Vol. 171 No. #2
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More Stories from the January 13, 2007 issue

  1. Earth

    Yes, it’s asbestos

    Federal mineralogists have corroborated earlier evidence that Sierra-foothills communities around Sacramento, Calif., are built atop soils naturally laced with asbestos.

  2. Tech

    A backpack with a suspension system

    A new backpack design that uses elastic cords to minimize the pack's vertical motion could lessen bodily strain on wearers and reduce the effort required to carry a load.

  3. Health & Medicine

    Good news for people with clotting disorder

    Several experimental drugs show promise against the bleeding disorder known as immune thrombocytopenic purpura.

  4. Health & Medicine

    Putting the kibosh on black cohosh

    The herbal supplement black cohosh is no more effective than a placebo in reducing the number of daily hot flashes in menopausal women.

  5. Stem cells float in amniotic fluid

    Scientists have discovered a new type of stem cell in the fluid that bathes fetuses in the womb.

  6. Agriculture

    Big footprints

    Livestock production carries surprisingly high, and largely hidden, environmental costs.

  7. Humans

    Congress upgrades fisheries protection

    Congress has reauthorized and strengthened a 30-year-old federal law governing fishing and ocean management.

  8. Genes discovered for sensing carbon dioxide

    Researchers have tracked down a pair of genes that, together, seem responsible for some insects' ability to sense carbon dioxide.

  9. Health & Medicine

    Folic Acid Dilemma: One vitamin may impair cognition if another is lacking

    The nutrient folic acid is generally good for brain health, but research now suggests that too much of it might harm people who get too little vitamin B12.

  10. Astronomy

    Fleet Finding: Speed of Milky Way’s companions poses puzzle

    New measurements of the speed of two familiar companion galaxies to the Milky Way suggest some unfamiliar possibilities.

  11. Ecosystems

    Alien Alert: Shrimpy invader raises big concerns

    A shrimplike European invader just discovered in the Great Lakes could prove ecologically disruptive to populations of native lake animals.

  12. Health & Medicine

    No Fluke: New weapon against tropical parasite

    An experimental drug shows potential against schistosomiasis.

  13. Plants

    Biggest Bloom: Superflower changes branch on family tree

    The plants with the world's largest flowers, the rafflesias, need to be moved closer to poinsettias on the family tree of plant life.

  14. Materials Science

    Electrode Enhancements: New materials may boost fuel cell performance

    Two teams have independently discovered ways to dramatically improve the materials used in the electrodes of fuel cells.

  15. Chemistry

    Switch Hitters: Antibacterial compounds target new mechanism to kill microbes

    Recently discovered ribonucleic acid segments, called riboswitches, may become prime targets for new antibacterial drugs.

  16. Physics

    Cellular Contortionist

    Mounting, but controversial, evidence suggests that DNA flexes more easily than previously thought, with potentially important implications for genetics, cell biology, and nanotechnology.

  17. Computing

    Digital Fingerprints

    New methods to identify Internet users by their behavior can uncover criminals online, but these techniques may also track millions of innocent users.

  18. Humans

    Letters from the January 13, 2007, issue of Science News

    Sunny exposition “The Antibiotic Vitamin” (SN: 11/11/06, p. 312) reminds me that in preantibiotic days, tuberculosis patients were put on a fresh-air-and-sunshine regimen. Could the vitamin D so acquired account for the cures this system sometimes produced? Nancy AxfordSacramento, Calif. Researcher John J. Cannell points to TB sanitariums as anecdotal evidence that sunlight fights infections.—J. […]