Science News Magazine:Vol. 158 No. #9
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More Stories from the August 26, 2000 issue
Computation Takes a Quantum Leap
A quantum computation involving a custom-built molecule furnishes experimental evidence that a quantum computer can solve certain mathematical problems more efficiently than can a conventional computer.
HArF! Argon’s not so noble after all
Researchers have for the first time coerced argon into forming a stable and neutral compound with other elements.By Sid Perkins
Toothy valves control crocodile hearts
The odd cog teeth of the crocodile heart may be the first cardiac valve known to control blood flow actively.
Cars’ ammonia may sabotage tailpipe gains
Though cars' catalytic converters clean up some of the acidic contributors to urban haze and particulates pollution, a subset of these pollution-control devices seems to foster the production of ammonia, another pivotal ingredient in haze and particulates.By Janet Raloff
Nausea drug may aid alcoholism treatment
A drug that lowers the activity of serotonin and other chemical messengers in the brain may boost the effectiveness of psychological treatments for a severe form of alcoholism.By Bruce Bower
Promiscuity in guppies has its virtues
Mating with multiple partners benefits the female Trinidadian guppy and her offspring by reducing gestation time and producing youngsters more adept at forming protective schools and at evading capture.By Ruth Bennett
Health & Medicine
Do more infections mean less asthma?
Young infants kept out of day care and having no more than one older sibling are significantly more likely to develop asthma than are babies who have greater exposure to other children.By Nathan Seppa
Tales from the crypts: Cells battle germs
Inhabiting tiny pits in the small intestine, so-called Paneth cells defend other cells in these crypts by discharging bacteria-killing bursts of enzymes and other molecules.By John Travis
Apollo attire needs care
Advanced spacesuits protected astronauts far from Earth just 30 years ago, but the materials have already deteriorated.
She salamanders punish fickle mates
Female salamanders get aggressive if the male they share a rock with wanders back after an interlude with another female.
Social tuco-tucos develop more variety
In mustachioed rodents called tuco-tucos, group life seems to have fostered more diverse immune systems than has solitary living.
Looking for a mate? Oh, whatever
Two cricket species don't seem to care whether they get mixed up at mating time, an oddity that may have something to do with the female's need to dine on leftover sperm.
Puppy tests flunk long-term checkups
A follow-up study of dog-personality tests suggests that they don't have the predictive power many puppy purchasers expect.
Beaks change songs in Darwin’s finches
A new look—and listen—at Darwin's finches finds that the famous relationship between beak size and food supply affects their courtship songs as well.
Do people flirt like guppies?
Researchers who have studied how female guppies copy other females' choice of mate are tackling the same question in Homo sapiens.
Seeking the Mother of All Matter
World's mightiest particle collider may transform less-than-nothing into a primordial something.By Peter Weiss
Yikes! The Lichens Went Flying
Tales from the dark (and frequently crunchy) side of biodiversity.