Vol. 183 No. #4
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More Stories from the February 23, 2013 issue

  1. Animals

    Finally, the truth about barnacle sex is revealed

    A genetic analysis shows that the sessile crustaceans can broadcast sperm in water, contrary to previous assumptions.

  2. Health & Medicine

    Flu shot during pregnancy is safe, but flu isn’t

    Illness in the mother nearly doubles the risk of a miscarriage or stillbirth in second or third trimester, a new study shows.

  3. Tech

    Trick of light makes microwave imaging simple

    Metamaterials and math combine to produce a quick, cheap system.

  4. Health & Medicine

    When hearing goes, mental capacity often follows

    Cognitive decline may result from decreased social interaction or diversion of brainpower toward understanding speech.

  5. Health & Medicine

    Half of U.S. babies may miss on-time vaccinations

    Immunization delays place children at risk of contracting preventable diseases.

  6. Earth

    Watering fields in California boosts rainfall in Southwest

    Irrigation has downstream effects on climate and runoff to Colorado River.

  7. Tech

    DNA stores poems, a photo and a speech

    The molecule swaps its biological role for a computational one, that of long-term data storage.

  8. Humans

    H5N1 influenza research moratorium ends

    Scientists lift self-imposed moratorium on research that would make avian flu transmissible among humans.

  9. Health & Medicine

    Digestive juices implicated in shock

    A new study finds that blocking enzymes' effects beyond the gastrointestinal tract may be an effective treatment strategy.

  10. Animals

    Dung beetles steer by the Milky Way

    The insects orient themselves using starlight, researchers find in planetarium experiments.

  11. Space

    Proton’s radius revised downward

    A new study confirms an earlier result that found that the proton is smaller than thought, opening up the possibility of undiscovered particles and forces.

  12. Health & Medicine

    Signs of trauma documented in living brains

    Molecular signature of injury seen in scans of retired NFL players.

  13. Health & Medicine

    Deep brain stimulation improves autistic boy’s symptoms

    Electrodes surgically implanted in the brain could treat severe cases of autism.

  14. Earth

    Human-made waste heat warms climate

    Energy dissipated as heat in cities can cause regional temperature changes, simulations suggest.

  15. Life

    Gene variant makes flu particularly dangerous

    People with one form of IFITM3 are more likely to develop pneumonia.

  16. Animals

    Cats kill more than one billion birds each year

    New analysis doubles estimate of avian death tolls, revealing that hunting felines take bigger bite out of wildlife than expected.

  17. Humans

    Professional athletes have superior perception

    Soccer, rugby, hockey players better ignore distractions to follow motion with their eyes.

  18. Life

    Nerve stem cells treat gut disorder in mice

    Nerve stem cell therapy treats gut disorder by connecting to nervous system.

  19. Earth

    Indonesian mud eruption will soon die out, scientists predict

    Spewing muck since 2006, volcano will calm to a sputter by 2017.

  20. Health & Medicine

    TV watching linked to low sperm counts

    Couch potatoes’ reproductive health may suffer.

  21. Space

    Stellar baby picture

    The newborn stars, not even a million years old, formed when regions of a cloud of cool dust and gas (visible at center left) collapsed from gravity.

  22. Health & Medicine

    Fast food linked to asthma risk

    A diet high in fast food seems to increase the risk of asthma in young children and adolescents, survey data from more than a half-million people finds.

  23. Genetics

    Rare disease sets mom’s research agenda

  24. Science Future for February 23, 2013

    March 23 See rare whale specimens, watch a re-creation of a whale hunting a squid and learn how scientists track these giants at the new Whales: Giants of the Deep exhibition at New York City’s American Museum of Natural History. See bit.ly/SFamnhwhale March 28 The Russian Soyuz spacecraft launches from Kazakhstan carrying three crew members […]

  25. SN Online

    FRAME OF MIND Laura Sanders ponders turning off depression instantaneously in her column “A new generation of antidepressants could help patients feel better faster.” A. Muto et al/Current Biology 2013 BODY & BRAIN See a video of nerves firing in a fish larva’s brain (below) as it hunts in “As fish watch prey, researchers watch […]

  26. BOOK REVIEW: Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova

    Review by Alexandra Witze.

  27. Mad Science: Einstein’s Fridge, Dewar’s Flask, Mach’s Speed, and 362 Other Inventions and Discoveries that Made Our World by Randy Alfred, ed.

    Celebrate a technology anniversary for each day of the year with this compendium of inventions. Little, Brown and Co., 2012, 390 p., $19.99

  28. Wind Wizard: Alan G. Davenport and the Art of Wind Engineering by Siobhan Roberts

    Skyscrapers and massive bridges would not be the same without Alan Davenport, whose engineering for wind conditions improved the safety of structures around the world. Princeton Univ., 2013, 278 p., $29.95

  29. Life’s Ratchet: How Molecular Machines Extract Order from Chaos by Peter M. Hoffmann

    Explore life at the smallest scales in this look at how molecules within cells operate like machines to keep organisms alive. Basic Books, 2012, 278 p., $27.99

  30. Health & Medicine

    I Died for Beauty

    Dorothy Wrinch and the Cultures of Science by Marjorie Senechal.

  31. Space Atlas: Mapping the Universe and Beyond by James Trefil

    A large-format guide to the universe covers astronomy basics, with eye-catching images plus a foreword by former astronaut Buzz Aldrin. National Geographic, 2012, 335 p., $50

  32. Earth

    Salvage Job

    With fertilizer prices skyrocketing, scientists scramble to recover phosphorus from waste.

  33. Science & Society

    No New Meds

    With drug firms in retreat, the pipeline for new psychiatric medications dries up.

  34. Letters

    Dark matter enlightened Tom Siegfried’s article on dark matter “Light in the Dark,” (SN: 1/12/13, p. 18) reminded me of the 19th century search for the luminiferous ether. One can only wonder if history will repeat itself in the 21st century search for dark matter.Jeffery Miller, Los Angeles, Calif. The difference is that the ether […]

  35. Science Past from the issue of February 23, 1963

    NEW AIR TRANSPORT — Instead of trains on railroads and trucks on expensive highways, the less developed countries in the future are likely to use for their transport hybrid helicopter-airplanes that need only simple landing fields and no roads or rails between. This possibility was offered … by Dr. Phillip R. Carlson of the Lockheed […]

  36. BOOK REVIEW: Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds by Jim Sterba

    Review by Sid Perkins.