Vol. 163 No. #5
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More Stories from the February 1, 2003 issue

  1. Psychiatric drugs surge among kids

    The proportion of children and teenagers in the United States taking drugs prescribed for psychiatric disorders more than doubled from 1987 to 1996.

  2. Health & Medicine

    Clot promoter cuts surgical bleeding

    A clot-promoting protein known as recombinant activated factor VII might offer a new way to staunch demand for blood transfusions.

  3. Astronomy

    Gamma-ray burst leaves ephemeral afterglow

    A ground-based telescope on automatic pilot has taken one of the earliest images ever recorded of the visible-light afterglow of a gamma-ray burst, one of the most energetic flashes of radiation in the universe.

  4. Planetary Science

    New moons for Neptune?

    Astronomers say they have discovered three additional moons circling Neptune.

  5. Health & Medicine

    As population ages, flu takes deadly turn

    The annual U.S. toll of influenza has risen dramatically since the late 1970s, in part because of the advancing age of the population.

  6. Chemistry

    Sea bacteria may be new anticancer resource

    Researchers examining deep-sea sediments have uncovered a large source of previously unknown bacteria that appear to produce disease-fighting chemicals.

  7. Earth

    Kilauea: 20 years on, it’s still erupting

    As of Jan. 3, Kilauea—Hawaii’s Energizer Bunny of volcanic activity—has been erupting continuously for two decades.

  8. Anthropology

    Dairying Pioneers: Milk ran deep in prehistoric England

    Chemical analyses of prehistoric pot fragments indicate that English farmers milked livestock beginning around 6,000 years ago, providing the earliest confirmed evidence of dairying anywhere in the world.

  9. Animals

    Better Than Real: Males prefer flower’s scent to female wasp’s

    In an extreme case of sex fakery, an orchid produces oddball chemicals to mimic a female wasp's allure so well that males prefer the flower scent to the real thing.

  10. Chemistry

    Shark Sense: Gel helps animals detect thermal fluctuations

    New studies suggest that clear jelly under sharks' skin can enable the animals to detect minute changes in seawater temperature—potentially leading them to prey.

  11. Health & Medicine

    Rackets and Radicals: Noise may cause gene damage in heart

    Exposure to loud, continuous sound can scatter free radicals within heart tissue and cause injury to cells' DNA even after the din subsides, new animal research suggests.

  12. Heat-Seeking Missiles: Sperm may follow rising temperature to egg

    In a process called thermotaxis, sperm cells may use a temperature gradient in the fallopian tubes to find their way to an unfertilized egg.

  13. Earth

    Putting Whales to Work: Cetaceans provide cheap labor in the icy deep

    Whales equipped with environmental sensors discover warm water beneath Arctic ice.

  14. Humans

    Talent Found: Top science students chosen in 62nd annual competition

    Forty wunderkinder, named as finalists in the annual Intel Science Talent Search, will collect $530,000 in scholarships for original research in science, mathematics, and engineering.

  15. Physics

    Quantum computers to keep an eye on

    A primitive ion-based computer exploiting the weirdness of quantum mechanics has taken an important step forward in problem solving.

  16. Earth

    Why the Mercury Falls

    Certain pollutants can foster the localized fallout of mercury, a toxic heavy metal, from the atmosphere.

  17. Earth

    Electronic Jetsam

    Oceanographers are developing and deploying a variety of seafaring probes—including drifters, gliders, and scientific torpedoes—that will enable them to explore and monitor the ocean remotely.