Vol. 167 No. #7
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More Stories from the February 12, 2005 issue

  1. Humans

    NIH tightens its ethics rules

    The National Institutes of Health issued new ethics rules to keep its employees from engaging in potentially questionable relationships with organizations that might have a financial interest in NIH activities or policies.

  2. Anxieties stoke bipolar unrest

    Insomnia and other serious sleep difficulties plague many people with bipolar disorder, even after medications have eased their extreme mood swings.

  3. Astronomy

    Proton storm erupts from the sun

    A storm of high-speed protons, triggered by a Jan. 20 solar eruption, bombarded spacecraft and was the most energetic such squall recorded in 15 years.

  4. Agriculture

    Illegal cigarettes pack toxic punch

    Tobacco used in counterfeit cigarettes is apparently grown using metal-laced fertilizers, making the fake products even more harmful than the real things.

  5. Earth

    Of X rays, viruses, and cooked meat

    The National Toxicology Program updated its list of human carcinogens to include X rays and several viruses and added lead and some compounds formed in overcooked meats to its list of probable human carcinogens.

  6. Physics

    Putting a new spin on silicon

    Embedding ions of manganese in silicon imparts a magnetic field to the otherwise nonmagnetic semiconductor.

  7. Materials Science

    Tiles stack for shell strength in abalone

    In abalone shells, microscopic tiles of calcium carbonate stack on top of each other in a highly ordered arrangement to create a superstrong material.

  8. Astronomy

    Swift detection of a gamma-ray burst

    A telescope has for the first time detected X rays directly from an ongoing gamma-ray burst, the most powerful type of explosion in the universe.

  9. Earth

    Long-winded benefits

    Certain wind-energy systems that store excess energy for a time using compressed air can be as reliable as and far cleaner than conventional electric-generating plants.

  10. Asian Kids’ IQ Lift: Reading system may boost Chinese scores

    A new study of Chinese and Greek kids suggests that a Chinese IQ advantage over Westerners stems from superior spatial abilities, possibly because the Chinese learn to read pictorial symbols that emphasize spatial perception.

  11. Physics

    Dial-a-Splash: Thin air quells liquid splatter

    How much liquids splatter when drops hit surfaces depends on the surrounding air pressure.

  12. Health & Medicine

    Heartfelt Fear: Findings link stress and cardiac symptoms

    Emotional stress can lead to symptoms that mimic a heart attack, even in people without coronary artery blockages, possibly by causing an unusual secretion of hormones.

  13. Paleontology

    Groovy Bones: Mammalian ear structure evolved more than once

    Fossils of an ancient egg-laying mammal indicate that the characteristic configuration of the bones in all living mammals' ears arose independently at least twice during the group's evolution.

  14. Earth

    Natural or Synthetic? Test reveals origin of chemicals in blubber

    Natural compounds that are chemically akin to certain industrial chemicals wend their way up marine food chains and accumulate in whale blubber.

  15. Animals

    Oops! Grab That Trunk: High-diving ants swing back toward their tree

    Certain tree-dwelling ants can direct their descent well enough to veer toward tree trunks and climb back home.

  16. Humans

    Lean Times: Proposed budget keeps science spending slim

    After accounting for inflation, President Bush's proposed research-and-development budget for fiscal year 2006 is down 1.4 percent from FY 2005, a figure that has many science agencies tightening their belts.

  17. Chemistry

    Chemistry au Naturel

    Chemists aim to mimic natural systems with the hope of developing more-efficient chemical processes that are also less harmful to the environment.

  18. Math

    Life on the Scales

    A mathematical equation helps explain life processes on all biological scales, from molecules to ecosystems.

  19. Humans

    Letters from the February 12, 2005, issue of Science News

    Short end of the chromosome Since “women with chronically ill children generally reported more stress” and since “there was a very striking connection between stress and telomere length” (“Stressed to Death: Mental tension ages cells,” SN: 12/4/04, p. 355), isn’t it probable that there is a strong connection between telomere length and becoming the parent […]