Vol. 179 No. #5
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More Stories from the February 26, 2011 issue

  1. Earth

    Glaciers largely stable in one range of Himalayas

    Amid icy retreats in neighboring ranges, ice in Karakoram region may even be growing, thanks to debris cover.

  2. Health & Medicine

    U.S. lags in life expectancy gains

    Among developed countries, Americans spend the most on health care even as they fall behind in extending longevity, a new study finds.

  3. Math

    Unnatural selection

    Inflicting damage on targeted species can help preserve perturbed ecosystems.

  4. Earth

    Dispersants persisted after BP spill

    Chemicals used to break up oil remained in the Gulf’s depths months after being released, an analysis shows.

  5. Humans

    Hints of earlier human exit from Africa

    New finds suggest surprisingly early migrations by Homo sapiens out of Africa through an oasis-studded Arabia.

  6. Life

    Pneumonia drugs helped evolve a superbug

    As told through DNA from historical samples, a deadly bacterium reveals how it developed the ability to evade antibiotics and a vaccine.

  7. Health & Medicine

    Prosthetics that feel

    Re-creating a 'sense of touch' for prosthetic limbs may someday improve how people use them.

  8. Humans

    Amoebas in drinking water: a double threat

    Analysis reveals widespread, hidden contamination by the sometimes lethal parasites.

  9. ‘Love’ hormone has a dark side

    Often associated with feelings of closeness, oxytocin can make people more or less trusting depending on their underlying social outlook.

  10. Life

    Straight to the heart

    New method transforms skin cells directly into beating cardiac cells.

  11. Physics

    Invisibility cloaks hit the big time

    Using natural crystals, researchers have found a way to make objects up to a few millimeters tall disappear.

  12. Life

    Ants manage incest without inbreeding

    An unorthodox family structure may have helped longhorn crazy ants spread around the globe.

  13. Life


    New studies unveil the fire ant genome and why honeybee personalities matter, plus more in the week’s biology news.

  14. Space

    Spacecraft sees signs of 1,200-plus worlds

    The Kepler mission releases information on hundreds of newly discovered candidate planets beyond the solar system, including about 50 that could be habitable.

  15. Health & Medicine

    Bioengineering better blood vessels

    Durable conduits made with a tough protein produced by living cells might improve options for some patients who need heart bypass surgery or kidney dialysis, a new study finds.

  16. Health & Medicine

    No flu vaccine link to Guillain-Barré syndrome found

    A massive study of millions of people in China finds no association between receiving the 2009 H1N1 immunization and developing the rare nervous system disorder.

  17. Physics

    X-raying life’s microscopic machinery

    A powerful new laser technique promises to reveal the cell’s molecular components in detailed, 3-D images.

  18. Space

    First stars may still shine

    Simulations suggest some slow-burning remnants of the early universe may still exist.

  19. Humans


    How cell phones exert subtle mind control, plus more in this week’s news.

  20. Science Future for February 26, 2011

    February 28 Learn about the good and bad of fat tissue at an afternoon symposium in New York City. Go to www.nyas.org/events March 7 At the Houston Museum of Natural Science, a geneticist describes efforts to track humanity’s migratory routes with DNA. See www.hmns.org March 11–12 Dig into the past at the Milwaukee Archaeology Fair. […]

  21. The Skull Collectors: Race, Science, and America’s Unburied Dead by Ann Fabian

    A historian looks back at skull collecting in America and examines how cranial size was used to justify racism. Univ. of Chicago Press, 2010, 270 p., $27.50.

  22. A Professor, a President, and a Meteor: The Birth of American Science by Cathryn J. Prince

    How a meteorite that struck Weston, Conn., in 1807 spurred a Yale chemist to help build the foundations of American scientific research. Prometheus, 2010, 254 p., $26.

  23. Quantum Physics for Poets by Leon M. Lederman and Christopher T. Hill

    Two physicists convey the enigmas of the quantum world in clear and compelling prose. Prometheus, 2011, 338 p., $28.

  24. Soap, Science, and Flat-Screen TVs: A History of Liquid Crystals by David Dunmur and Tim Sluckin

    Learn how liquid crystals were discovered  and how they eventually became the standard in display technology. Oxford Univ. Press, 2010, 345 p., $53.95.

  25. Book Review: Honeybee Democracy by Thomas D. Seeley

    Review by Susan Milius.

  26. Book Review: Blowout in the Gulf: The BP Oil Spill Disaster and the Future of Energy in America by William R. Freudenburg and Robert Gramling

    Review by Janet Raloff.

  27. The costs of putting knowledge into the wrong hands

    As a chemist at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., David Nichols studies psychedelic compounds in a quest to understand the brain, often creating new compounds as part of his research. He was recently dismayed to find himself cited by name in a newspaper article about an amateur chemist who scours the scientific literature for […]

  28. Rivers in the sky

    Atmospheric bands of water vapor can cause flooding and extreme weather

  29. Cerebral Delights

    The amygdala, a part of the brain known for its role in fear, also helps people spot rewards — and go after them.

  30. Brain Boosters

    Some nutritional supplements provide real food for thought.

  31. Letters

    Religion at Sacred Ridge? I follow your magazine with zeal. I was somewhat surprised by “Massacre at Sacred Ridge” (SN: 11/6/10, p. 22), which seems to attribute the slaughter to some action by those who were murdered and does not discuss potential religious overtones of the attack. Is organized religion the culprit in this incident? […]

  32. Science Past from the issue of February 25, 1961

    TRAFFIC CONGESTION SEEN AS FUTURE SPACE PROBLEM— Traffic congestion may be one of the most serious problems man may have to face when he starts commuting regularly from earth to outer space. This new frontier gradually is becoming cluttered with earth-launched orbiting vehicles and other debris.… [A]stronomical observatories, weather, TV and other communication satellites as […]

  33. Moon: A Brief History by Bernd Brunner

    Revisit the wonders of Earth’s next-door neighbor with this cultural and scientific exploration. Yale Univ. Press, 2010, 290 p., $25.