Vol. 177 No. #5

More Stories from the February 27, 2010 issue

  1. Life

    Carnations had evolutionary bloom boom in Europe

    New species have evolved at a surprisingly rapid pace, new study suggests

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  2. Space

    Mars rover Spirit still running, but only in place

    Six years into its 90-day mission, NASA’s rover becomes a lander

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  3. Health & Medicine

    Searing the heart for the better

    Electrode-tipped catheter destroys heart tissue to stifle atrial fibrillation, sometimes performing better than meds, study shows.

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  4. Life

    For pipefish, measly Mr. Mom needs help

    In species with pregnant males, females may put something extra into eggs.

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  5. Earth

    Dinosaurs, in living color

    Researchers find microscopic structures in some fossils that may have held pigments.

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  6. Health & Medicine

    Running barefoot blunts foot’s force

    A new study finds that going shoeless tempers impact but can’t say whether this difference reduces injuries.

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  7. Climate

    Water vapor slowed recent global warming trend

    A decline in stratospheric water vapor has slowed Earth’s surface warming slightly in recent years.

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  8. Archaeology

    Skeleton of Western man found in ancient Mongolian tomb

    A genetic analysis of a skeleton from an ancient Asian tomb illuminates the spread of Indo-Europeans.

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  9. Life

    Skin cells transformed directly into neurons

    Researchers making neurons bypass the need to revert cells to an embryonic state.

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  10. Science & Society

    A modest proposal for federal science spending

    President’s proposed FY 2011 budget outlines 5.9 percent increase in nondefense-related research and development funding.

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  11. Space

    Ancient dawn’s early light refines age of universe

    Satellite images reveal new aspects of Big Bang’s relic radiation.

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  12. Health & Medicine

    Small study hints SSRIs delay breast milk in new moms

    Women taking the antidepressant drugs began lactating later.

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  13. Computing

    Leaf veins loopy for a reason

    A computer simulation finds that leaves' circular networks are efficient at getting around damaged spots and varying distribution load.

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  14. Physics

    Algae use quantum trick to harvest light

    A new study finds that proteins used in photosynthesis take advantage of electrons’ wavelike properties

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  15. Earth

    Oldest feathered dino shows its colors

    Analysis of a fossil suggests plumage first evolved for display, not flight.

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  16. Health & Medicine

    Protein clumps like a prion, but proves crucial for long-term memory

    Study in slugs hints that some molecular 'misbehavior' in neurons may help solidify learning.

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  17. Life

    Sperm’s pore propulsion

    Scientists identify a key proton channel that helps explain the dash to fertilization.

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  18. Science Future for February 27, 2010

    March 16 After a week of interviews, the winner of Intel Science Talent Search 2010 is announced at a gala in Washington, D.C. See www.societyforscience.org March 16–19 Researchers from various disciplines meet in Miami to discuss the state of the Arctic environment. See soa.arcus.org March 21–25 The American Chemical Society hosts its spring meeting in […]

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  19. The Perfect Swarm: The Science of Complexity in Everyday Life by Len Fisher

    Complex systems often stem from an accumulation of simple patterns. Basic Books, 2009, 260 p., $22.95. THE PERFECT SWARM: THE SCIENCE OF COMPLEXITY IN EVERYDAY LIFE BY LEN FISHER

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  20. Perfect Rigor: A Genius and the Mathematical Breakthrough of the Century by Masha Gessen

    How a mathematician solved a seemingly unsolvable problem and turned down the million-dollar prize. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009, 242 p., $26. PERFECT RIGOR: A GENIUS AND THE MATHEMATICAL BREAKTHROUGH OF THE CENTURY BY MASHA GESSEN

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  21. A Bird-Finding Guide to Costa Rica by Barrett Lawson

    The country with the highest percentage of preserved land in the world has many birding opportunities, described here by location. Cornell University Press, 2009, 365 p., $29.95. A BIRD-FINDING GUIDE TO COSTA RICA BY BARRETT LAWSON

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  22. The Tree Rings’ Tale: Understanding Our Changing Climate by John Fleck

    Young adults can learn how scientists use tree rings to document climate change. University of New Mexico Press, 2009, 91 p., $21.95. THE TREE RINGS’ TALE: UNDERSTANDING OUR CHANGING CLIMATE BY JOHN FLECK

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  23. Book Review: The Hidden Brain by Shankar Vedantam

    A crowd watches passively as a man brutally beats a woman on a Detroit bridge. An investor selects a company solely on the basis of an easy-to-read ticker symbol. A worker in a burning building wastes precious seconds asking others whether to evacuate. The decisions these real-life people made may sound cruel or stupid, but […]

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  24. Book Review: Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth by Randi Hutter Epstein

    The “me” in the title of Epstein’s book refers not only to the baby, but also to any mother who might want out of the medical way of giving birth prevalent in Western culture today. After saying that the book’s guidance “should pique your curiosity to think about the medical maze in a different sort […]

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  25. Assessing the state of U.S. science and engineering

    Every two years, the National Science Board reports to the president and Congress about the state of the science landscape. This year’s Science and Engineering Indicators report was presented to the White House on January 15. The chairman of the board’s Science and Engineering Indicators committee, physicist Louis Lanzerotti of the New Jersey Institute of […]

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  26. Weed Killer in the Crosshairs

    Each year, American farmers and turf managers apply some 34 million kilograms of atrazine to quash broad-leaved and grassy weeds. Most treatments go to protect corn, sorghum, sugarcane and cotton, though golf courses sometimes tap the weed killer to maintain immaculate fairways and putting greens. UNDER THE HOOD With hooded sprayers, farmers can direct herbicide […]

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  27. Of Swine and Men

    As viruses go, H1N1 is a genetic pip-squeak. Like its influenza brethren, it possesses only eight genes. Yet those few genes are telling researchers a complex story about where this newly infamous virus came from, and, more importantly, where it might go. IT’S IN THE AIR Tim Vernon, LTH NHS Trust/Photo Researchers, Inc.; Virus: Eraxion/iStockphoto […]

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  28. Quantum on Quantum

    Almost three decades ago, Richard Feynman — known popularly as much for his bongo drumming and pranks as for his brilliant insights into physics — told an electrified audience at MIT how to build a computer so powerful that its simulations “will do exactly the same as nature.” Not approximately, as digital computers tend to […]

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  29. Science Past from the issue of February 27, 1960

    HUMAN SPIES FOR RUSSIA CHEAPER THAN SATELLITES — It would be cheaper for Russia to spy on the U.S. through normal channels than by putting a reconnaissance satellite into orbit…. Russian agents in the U.S. can glean vast amounts of solid information merely by reading several major metropolitan daily newspapers…. The Department of Defense thus […]

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  30. Isaac Newton on Mathematical Certainty and Method by Niccolò Guicciardini

    A science historian analyzes Newton’s philosophy of mathematics. MIT Press, 2009, 422 p., $55. ISAAC NEWTON ON MATHEMATICAL CERTAINTY AND METHOD BY NICCOLò GUICCIARDINI

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