLECULES Tasting fat gives rats the munchies. See “Fat stimulates binge eating.” BODY & BRAIN Armor-clad knights use about twice as much energy to move as non-armored fighters. Read this tale and others in “News in Brief: Body & […]

    By
  21. Science Past from the issue of August 12, 1961

    “CLIMBERS” PRONE TO ILLNESS — “Nonhazardous” occupations can be dangerous for men who work their way up.  Eighty-four out of 139 young men between the ages of  22 and 32 who had attained managerial positions showed more illness than 55 co-workers who stepped into the same kind of job right out of college…. The men […]

    By
  22. Science Future for August 13, 2011

    August 17 – 21 Explore antique tractors and other equipment at Columbus, Ohio’s Center of Science and Industry. Go to www.cosi.org August 30 Launch into the sun’s cosmic neighborhood in a show at New York City’s Hayden Planetarium. See bit.ly/SNsolarnbhd August 31 In Portland, learn about the technology behind iPhone games. Ages 21 and up. […]

    By
  23. The Sun’s Heartbeat: And Other Stories from the Life of the Star That Powers Our Planet by Bob Berman

    Light-hearted tales trace human understanding of Earth’s nearest star and of the sun’s effects on Earth. Little, Brown and Co., 2011, 304 p., $25.99

    By
  24. Falling to Earth: An Apollo 15 Astronaut’s Journey to the Moon by Al Worden with Francis French

    An astronaut offers a candid look at his trip to the moon, including the scandal that ended his space­faring days. Smithsonian Books, 2011, 304 p., $29.95

    By
  25. The Mathematics of Life by Ian Stewart

    In this engaging overview, a mathematician describes how the field of biomathematics is answering key questions about the natural world and the origins of life. Basic Books, 2011, 358 p., $27.99

    By
  26. Avian Architecture: How Birds Design, Engineer, and Buildby Peter Goodfellow

    A browsable, amply illustrated overview of avian construction from mere scrapes in the sand to edible structures people prize for soup. Princeton Univ. Press, 2011, 160 p., $27.95

    By
  27. BOOK REVIEW: Weeds: In Defense of Nature’s Most Unloved Plants by Richard Mabey

    Weeds, according to one definition, are simply plants that are growing in the wrong place. Some have invaded gardens from the surrounding countryside, and others escaped cultivation to infest the landscape. But in almost every case, weeds — whether you think of them as adaptable opportunists or as botanical thugs — thrive in human company. […]

    By
  28. BOOK REVIEW: Eruptions That Shook the World by Clive Oppenheimer

    Megadisasters sell, and megavolcanoes sell more than most: Turn on any documentary channel to see mountains belching ash clouds across towns­people paralyzed by fear. Oppenheimer, a volcanologist, has served as consultant on some of these films. But he tops them all with a new book, heavy on scientific detail and light on dramatic froth, chronicling […]

    By
  29. Health & Medicine

    One problem, many paths

    Autism’s many genetic players may act through common networks.

    By
  30. Humans

    Water’s Edge Ancestors

    Human evolution’s tide may have turned on lake and sea shores.

    By
  31. Materials Science

    Carbon flatland

    Graphene’s two dimensions offer new physics, novel electronics.

    By
  32. Letters

    Prescient sci-fi It took the Science News editor in chief to recognize the most prescient science “fiction” movie of all time, Forbidden Planet (“Science brings real life to the technologies of fiction,” SN: 7/2/11, p. 2). Beyond civilization without instrumentalities, the film also brought us lasers before there were masers, Robby [the Robot] analyzing molecular […]

    By
  33. Russians Dig to Reach Below Earth’s Crust

    During the space race, U.S. and Soviet teams also engaged in a less-famous contest — to drill down to the boundary between the Earth’s crust and mantle.

    By
  34. War’s Waste: Rehabilitation in World War I America by Beth Linker

    An account of  how World War I influenced veteran medical treatment delves into the rise of  rehabilitation therapy and the costs of supporting wounded veterans. Univ. of Chicago Press, 2011, 291 p., $35

    By