Vol. 181 No. #4
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More Stories from the February 25, 2012 issue

  1. Space

    Planets as common as stars in Milky Way

    A new analysis suggests the galaxy is riddled with worlds.

  2. Tech

    Twitter kept up with Haiti cholera outbreak

    Epidemiologists find that social media can be used to track disease outbreaks as they happen, even in countries with little infrastructure.

  3. Life

    Rising carbon dioxide confuses brain signaling in fish

    Nerve cells respond to acidifying waters.

  4. Life

    Boas take pulse as they snuff it out

    Snakes use the waning throb in their prey as a signal to stop squeezing.

  5. Earth

    Carbonation brings diamonds to surface

    Chemical reactions deep inside the Earth fuel magma’s gem-laden upward journey.

  6. Health & Medicine

    Sleep solidifies bad feelings

    A night of slumber reinforces not just traumatic memories but the negative emotions that go with them, one study finds.

  7. Humans

    Junk food in schools gets weighty reprieve

    Disputed data suggest that non-nutritious eats sold on-site don’t fatten kids.

  8. Humans

    Election night numbers can signal fraud

    Wealth of high-turnout blowouts in Russia’s 2011 parliamentary contest strongly suggests ballot stuffing, an analysis concludes.

  9. Health & Medicine

    Turn off, tune in, drop out

    Magic mushrooms reduce blood flow to parts of the brain responsible for sense of self.

  10. Health & Medicine

    Social friction tied to inflammation

    Negative interactions with others or stressful competition for another’s attention seem to have risky biological effects on an individual.

  11. Space

    More like Faux-malhaut b

    The Spitzer Space Telescope fails to find a visible planet circling where Hubble saw one four years ago.

  12. Psychology

    Fighting willpower’s catch-22

    Avoiding daily temptations works better than using willpower, which has oddly unintended effects.

  13. Humans

    Predatory pythons shift Everglades ecology

    As invasive snakes expand territory, some mammal populations drop by more than 90 percent within a decade.

  14. Humans

    Arsenic-based life finding fails follow-up

    Tests see no evidence to confirm a bold 2010 claim that some microbes can incorporate the normally toxic element into their cellular machinery.

  15. Science Past from the issue of February 24, 1962

    BOILING REACTOR WILL MAKE SUPERHEATED STEAM — An Argonne National Laboratory experimental reactor achieved criticality for the first time Feb. 9 at the National Reactor Testing Station near Idaho Falls, Idaho. The plant, known as Borax 5, was built at a cost of nearly two million dollars. It will test the feasibility of making superheated […]

  16. Science Future for February 25, 2012

    March 9–18 The British Science Association’s National Science and Engineering Week explores the theme “Our World in Motion” with events across the United Kingdom. See bit.ly/zqeESh March 17–23 Enjoy science demonstrations and hands-on fun for the whole family at the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering. Find the schedule of events at www.sdsciencefestival.com

  17. SN Online

    LIFE Plant species grafted together can swap DNA via energy-catching organelles. See “Plants swap chloroplasts via grafts.” HUMANS Social networks can spread users’ emotions. Learn more in “Catching a mood on Facebook.” ATOM & COSMOS A solar flare set off auroras around the Arctic Circle. See “Solar storm.” BODY & BRAIN Protein-based disease agents can […]

  18. New England Wild Flower Society’s Flora Novae Angliae: A Manual for the Identification of Native and Naturalized Higher Vascular Plants of New England by Arthur Haines

    The New England Wild Flower Society provides a comprehensive guide to the identification of the region’s native plants. Yale Univ., 2011, 973 p., $85

  19. Reactions: The Private Life of Atoms by Peter Atkins

    An overview of college-level chemistry simplifies matters by imagining chemical reactions from the point of view of atoms. Oxford Univ., 2011, 200 p., $24.95

  20. The Chemical History of a Candle by Michael Faraday

    The physicist’s classic lecture is reprinted with an introduction by Faraday expert Frank James as a 150th anniversary edition. Oxford Univ., 2011, 192 p., $24.95

  21. Culinary Reactions: The Everyday Chemistry of Cooking by Simon Quellen Field

    This clear primer to the chemistry of cooking goes well beyond the basics to teach cooks how to improve their results scientifically. Chicago Review Press, 2012, 238 p., $16.95

  22. BOOK REVIEW: The Infinity Puzzle: Quantum Field Theory and the Hunt for an Orderly Universe by Frank Close

    Review by Devin Powell.

  23. BOOK REVIEW: Concrete Planet: The Strange and Fascinating Story of the World’s Most Common Man-made Material by Robert Courland

    Review by Sid Perkins.

  24. Consciousness Emerges

    Somewhere along a tangled path, sights, sounds and insights pop into awareness.

  25. Earth

    Making Waves

    Japanese quake gave scientists an unprecedented look at a big tsunami.

  26. Lessons from the Torpid

    Hibernators have some helpful tips for keeping humans healthy

  27. Letters

    Connecting the lincs As a physician, I was absolutely astounded reading “Missing lincs” (SN: 12/17/11, p. 22) and still am. We have been waiting since DNA was discovered to find this ‘what makes us human’ aspect of our biochemistry. Even in the infancy of this research, we are discovering the chemical reasons for a type […]

  28. Soaring pterosaur

    With a mechanical brain, a pterosaur replica soars.

  29. Marketing for Scientists: How to Shine in Tough Times by Marc J. Kuchner

    In tough economic times, this guide helps scientists communicate their research more effectively to land grants, projects or jobs. Island Press, 2011, 240 p., $19.95