Vol. 161 No. #4

More Stories from the January 26, 2002 issue

  1. Health & Medicine

    Cancer clue: RNA-destroying enzyme may thwart prostate-tumor growth

    Scientists have found a mutated gene that predisposes men of some families to prostate cancer.

    By
  2. Chemistry

    Making silicon naturally: Chemists glimpse organic substance in plankton

    For the first time, researchers have found a compound composed of both carbon and silicon within a living organism.

    By
  3. Humans

    Forbidden tests: Panel seeks ban on human clones

    A national advisory panel has asked Congress to forbid cloning aimed at creating a child but urged the lawmakers to permit other medical experiments with cloned human cells.

    By
  4. Tech

    Little levers for satellites: Cilia may precisely dock tiny spacecraft

    Tiny artificial hairs that imitate biological cilia flex with enough muscle and finesse to maneuver tiny satellites into place for docking with a mother ship.

    By
  5. Biology of rank: Social status sets up monkeys’ cocaine use

    Male monkeys' position in the social pecking order influences their brain chemistry in ways that promote either resistance or susceptibility to the reinforcing effects of cocaine.

    By
  6. Health & Medicine

    Anthrax-toxin component deciphered

    Scientists have figured out the molecular structure of edema factor, a component of the anthrax toxin.

    By
  7. Health & Medicine

    The right fats: Omega-3 fatty acids soothe inflamed colons

    A diet containing fish oil, which is rich in healthful omega-3 fatty acids, reduces symptoms of a colitis-like condition in rats.

    By
  8. Humans

    Smallpox redux: World body suggests keeping the virus

    Fear of bioterrorism has led the World Health Organization to postpone its 2002 deadline for destruction of smallpox virus stocks so that scientists can refine current vaccines and improve defenses against the disease.

    By
  9. Plants

    Shower power: Raindrops shoot seeds out with a splat

    In a seed-dispersal mechanism scientists have never seen before in flowering plants, rain plops into a capsule and makes seeds shoot out the corners.

    By
  10. Earth

    Algae do battle with bioweaponry

    Beneath the frozen surface of Sweden's lakes, algae wage wars over nutrients, and one combatant apparently prevails by releasing chemicals toxic to its adversaries.

    By
  11. Health & Medicine

    A new way to lower cholesterol

    New agents lower cholesterol in a slightly different way than do statins, the most widely used cholesterol-lowering drugs.

    By
  12. Nerve cells ring in the Winter Olympics

    Scientists in Utah have sculpted living nerve cells into a microscopic version of the interlocking rings that symbolize the Olympic games.

    By
  13. Materials Science

    Metallic materials made to order

    A new process for creating specifically patterned, three-dimensional microstructures could lead to new catalysts or optoelectronic devices.

    By
  14. Astronomy

    Are pictures of extrasolar planets in the offing?

    The first image of a planet orbiting a star other than the sun may be only a year away.

    By
  15. Astronomy

    Seeing green: Color of the cosmos

    We live in a pale-green universe, according to astronomers who analyzed the colors of some 200,000 galaxies as part of the largest galaxy survey completed to date.

    By
  16. Computing

    Calculating Cartoons

    Thanks to sophisticated computer simulations of the laws of physics, spectacular special effects—plus a zoo of strange but real-looking creatures—increasingly enliven movie screens and computer-game consoles.

    By
  17. Health & Medicine

    The Persistent Problem of Cystic Fibrosis

    Ten years after the discovery of the gene that, when mutated, causes cystic fibrosis, researchers are still struggling to understand why deadly lung infections are so common among people with the disease.

    By