Vol. 179 No. #2

More Stories from the January 15, 2011 issue

  1. Health & Medicine

    New blood test may predict some heart risk

    People carrying high levels of a protein called cardiac troponin T are more likely to have heart failure or die from cardiovascular problems, two studies show.

  2. Health & Medicine

    A protein’s ebb and flow

    Buildup in the brain of a protein linked to Alzheimer's disease may be due to reduced clearance rather than overproduction of the protein.

  3. Chemistry

    Locks to learn

    A new way to probe interactions between pairs of hairs could offer insights into fly-aways and other tonsorial woes.

  4. Life

    Cells reprogrammed to treat diabetes

    The testes may be an alternate source of insulin production.

  5. Life

    New cellular ‘bones’ revealed

    Proteins that make filaments may offer hints to how cellular scaffolding evolved.

  6. Health & Medicine

    Salvia says high

    Laboratory researchers show that the psychoactive substance in a popular, largely legal recreational drug causes a short but intense period of hallucination.

  7. Life

    Mice missing protein burn more fat

    Research on the receptor for the 'hunger hormone' suggests a molecular strategy for revving up the body’s furnace.

  8. Earth

    Gassy volcanoes tied to mass extinction

    Chemicals from a massive Siberian eruption 250 million years ago may have polluted the atmosphere and killed off most life on the planet.

  9. Earth

    Climate action could save polar bears

    Cutting fossil fuel emissions soon would retain enough sea ice habitat for threatened species, scientists say.

  10. Health & Medicine

    No fear

    A woman who lacks a basic brain structure, the amygdala, couldn’t be frightened no matter how hard researchers tried. And they tried.

  11. Chemistry

    Hornet pigment drives solar cell in lab

    Though far from photosynthetic, an insect's light-harvesting apparatus intrigues scientists.

  12. Space

    Cosmic reincarnation idea may be dead

    Cosmological patterns that were recently put forth as evidence for a pre–Big Bang universe are easily explained by current theory, critics say.

  13. Animals

    Female chimps play with ‘dolls’

    Youngsters mimic mothering by cradling sticks, reigniting debate over sex differences in toy choices.

  14. Life

    Genes separate Africa’s elephant herds

    Genetic work reveals forest and savanna pachyderms as distinct species.

  15. Life

    Neandertal relative bred with humans

    Known only through DNA extracted from a scrap of bone, a Siberian hominid group suggests a much more complicated prehistory for Homo sapiens.

  16. Science Future for January 15, 2011

    January 22 Tweens work with engineers in Boise, Idaho, to design cities. See www.futurecityidaho.org January 26 Science historian Steven Shapin discusses ancient and modern concepts of food science, in New York City. Go to www.nyas.org January 26 Raise a glass to the science of cocktails at San Francisco’s Exploratorium fundraiser. Go to www.exploratorium.edu

  17. The Discovery of Jeanne Baret by Glynis Ridley

    The story of the first woman to sail around the globe — as “Jean Baret”— details her unheralded accomplishments as a botanist and explorer. The Discovery of Jeanne Baret by Glynis Ridley Crown, 2010, 288 p., $25.

  18. The Darwinian Tourist: Viewing the World Through Evolutionary Eyes by Christopher Wills

    A globe-trotting bio­logist explores how evolution has shaped today’s world, from Indonesian corals to Mongolian wolves. Includes more than 100 original photos. The Darwinian Tourist: Viewing the World Through Evolutionary Eyes by Christopher Wills Oxford Univ. Press, 2010, 345 p., $34.95.

  19. The Nazi Symbiosis: Human Genetics and Politics in the Third Reich by Sheila Faith Weiss

    A historian offers a detailed account of genetics research and its ethical ramifications under the Third Reich. The Nazi Symbiosis: Human Genetics and Politics in the Third Reich by Sheila Faith Weiss Univ. of Chicago Press, 2010, 383 p., $45.

  20. Trailblazing Mars: NASA’s Next Giant Leap by Pat Duggins

    A veteran space reporter examines hurdles to human exploration of the Red Planet. Trailblazing Mars: NASA’s Next Giant Leap by Pat Duggins Univ. Press of Florida, 2010, 242 p., $24.95.

  21. Book Review: Here is a Human Being: At the Dawn of Personal Genomics by Misha Angrist

    Genetics isn’t just a dry, academic pursuit — it’s getting personal. In Here is a Human Being, Angrist, a geneticist, introduces people who have already started living in what he calls the DNA Age. They include Angrist himself, who is one of 10 volunteers in a Harvard project that will publicly post participants’ DNA blueprints […]

  22. Health & Medicine

    The Killer of Little Shepherds:

  23. White House science adviser discusses next two years

    Just over a month after the midterm elections, President Obama’s science adviser took the podium in San Francisco at the American Geophysical Union meeting. John Holdren, a physicist and climate scientist, said the White House is making strides in improving the nation’s science and technology policies. Later that week, Holdren’s Office of Science and Technology […]

  24. Young’uns adrift on the sea

    Steve Simpson is gearing up his lab for research he dismissed as loony just two years ago: studying how coral larvae, mere squiggles of still-developing tissue, respond to sound. Like many other marine youngsters, this larval Chaetodon butterfly fish starts life by drifting off into open water. G. David Johnson/NMNH, Smithsonian Institution; water: Peshkov Daniil/shutterstock […]

  25. Physicists join immune fight

    A runny nose, sore throat and fever may send you running to your doctor — a perfectly satisfactory strategy if all you are seeking is relief. Applying their knowledge of biology, doctors can analyze your symptoms and then prescribe the best drugs to alleviate them. But if you want to know what’s really going on […]

  26. Liquid Acquisition

    Water is the life of the party on Earth. From shallow creeks to cascading waterfalls and raging rivers, it’s the primal heartbeat of the planet, nurturing a wealth of biological systems from the very simple to the amazingly complex. But no one knows for sure how Earth got this most precious of fluids. Credit: NASA/GSFC […]

  27. Letters

    Another cell phone annoyance In response to “Why cell phone talkers are annoying” (SN: 10/9/10, p. 13), I contend that these researchers are only addressing half of the problem with their “halfalogue” hypothesis. Years ago, I was struck by how irritating it was to walk near people talking on cell phones and wondered if I […]

  28. Science Past from issue of January 14, 1961

    MAN-MADE DIAMONDS ONE-CARAT SIZE PRODUCED — Large, man-made diamonds, more than a carat in size, have been produced for the first time. The diamonds are dark in color and cannot now be used for industrial purposes because of structural imperfections. They were made at the General Electric Research Laboratory, Schenectady, N. Y., where the first […]

  29. The Leafcutter Ants by Bert Hölldobler and E.O. Wilson

    Two Pulitzer Prize–winning biologists team up to describe ants that farm their own food and form colonies that can be considered advanced civilizations. The Leafcutter Ants by Bert Hölldobler and E.O. Wilson W.W. Norton, 2010, 160 p., $19.95.