Vol. 174 No. #13
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More Stories from the December 20, 2008 issue

  1. Life

    Schools make fish smarter

    A study of consensus decision making shows that sticklebacks make wider choices in groups of three or more.

  2. Animals

    Forensics’ next tool: Hair-collecting caterpillars

    First human DNA extraction from hair bits in moth larval case.

  3. Health & Medicine

    Ginkgo biloba fails drug test

    The herbal supplement Ginkgo biloba fails to prevent Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia, a large trial finds.

  4. Health & Medicine

    Sleep makes room for memories

    Sleep erases old memories to make way for new learning

  5. Physics

    Superconductivity does the twist

    Electron fluctuations could explain why exotic material conducts without resistance.

  6. Space

    Water-ice deposits found beneath Martian hills

    Using radar from an orbiting spacecraft to penetrate the hidden recesses of Mars, planetary prospectors have uncovered vast reserves of water-ice buried beneath rocky debris.

  7. Physics

    Standard model gets right answer for proton, neutron masses

    Correct calculation strengthens theory of quark-gluon interactions in nuclear particles.

  8. Health & Medicine

    Many drug trials never see publication

    Results of most drug trials are unreported, inaccessible to clinicians and patients, a new study confirms.

  9. Humans

    Baby boys may show spatial supremacy

    Two new studies suggest that, at 3 to 5 months of age, boys already outperform girls on mental rotation tasks.

  10. Earth

    Antidepressants make for sad fish

    Fish may suffer substantially from even brief encounters with antidepressants, which wastewater releases into river water.

  11. Health & Medicine

    Honeybee CSI: Why dead bodies can’t be found

    Virus could explain one symptom of colony collapse.

  12. Ecosystems

    Eating the Sun: How Plants Power the Planet by Oliver Morton

    HarperCollins, 2008, 460 p., $28.95.

  13. Science & Society

    Book Review: Where Our Food Comes From: Retracing Nikolay Vavilov’s Quest to End Famine by Gary Paul Nabhan

    Review by Janet Raloff.

  14. Life

    Protect biodiversity hot spots and the rest will follow

  15. Earth

    The Hunt for Habitable Planets

    Here and now, a new suite of small telescopes are poised to look for Earthlike planets beyond the solar system.

  16. Physics

    Physicists Hot for Ultracold

    Physicists have recently coaxed molecules into ultracold states in which motion is nearly gone.

  17. Health & Medicine

    Imagination Medicine

    Brain imaging reveals the substance of placebos. Expectation alone triggers the same neural circuits and chemicals as real drugs.

  18. Letters

    NASA’s source In “Cooling climate ‘consensus’ of 1970s never was” (SN: 10/25/08, p. 5), Science News includes a graph, attributed to NASA, that shows temperature deviations from the year 1880. The data clearly indicate a distinct warming trend throughout the period. Why is it that over the past two years I have very painstakingly researched […]

  19. Astronomy

    Stargazing Basics: Getting Started in Recreational Astronomy by Paul E. Kinzer

    Cambridge Univ., 2008, 147 p., $19.99.