Vol. 174 No. #5
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More Stories from the August 30, 2008 issue

  1. Space

    Saturn’s moon may host an ocean

    The Cassini spacecraft has found what may be the strongest evidence yet that Saturn's tiny moon Enceladus has an ocean beneath its icy surface.

  2. Computing

    Building ‘The Matrix’

    Simulating new materials could help in building them — but only quantum simulators could fully model reality. A team reports a first step in realizing quantum simulation.

  3. Paleontology

    Soft tissue in fossils still mysterious

    New research suggests modern biofilms could contaminate ancient fossils.

  4. Archaeology

    Greeks followed a celestial Olympics

    A Greek gadget discovered more than a century ago in a 2,100-year-old shipwreck not only tracked the motion of heavenly bodies and predicted eclipses, but also functioned as a sophisticated calendar and mapped the four-year cycle of the ancient Greek Olympics.

  5. Health & Medicine

    Dopamine could help the sleep-deprived still learn

    Sleep loss impairs fruit flies’ ability to learn, just as it does in people. But boosting dopamine in the flies can erase these learning deficits.

  6. Space

    Officially ice

    Phoenix Mars Lander detects water, a landmark that, along with other successes, prompts NASA to extend the mission.

  7. Life

    Smallest known snake

    New species is thin as a spaghetti noodle but shorter.

  8. Life

    His master’s yawn

    When humans open up for a jaw-stretcher, so do their best friends.

  9. Physics

    Carbon tubes, but not nano

    Trying to grow better, longer nanotubes, researchers accidentally discover a new type of carbon filament, colossal carbon tubes, which are tens of thousands of times thicker.

  10. Life

    Making T cells tougher against HIV

    Delivering small interfering RNAs, or siRNAs, to human immune cells in mice protects the cells from HIV and suggests future therapy for patients.

  11. Chemistry

    Fingerprints go high-tech

    A new chemical technique shows promise in identifying traces of explosives, illicit drugs and perhaps even signs of disease.

  12. Space

    Uncommon Earth

    New computer model suggests Earth and its brethren are atypical.

  13. Physics

    Invisibility within sight

    Two new studies take steps toward practical materials that can bend light backward, which could lead to invisibility cloaks.

  14. Life

    Vegetarian spider

    The first known spider with a predominantly meatless diet nibbles trees.

  15. Disaster Goes Global

    The eruption in 1600 of a seemingly quiet volcano in Peru changed global climate and triggered famine as far away as Russia

  16. Evolution’s Ear

    Recent changes in hearing-related genes may have influenced language development

  17. Pop chirp bite crunch chew

    The ultrasonic din of dying trees inspires a new kind of research to save forests from beetle attacks — and battle climate change