Vol. 165 No. #9

More Stories from the February 28, 2004 issue

  1. Blocked gene gives mice super smell

    Deactivating a single gene can produce mice with an abnormally sharp sense of smell.

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  2. Archaeology

    How agriculture ground to a start

    A major advance in agriculture occurred around 11,000 years ago, when western Asians began to walk through patches of wild barley and wheat and scoop handfuls of ripened grains off the ground, a report suggests.

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  3. Health & Medicine

    Primate virus found in zoo workers

    Viruses related to HIV can be found in the blood of some zoo staff and other people who work with primates, although the infections don't appear to be harmful.

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  4. Health & Medicine

    HIV infects 1 in 100 in New York

    A change in how New York City officials identify and track cases of HIV infection has yielded the clearest picture yet of how deeply rooted that city's epidemic has become.

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  5. Animals

    Feral breed lacks domestic dogs’ skill

    Wild dogs that haven't lived with people for 5,000 years share little of the capacity of their domesticated cousins for interpreting human gestures.

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  6. Microbe exhibits out-of-body activity

    New evidence indicates that anthrax bacteria may sometimes live freely and reproduce in soil, perhaps exchanging genes with other bacteria, instead of staying dormant in spores.

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  7. Anthropology

    Linguists in Siberia record dying tongues

    Researchers trekking through remote Russian villages have identified and interviewed some of the last remaining speakers of two Turkic languages.

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  8. Math

    The calculus of love

    Mathematical equations can predict whether a couple will divorce.

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  9. Materials Science

    Hard Stuff: Cooked diamonds don’t dent

    When exposed to high heat and pressure, single-crystal diamonds become extraordinarily hard.

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  10. Math

    Toss Out the Toss-Up: Bias in heads-or-tails

    Coin tossing is inherently biased, with the coin more likely to land on the same face it started on.

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  11. Astronomy

    Wrenching Findings: Homing in on dark energy

    In an analysis of a group of distant supernovas, astronomers have found hints that dark energy is distributed uniformly throughout space.

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  12. Animals

    Fox Selection: Bottleneck survivors show surprising variety

    Foxes native to a California island—famous for the least genetic diversity ever reported in a sexually reproducing animal—have some variation after all.

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  13. Song Sung Blue: In brain, music and language overlap

    Different classical-music passages facilitate thinking about specific verbal categories, triggering brain responses previously seen only when people recognized related linguistic meanings.

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  14. Paleontology

    Old Colonies: Ancient formations are termites’ legacy

    New analyses of mysterious pillars at two sites in southern Africa suggest that the sandstone features are petrified remains of large, elaborate termite nests.

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  15. Health & Medicine

    Averting Pain: Epilepsy drug limits migraine attacks

    A drug normally used against epilepsy can prevent migraine headaches.

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  16. Computing

    Straining for Speed

    Hitting fundamental limits on how small they can make certain structures within semiconductor transistors, chip makers are deforming the silicon crystals from which those transistors are made to eke out some extra speed.

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  17. Health & Medicine

    Inflammatory Fat

    Immune system cells may underlie much of the disease-provoking injury in obese individuals that has been linked to their excess fat.

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  18. Humans

    Letters from the Feb. 28, 2004, issue of Science News

    It’s tough in there In the arts, we say that material, such as paper, that deteriorates readily because of its composition (“News That’s Fit to Print—and Preserve,” SN: 1/10/04, p. 24: News That’s Fit to Print—and Preserve) has “internal vice.” I suppose that could be said of newspapers on several grounds. Lawrence Wallin Santa Barbara, […]

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