Vol. 181 No. #3
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More Stories from the February 11, 2012 issue

  1. Health & Medicine

    Drug gives rats booze-guzzling superpowers

    Rodents that consume alcohol along with a compound derived from an ancient herbal remedy get less drunk, recover faster and appear less prone to addiction.

  2. Life

    Eight-legged evolution exploits editing

    Octopuses adapt to water temperature with tweaks to how genes are copied, not DNA itself.

  3. Psychology

    Europeans’ heartfelt ignorance

    Many people in nine countries don't know how to recognize or react to heart attacks and strokes.

  4. Earth

    Recirculation aided Gulf plume’s degradation

    Two new studies help explain fate of pollutants released in the biggest offshore spill in U.S. history.

  5. Life

    Rhino beetle’s horn may be cheap

    Outrageous-looking head spikes on the male of the species may not cost much in evolutionary terms.

  6. Life

    Green gleam helps fish see violet

    A deep-sea fish's eyes apparently use fluorescence to pick up hard-to-detect hues, researchers conclude.

  7. Space

    New maps of the cosmic dark

    Probing galactic distortions reveals web of invisible matter.

  8. Health & Medicine

    Light pot smoking easy on lungs

    Infrequent marijuana users show a slight improvement in breathing capacity and middling smokers had no change, a 20-year study shows.

  9. Earth

    Small efforts to reduce methane, soot could have big effect

    Simple measures could slow global warming and reduce premature deaths.

  10. Psychology

    Big score for the hot hand

    Hot hands exist in professional volleyball and influence game strategy.

  11. Space

    Diet of a dying star

    Astronomers pinpoint what feeds a type of stellar explosion.

  12. Psychology

    Babies lip-read before talking

    Tots acquire the gift of gab by matching adults’ mouth movements to spoken words.

  13. Health & Medicine

    Proteins may warn of diabetic kidney disease risk

    Patients who have high levels of compounds called TNF receptors in their blood have a heightened risk of developing renal failure, two studies suggest.

  14. Climate

    Amazon may become greenhouse gas emitter

    South America’s massive rain forest may soon release more carbon into the atmosphere than it absorbs.

  15. Humans

    Intel Science Talent Search names top 40 finalists

    More than 1,800 high school students entered the 2012 competition.

  16. Science Past from the issue of February 10, 1962

    EFFECT OF WEIGHTLESSNESS — Astronaut John H. Glenn Jr.’s experience in weightlessness during his coming orbital flight will not be long enough to cause him any undue stress such as that suffered by Cosmonaut Titov, a U.S. Air Force expert reported. “Experiments by the Russians with animals and men as well as our own experiments […]

  17. Science Future for February 11, 2012

    February 23 As part of National Engineers Week, talk to a child or group for Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. Find resources at bit.ly/zXAZVP March 1 Last day to submit entries to the 2012 Kavli “Save the World Through Science & Engineering” video contest for grades 6–12. See bit.ly/w3iCjM

  18. SN Online

    SCIENCE & THE PUBLIC BLOGImported primate meat hosts potentially dangerous viruses. See “Bush meat can be a viral feast.” LIFE A snake senses prey’s last heartbeats. See “Boas take pulse as they snuff it out.” ATOM & COSMOS A simulation hints at why space is 3-D. Read “String theorists squeeze nine dimensions into three.” BODY […]

  19. Memory: Fragments of a Modern History by Alison Winter

    With examples from police interrogators to hypnotized housewives, a historian describes changing views of memory — what it is, how it’s formed and what it means. Univ. of Chicago, 2012, 310 p., $30

  20. Life

    Deep Life

    Teeming masses of organisms thrive beneath the seafloor.

  21. Neuroscience

    Emblems of Awareness

    Brain signatures lead scientists to the seat of consciousness.

  22. Neuroscience

    Self as Symbol

    The loopy nature of consciousness trips up scientists studying themselves.

  23. Letters

    Finding parasitic behavior Two adjacent stories, both by Tina Hesman Saey, at first glance may appear to be unrelated but in actuality show examples of a well-known phenomenon: parasites adversely affecting the behavior of the host so that the parasite can get to its next victim. The article “Belly bacteria can boss the brain” (SN: […]

  24. Plant something new

    Better produce and protecting food staples at the USDA.

  25. A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest by William DeBuys

    A look at how global warming could affect the American Southwest reveals a landscape in peril. Oxford Univ., 2011, 369 p., $27.95