Vol. 175 No. #4
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More Stories from the February 14, 2009 issue

  1. Life

    Capuchin monkeys choose the right tool for the nut

    New field experiments indicate that wild capuchin monkeys choose the most effective stones for cracking nuts, suggesting deep evolutionary roots for the use of stone tools.

  2. Humans

    Gamers crave control and competence, not carnage

    Study turns belief commonly held by video game industry, gamers, on its head.

  3. Health & Medicine

    Neural paths for borderline personality disorder

    A new brain-imaging study indicates that unusual neural activity linked to emotion, attention and conflict-resolution systems underlies a common psychiatric condition known as borderline personality disorder.

  4. Health & Medicine

    Epigenetics reveals unexpected, and some identical, results

    One study finds tissue-specific methylation signatures in the genome; another a similarity between identical twins in DNA’s chemical tagging.

  5. Earth

    Clearing some air over warming in Europe

    A decline in fog and haze clears the air but also fuels 20 percent of the warming in Europe, a new study concludes.

  6. Earth

    Antarctica is getting warmer too

    Satellite data show most of the continent is following worldwide trend.

  7. Life

    Everyday tree deaths have doubled

    In past 50 years, apparently healthy forests have started losing trees faster, possibly because of climate change.

  8. Life

    Carlsbad’s 8 million ‘lost’ bats likely never existed

    Thermal imaging and algorithms challenge famous estimate of extreme bat number.

  9. Health & Medicine

    Newborns pick up the beat

    Electrical measurements of sleeping newborn babies’ brains indicate that the 2- to 3-day-olds automatically detect a regular beat in rhythmic sequences, possibly reflecting an early capacity for learning music.

  10. Humans

    Young scientists clear hurdle in national competition

    Intel Science Talent Search finalists announced.

  11. Animals

    Urban Ants of North America and Europe: Identification, Biology and Management by John Klotz, Michael Rust, Reiner Pospischil and Laurel Hansen

  12. A Very Improbable Story by Edward Einhorn and Adam Gustavson

    A cat named Odds plays games of probability with a young boy in this children’s book. Charlesbridge, 2008, 32 p., $16.95 A Very Improbable Story by Edward Einhorn and Adam Gustavson

  13. Climate

    CO2 Rising: The World’s Greatest Environmental Challenge by Tyler Volk

  14. Science & Society

    The Great Equations: Breakthroughs in Science from Pythagoras to Heisenberg by Robert P. Crease

  15. Science & Society

    Book Review: Dry Storeroom No. 1: The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum by Richard Fortey

    Review by Sid Perkins.

  16. Tech

    Book Review: The Inner History of Devices by Sherry Turkle, ed.

    Review by Elizabeth Quill.

  17. Receding glaciers erase records of climate history

    For three decades, Lonnie Thompson of Ohio State University has been monitoring the health of glaciers atop mountains from Peru to China . Skeptics initially doubted that he could retrieve meaningful data from these remote elevations. But he has, while also discovering that these millennia-old data-storage lockers are rapidly disappearing. Senior Editor Janet Raloff recently […]

  18. Earth

    The Solar System’s Big Bang

    Finding signs of a lost beginning.

  19. Space

    Whiff of Martian methane offers lively possibilities

    The definitive discovery in Mars’ atmosphere of methane — often, but not always, a compound hinting at life — introduces the possibility of underground organisms.

  20. Life

    A Most Private Evolution

    The most dramatic examples of the power of evolutionary theory may come from the strange and ugly stuff — biology too dumb to have been designed.

  21. Humans

    The Dating Go Round

    Speed dating offers scientists a peek at how romance actually blossoms.

  22. Letters

    Reader letters : February 14, 2009.

  23. Blessed Days of Anaesthesia: How Anaesthetics Changed the World by Stephanie J. Snow

    An account of the early pain-dulling and sensation-killing drugs and their effects on society. Oxford, 2008, 226 p., $34.95. Blessed Days of Anaesthesia: How Anaesthetics Changed the World by Stephanie J. Snow