Vol. 178 No. #13
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More Stories from the December 18, 2010 issue

  1. Health & Medicine

    Alcohol heart benefits show up even after bypass surgery

    Having two to three drinks a day was associated with decreased heart problems in men during the three years after the operation, researchers from Italy report.

  2. Humans

    Ancient hominid butchers get trampled

    Bone marks advanced as evidence of stone-tool use to butcher animals 3.4 million years ago may actually have resulted from animal trampling, scientists say.

  3. Health & Medicine

    Drug helps in mild heart failure

    Already prescribed for severe cases, eplerenone cuts death and hospitalization rates in patients with less severe but chronic forms of the condition, a new study finds.

  4. Health & Medicine

    Fish oil fails to hold off heart arrhythmia

    Atrial fibrillation patients who took capsules rich in omega-3 fatty acids had about as many episodes as those getting a placebo, a study finds.

  5. Health & Medicine

    Mining fat tissue for cardiac repair

    Stem cells that are abundant in adipose tissue seem to boost the recovery of heart tissues in people who survive the big one, early research shows.

  6. Health & Medicine

    New drug bumps up good cholesterol

    Anacetrapib raises beneficial HDL while lowering harmful LDL, a medical trial finds, suggesting it may be a powerful new weapon against cardiovascular disease.

  7. Physics

    Antimatter, here to stay

    Physicists trap antihydrogen for long enough to study the elusive material.

  8. Space

    It came from another galaxy

    Extrasolar planet traces its origin outside the Milky Way to an ancient neighboring galaxy.

  9. Paleontology

    Ancient trumpets played eerie notes

    Acoustic scientists re-create and analyze sounds from 3,000-year-old shell instruments for insight into pre-Inca civilization.

  10. Humans

    Amphibian debuts

    Hunt for lost frog turns up new species in Colombian rain forests.

  11. Psychology

    Shared talking styles herald new and lasting romance

    Verbally in-sync conversations may help to start and maintain dating relationships.

  12. Animals

    Island orangs descend from small group

    Bornean apes went through a genetic bottleneck when isolated during an ancient glaciation.

  13. Humans

    Visor might protect troops from blasts

    Computer simulations show that the current military helmet lets explosive forces into the head through the face.

  14. Health & Medicine

    Antiretroviral drugs may prevent HIV infection

    Gay and bisexual men who don’t have the AIDS virus can reduce their risk of getting it by taking a drug combination, a new study finds.

  15. Life

    Big reveals for genome of tiny animal

    Tunicates’ scrambled gene order suggests that arrangement may not matter for vertebrate body plan and hints at the origins of mysterious DNA chunks called introns.

  16. Space

    How to use a pulsar to find Starbucks

    Using stars as celestial beacons could be a backup if GPS ground stations failed.

  17. Earth

    Shuttle images reveal Egypt’s lost great lake

    Radar studies of desert drainage patterns point to ancient oases in the Sahara.

  18. Space

    Cosmic rebirth

    Circular patterns in the universe's pervasive background radiation suggest that the Big Bang was not the beginning of the universe, but only the latest of its incarnations.

  19. Life

    RNA, obey

    Researchers make RNA machines that can change cells’ behavior.

  20. Humans

    World could heat up 4 degrees C in 50 years

    Immediate and substantial action to reduce emissions would be needed to meet climate negotiators' goal of holding warming to a 2 degree Celsius increase, a new package of scientific papers concludes.

  21. Science Future for December 18, 2010

    December 26 Schenectady Museum in New York explores why bikes stand up. See www.schenectadymuseum.org December 27 Author John Monahan signs copies of They Called Me Mad at the National Air and Space Museum. See www.nasm.si.edu January 10 Deadline to submit original wake-up music for NASA’s final space shuttle mission. Go to https://songcontest.nasa.gov

  22. Cooking for Geeks by Jeff Potter

    Learn the science behind sautéing and other cooking techniques in this combination recipe book and introduction to food chemistry. COOKING FOR GEEKS BY JEFF POTTER O’Reilly Media, 2010, 432 p., $34.99.

  23. Pluto by Barrie W. Jones

    An astronomer explores the demoted planet and shows how it has contributed to scientists’ knowledge of the solar system. PLUTO BY BARRIE W. JONES Cambridge Univ. Press, 2010, 231 p., $35.99.

  24. Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It’s So Hard to Think Straight About Animals by Hal Herzog

    Review by Susan Milius.

  25. A year on the job, she takes pride in disaster response

    When she took over in November 2009 as the first female director of the U.S. Geological Survey, geophysicist Marcia McNutt already had her work cut out for her in streamlining and modernizing a historic scientific agency. That was before a string of natural disasters—earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, a volcanic eruption in Iceland and the […]

  26. Genetic Dark Matter

    Searching for new sources to explain human variation.

  27. Continental Hearts

    Ancient expanses called cratons pose a geological puzzle

  28. Black Holes in the Bathtub

    Scientists observe Hawking radiation in unexpected materials.

  29. Letters

    Receipt of BPA risk news Thank you so much for your recent article (“Receipts a large and little-known source of BPA,” SN: 8/28/10, p. 5) on the possible dangers of touching cash register receipts! One group you may have overlooked as being at risk was accountants and bookkeepers. I own a small tax and accounting […]

  30. Science Past from the issue of December 17, 1960

    HEAVY SHIELD UNNECESSARY — Heavy shielding as protection for an astronaut against space radiations may not be necessary, at least for trips of less than 50 hours and at distances not greater than 618 miles from earth…. [B]iological specimens were encased in different types of metal to test their effectiveness as shielding materials. Some specimens […]

  31. The Abacus and the Cross: The Story of the Pope Who Brought the Light of Science to the Dark Ages by Nancy Marie Brown

    The story of Pope Sylvester II, who introduced Islamic math and science to the West. THE ABACUS AND THE CROSS: THE STORY OF THE POPE WHO BROUGHT THE LIGHT OF SCIENCE TO THE DARK AGES BY NANCY MARIE BROWN Basic Books, 2010, 328 p., $27.95.