Vol. 170 No. #24
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More Stories from the December 9, 2006 issue

  1. Health & Medicine

    Indian men are prone to insulin resistance

    Men from India are more likely than those in other large ethnic groups to have a condition that predisposes them to adult-onset diabetes.

  2. Health & Medicine

    Pain type matters to brain

    Chronic back pain affects different parts of the brain than acute back pain does, magnetic resonance images reveal.

  3. Planetary Science

    So long, Surveyor

    After 8 years of relaying pictures, topographic maps, magnetic field data, and compositional information from above the Red Planet, NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft appears to have called it quits.

  4. Leggy lizards adapt fast

    In response to a new predator, lizards on several Caribbean islands underwent selection first for long legs and then for short legs.

  5. Agriculture

    Wheat gone wild

    Researchers have identified a gene responsible for boosting the protein, iron, and zinc content of some varieties of wild wheat by 10 to 15 percent.

  6. Chemistry

    Together and apart

    Chemists report the first chemical reaction that can split apart and recombine the two atoms in molecular hydrogen without using an expensive metal catalyst.

  7. Animals

    Ebola Die-Off: Gorilla losses tallied in central Africa

    Between 2001 and 2005, Ebola virus killed at least 5,500 lowland gorillas in the Republic of the Congo.

  8. Health & Medicine

    Bitter Pill: Costs surge for new schizophrenia drugs

    Medications widely prescribed to treat schizophrenia cost hundreds of dollars more each month than does a less popular, older medication that has similar success at alleviating symptoms of the disorder.

  9. Earth

    Woods to Waters: Wildfires amplify mercury contamination in fish

    Forest fires mobilize mercury from the soil and can send the toxic metal into nearby streams and lakes where it accumulates in fish.

  10. Ecosystems

    Going Native: Diverse grassland plants edge out crops as biofuel

    Biofuels made from mixtures of plants native to prairies can yield more net energy than do biofuels derived from corn and soybeans.

  11. Humans

    Lunar Outpost: NASA unveils plans for a return to the moon

    NASA announced that it would begin in 2020 to assemble a human outpost on the moon.

  12. Animals

    Extreme Tongue: Bat excels at saying ‘Aah’

    The new champion among mammals at sticking out its tongue is a small bat from Ecuador.

  13. Earth

    Dim Harvest: Asian air pollution has limited rice yields

    Thick clouds of air pollution over southern Asia and increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere worldwide have reduced rice harvests in India for the past 2 decades.

  14. Health & Medicine

    Milk Therapy

    Breast milk has long been known to be the best food for babies, but compounds in breast milk promise to be a tonic for many adult ills as well.

  15. The Predator’s Gaze

    A new wave of research is trying to untangle the origins and nature of psychopathy, a personality style characterized by a lack of conscience, empathy, or guilt that attracts intense interest from the legal system.

  16. Humans

    Letters from the December 9, 2006, issue of Science News

    War is not the answer “U.S. Population to surpass 300 million” (SN: 10/7/06, p. 238) concludes with the interesting fact that the only annual drop in U.S. population during the past century “occurred between July 1917 and July 1918, when the country was at war,” implying a military cause for the decline. Indeed, the honored […]