Vol. 182 No. #13
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More Stories from the December 29, 2012 issue

  1. Tech

    Plastic fantastic seals in speeding projectiles

    Layered nanomaterial shows how bulletproof polymers wrap around penetrating particles.

  2. Earth

    New pathway proposed for ancient flood

    Meltwaters off the northwestern part of Canada’s ice sheet would have shut down the ocean’s heat circulation 13,000 years ago.

  3. Space

    Super-Earth joins ranks in life-supporting zone

    The large exoplanet lies just 42 light-years away.

  4. Chemistry

    Hydrogen fuel edges a step closer

    A new chemical setup creates clean-burning gas by mimicking plant photosynthesis.

  5. Earth

    Pandas’ home range may move as climate changes

    Warming might force animals’ food source, bamboo, to higher elevations.

  6. Earth

    Global drought may have changed less than thought

    Simple models have overestimated drying over past 60 years.

  7. Psychology

    Word-detecting baboons are a tough read

    New models offer contrasting views of monkeys’ ability to identify frequently seen letter pairs.

  8. Psychology

    Highlights from the Psychonomic Society annual meeting

    Summaries from the conference held November 15-18 in Minneapolis.

  9. Life

    Chromosome ends hold clues to a bird’s longevity

    Short telomeres are tied to higher mortality in Indian Ocean warblers.

  10. Space

    Glimpse at early universe finds expansion slowdown

    BOSS project looks at acceleration rate before dark energy hit the gas.

  11. Life

    Trees worldwide a sip away from dehydration

    Plumbing systems operate on a razor’s edge, making even moist forests highly vulnerable to drought.

  12. Humans

    Genetic diversity exploded in recent millennia

    Among hundreds of thousands of DNA variants identified in a study, a large majority arose in the past 5,000 years.

  13. Earth

    Shrinking polar ice caused one-fifth of sea level rise

    Comprehensive analysis quantifies ice sheet loss in Greenland and Antarctica.

  14. Planetary Science

    Violent past revealed by map of moon’s interior

    A gravity survey by twin orbiters reveals how much the lunar surface was pummeled by meteorite impacts early in its history.

  15. Alt science

    View the video After a day of computer programming and poring over genetic data, Pardis Sabeti relaxes her brain by writing rock songs. Pardis Sabeti sorts through reams of genetic information to find genes that have been shaped by natural selection to resist disease. Olivier Douliery Born in Tehran, Sabeti is a computational biologist at […]

  16. Math

    Science Future for December 29, 2012

  17. Physics

    SN Online

  18. Lynn Margulis: The Life and Legacy of a Scientific Rebel by Dorion Sagan, ed.

    Friends and colleagues reflect on the contributions of one of the 20th century’s most influential biologists. Chelsea Green, 2012, 205 p., $27.95

  19. Astronomy

    Mirror Earth

    The Search for Our Planet's Twin by Michael D. Lemonick.

  20. Life

    Controversial bird flu papers fly

    But research freeze holds.

  21. Humans

    Bionic women (and men) get closer to reality

    Prosthetics and new therapies restore abilities to move, see, walk.

  22. Climate

    Climate change goes to extremes

    Some recent weird weather tied to warming.

  23. Neuroscience

    Your social brain

    Nerve cells notice mistakes and learn from others’ desires.

  24. Science & Society

    Scientists take on Twitter

    Social media comes into its own as a tool and a subject for study.

  25. Life

    Women may make new eggs

    If true, finding could lead to new fertility treatments.

  26. Earth’s new neighbor looks familiar

    Planet discovered in Alpha Centauri, just a few light-years away.

  27. Prions may cause Alzheimer’s

    Similarity found with destructive protein behind mad cow.

  28. Finding new ways to spell L-I-F-E

    XNA molecules join DNA and RNA in the genetic catalog.

  29. Quantum hops

    A little closer to teleportation and new computers.

  30. Polar bears have seen hard times

    Two genetic studies extend the Arctic icon’s lineage way back.

  31. Kissing, and missing, human cousins

    DNA paints a contested picture of Stone Age interbreeding.

  32. Milky Way will bite the dust

    Eventual collision with Andromeda to shake up the solar system.

  33. Out on a limb

    Fossils suggest early bipedal hominids still climbed.

  34. You really can learn while you sleep

    Brain stays busy during lights-out.

  35. Obesity research gets weightier

    Findings are filling out the story behind the fat.

  36. ‘Good’ cholesterol may be overrated

    Surprise result questions heart protection from HDL.

  37. Avant-garde cave art

    Paintings and animation date way back.

  38. New species of the year

    More creatures, less Latin used to describe them.

  39. Venus sails across sun in rare display

    Transit events happen in pairs separated by more than a century.

  40. Evolving E. coli

    25-year experiment sees real-time natural selection.

  41. Environment

    Big drain on groundwater

    Overuse of freshwater supplies poses risks.

  42. Maya apocalypse goes boom

    World doesn’t end, ancient astronomy gets a boost.

  43. Science News Top 25

    Science News reviews the year in science with a compilation and analysis of the most fascinating stories reported in the magazine. Also highlighted are reader favorites, debunked science and the year's weirdest stories.

  44. Physics

    Higgs discovery helps make sense of matter

    Long-sought boson completes standard model of physics.

  45. Planetary Science

    Curiosity goes to Mars

    NASA’s rover looks for life-friendly environments.

  46. Letters

    Trust no one “Trust affects kids’ patience” (SN: 11/17/12, p. 10) refers only to children. But based on my own experience, I’d expect it to apply to adults as well. If you tell me I can have $100 now or $200 in an hour, what I do will depend on whether or not I trust […]

  47. Science Past from the issue of December 29, 1962

  48. Cosmology

    Edge of the Universe

    A Voyage to the Cosmic Horizon and Beyond by Paul Halpern.