Vol. 178 No. #5

More Stories from the August 28, 2010 issue

  1. Life

    Genetics redraws marsupial family tree

    A new analysis traces the group’s origin to South America.

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  2. Life

    Lemurs on contraceptives don’t smell right

    Birth control disrupts female odors used in mating and other social situations.

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  3. Life

    For ducks, penis length depends on the other guys

    Male genitals grow longer with more competition from other males.

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  4. Space

    Dark matter eldorado

    Astronomers have discovered that a nearby galaxy has the highest density of dark matter of any galaxy known.

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  5. Life

    Disabling cellular assassin prevents cancer

    A counterintuitive experiment may help explain why survivors are more vulnerable to other malignancies later in life.

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  6. Life

    Marine census still counting new life-forms

    The Gulf of Mexico ranked among the top five marine regions for number of known species.

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  7. Health & Medicine

    Gut bacteria reflect dietary differences

    A comparison of African and European children concludes that high-fiber, low-fat diets cultivate healthier intestinal microflora.

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  8. Chemistry

    Receipts a large — and largely ignored — source of BPA

    A host of small studies raises a big alarm about exposure to a hormone-mimicking chemical.

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  9. Health & Medicine

    Violent dreams may predict illness in advance

    A sleep disorder can precede neurodegenerative disease by decades.

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  10. Life

    Sponge genes surprise

    Genome reveals that the first animals had a complex tool kit.

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  11. Humans

    World of proteincraft

    Players compete to solve scientific puzzles in an online computer game.

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  12. Space

    All wet, or high and dry?

    The moon’s interior contains far less water than Earth’s, new studies of rocks collected by Apollo astronauts suggest.

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  13. Humans

    Whiffs of stiffs

    Forensic scientists develop a new way to find where the bodies are buried.

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  14. Earth

    Rodent poop gauges ancient rains

    The size of chinchilla pellets reveals past desert environment.

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  15. Space

    Warning for solar flares

    Microwave bursts may serve as warning shots.

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  16. Earth

    Forest loss slows in Brazilian Amazon

    Between 2004 and 2009, the rate of clearing dropped almost 75 percent.

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  17. Science Future for August 28, 2010

    September 11 Air and Space Museum’s     September Star Party near Paris, Va. See www.nasm.si.edu/events/skywatching/ September 15 – 17 Researchers and policy makers meet in Austin, Texas, to discuss aging in the Americas. Go to www.utexas.edu/lbj/caa/2010 October 4 – 8 World virologists meet in Italy about HIV/AIDS and cancer. See www.ihv.org

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  18. The Smart Swarm by Peter Miller

    The behavior of animal swarms, schools and colonies holds lessons for technology and design. THE SMART SWARM BY PETER MILLER Avery Press, 2010, 336 p., $20.

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  19. Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light by Jane Brox

    The history of lighting is a microcosm of scientific and technological advances since the Stone Age. BRILLIANT: THE EVOLUTION OF ARTIFICIAL LIGHT BY JANE BROX Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010, 368 p., $25.

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  20. The Matchbox That Ate a Forty-Ton Truck by Marcus Chown

    A cosmology writer puts basic physics principles in an everyday context. THE MATCHBOX THAT ATE A FORTY-TON TRUCK BY MARCUS CHOWN Faber and Faber, 2010, 269 p., $25.

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  21. 101Things Everyone Should Know About Math by Marc Zev, Kevin B. Segal and Nathan Levy

    Simple questions and answers teach math concepts and problem-solving skills. For kids age 10 to 14. 101THINGS EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT MATH BY MARC ZEV, KEVIN B. SEGAL AND NATHAN LEVY Science, Naturally!, 2010, 208 p., $9.95.

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  22. Book Review: Climatopolis by Matthew E. Kahn

    Dire predictions about global warming make it hard to imagine how the human race will cope with the droughts, heat waves and advancing seas that climate change is expected to bring later this century. But economist Matthew Kahn has a message for prosperous urbanites in developed (and rapidly developing) nations who worry about the fate […]

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  23. Book Review: The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr

    In 2008, science and technology writer Nicholas Carr asked in The Atlantic if Google is “making us stupid.” His latest book is an effort to answer that question and, more broadly, to explore how the tools of the Internet age are altering the way people find and use information. THE SHALLOWS: WHAT THE INTERNET IS […]

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  24. Treat science right and it could help save the world

    Harold Kroto, who shared the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of buckminsterfullerene (the molecules commonly known as buckyballs), is a chemist at Florida State University in Tallahassee. His research interests extend from the microworld of nanoparticles to the chemistry of interstellar space. He also campaigns for a new vision of science education, […]

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  25. Earth

    Scour power

    When Hurricane Ike struck the Gulf Coast in the early hours of September 13, 2008, Texas’ Bolivar Peninsula was ground zero. Before the category 2 storm made landfall, large stretches of beachfront on this narrow, low-lying spit of land were chockablock with homes standing on stilts behind dunes up to 2 meters tall. 1. GOING, […]

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  26. Cancer’s little helpers

    When tiny hairpin-shaped molecules act up, they don’t rebel loner-style like James Dean. Instead they take on the persona of Darth Vader, crushing proteins under their command and turning acquaintances to the dark side as well. In this case, though, the fight is for control not of the universe, but of the body. And a […]

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  27. Space

    Mining for Missing Matter

    On an early summer morning in northern Minnesota, a crew of about a dozen waits by the top of mine shaft No. 8. Donning hard hats, the engineers and physicists pile into a creaky, double-decker elevator cage. It is pitch black for most of the three-minute descent. Ears pop, the cage floor vibrates and a […]

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  28. Letters

    Misunderstood males? I grew up on a farm, and it was not uncommon for male horses, male goats and even male deer to let out a snort whenever anxiety surfaced in them — whether it be from a predator in the area, the removal of food from their eating area or the wandering off of […]

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  29. Science Past from the issue of August 27, 1960

    CAT PHOBIA TREATMENT — [A] patient was cured of cat phobia by forcing herself to handle velvet until she got used to it. The patient, a 37-year-old married woman …  had had a fear of cats as long as she could remember…. The therapist began … [with] what she felt was the least objectionable idea […]

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  30. Fixing the Sky: The Checkered History of Weather and Climate Control by James Rodger Fleming

    Humans have long tried — and mostly failed — to engineer weather and climate, a historian of science shows. FIXING THE SKY: THE CHECKERED HISTORY OF WEATHER AND CLIMATE CONTROL BY JAMES RODGER FLEMING Columbia Univ. Press, 2010, 344 p., $27.95.

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