Vol. 173 No. #5
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More Stories from the February 2, 2008 issue

  1. Tech

    Smells like DNA

    By reshuffling the chemical letters of the genetic code, scientists have made short strands of DNA that can distinguish several different smells, such as explosives and food preservatives.

  2. Materials Science

    Fishy flash

    Fish alter the growth of crystals in their skin, making it supershiny.

  3. Earth

    Fabulon: Looking less fabulous

    The source of polychlorinated biphenyls found heavily tainting some homes—and their dwellers—appears to be a durable topcoat for hardwood floors that was widely used a half-century ago.

  4. Health & Medicine

    Receptor may be cancer accomplice

    Suppressing a receptor protein called neuropilin-2 slows colon cancer growth in mice.

  5. Animals

    Very brown sheep have a dark side

    Big, dark sheep on a Scottish island are not breaking the rules of evolution after all.

  6. Earth

    A crack and a fault in paradise

    Mauna Loa, Hawaii's most massive volcano, may be splitting the Earth's crust.

  7. Health & Medicine

    New route to insulin-making cells

    Researchers have found cells resembling stem cells in the mouse pancreas, suggesting new ways to treat diabetes.

  8. Health & Medicine

    Tasty stalks

    Celery's tasteless compounds make chicken soup taste better.

  9. Earth

    Seafloor Chemistry: Life’s building blocks made inorganically

    Hydrocarbons in fluids spewing from hydrothermal vents on the seafloor in the central Atlantic were produced by inorganic chemical reactions deep within the ocean crust, a finding with implications for the possible origins of life.

  10. Planetary Science

    Dusty Clues: Study suggests no dearth of Earths

    A new study suggests that many, or perhaps most, sunlike stars have planets much like Earth.

  11. Plants

    Traveling tubers

    Potato varieties from Chile arrived in Europe several years before the blights of the mid-1800s, a new analysis of DNA from old plant collections reveals.

  12. Spice It Up: Naked mole-rats feel no pain from peppers, acid

    The African naked mole-rat doesn't feel pain from acid or chilies, a possible adaptation to its cramped underground habitat.

  13. Humans

    . . . And the Envelope, Please: Forty outstanding young scientists move to final round of competition

    Forty outstanding young scientists will travel to Washington, D.C., for the final round of the 2008 Intel Science Talent Search.

  14. Live Long and Perspire: Exercise may slow aging at chromosomal level

    A new study finds that a sedentary lifestyle is linked to short telomeres on chromosomes, potentially a sign of rapid aging.

  15. Animals

    The naming of the elephant-shrew

    A new species of giant elephant-shrew, small bounding forest dwellers very distantly related to elephants, has been discovered in Tanzania. With video.

  16. Health & Medicine

    Warning Sign: Genetic fragments tag cancer severity

    High levels of the microRNA miR-21 lead to poor prognoses for colon cancer patients.

  17. Biological Moon Shot

    The first entries—with the basics for a mere 30,000 species—in the Web-based Encyclopedia of Life are scheduled for release in a matter of weeks.

  18. Astronomy

    Embracing the Dark Side

    Ten years after researchers discovered that the expansion of the universe was speeding up rather than slowing down, cosmologists are still struggling to explain the astonishing finding.

  19. Humans

    Letters from the February 2, 2008, issue of Science News

    Eye for an eagle The photo illustrating “Hatch a Thief” (SN: 12/15/07, p. 372) does not show a golden eagle. The bill of a golden eagle is black on the outer half and pale blue at the base, and the feathers on the back of its head are bright tawny. It could be a white-tailed […]