Vol. 175 No. #3

More Stories from the January 31, 2009 issue

  1. Health & Medicine

    Fewer dopamine receptors makes for risky business 

    Brain-scanning study in people sees link between personality, dopamine system.

    By
  2. Humans

    Stone Age tools go south

    Diamond-mining pits have yielded stone artifacts old enough to suggest that hand axe production started 1.6 million years ago in southern Africa, not just in eastern Africa.

    By
  3. Space

    Core of the galaxy in high-res

    New high-resolution mosaic sharpens understanding of Milky Way’s turbulent center.

    By
  4. Space

    This just in: Milky Way as massive as 3 trillion suns

    Heftier size puts our galaxy on par with its neighbor Andromeda, implying a closer collision date. Findings also suggest Milky Way has four spiral arms.

    By
  5. Math

    Mathematicians show how beetles can share a niche

    New equations help solve decades-old puzzle of why one species doesn’t always outcompete another.

    By
  6. Health & Medicine

    Parkinson’s brain surgery works in older patients, too

    A surgery in which two tiny electrodes are placed in the brain improves the quality of life of patients with Parkinson’s disease, including older patients, and seems to have only short-term side effects.

    By
  7. Earth

    Early asteroids unexpectedly crusty

    Two meteorites retrieved from West Antarctica, fragments of an ancient asteroid, contain a type of rock commonly found in Earth’s crust but previously unseen in meteorites.

    By
  8. Health & Medicine

    Early C-sections pose risks

    Babies delivered by elective cesarean section just a week or two before 39 weeks of gestation face increased risk of respiratory and other complications.

    By
  9. Health & Medicine

    Record low for human blood oxygen levels

    Study of Mt. Everest climbers shows some bodies can tolerate low oxygen levels that are toxic to others.

    By
  10. Humans

    Migrants settled New World in tandem

    A genetic investigation of two rare types of mitochondrial DNA in Native Americans suggests that people first entered the Americas in two groups, following separate routes.

    By
  11. Space

    Tuned in to new noise from the cosmos

    Unexplained radio noise may be signals from the early universe.

    By
  12. Health & Medicine

    Sirtuin shown to control gene activity

    A previously overlooked protein called SIRT6 provides some molecular clues to aging.

    By
  13. Life

    Love song of the dengue vector mosquito

    Male and female mosquitoes harmonize pitch when in the mood.

    By
  14. Math

    Calculating the geography of crime

    A mathematician fine-tunes how to blend crime records, geography to track down serial criminals.

    By
  15. Life

    Superloud moth jams bat sonar

    Newly recorded moth could be the first demonstrated case of natural sonar-jamming.

    By
  16. Science Future for January 31, 2009

    February 7–15 Wonders of Physics annual show at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Visit sprott.physics.wisc.edu/wop.htm February 12 A global celebration of Charles Darwin’s birthday. Visit www.darwinday.org February 14–15 Take your valentine on a simulated Mars mission at the Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland, Calif. Visit www.chabotspace.org

    By
  17. The Dominant Animal – Human Evolution and the Environment Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich

    How human culture has shaped the environment, and how the environment has, in turn, shaped evolution. The Dominant Animal – Human Evolution and the Environment by Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich Island Press, 2008, 428 p., $35

    By
  18. Evolution: A Little History of a Great Idea by Gerard Cheshire

    A compact guide with one-page chapters covering natural selection, epigenetics, the anthropic principle and everything in between. Walker & Company, 2008, 58 p., $12 Evolution: A Little History of a Great Idea by Gerard Cheshire

    By
  19. The Stuff of Life: A Graphic Guide to Genetics and DNA by Mark Schultz

    A scientist from an asexual alien race provides a primer on genetics in this graphic novel for teenagers. Hill and Wang, 2009, 150 p., $14.95 The Stuff of Life: A Graphic Guide to Genetics and DNA by Mark Schultz

    By
  20. Book Review: Charles Darwin: The ‘Beagle’ Letters by Frederick Burkhardt (Editor)

    Charles Darwin was a prolific letter writer — not unusual in his day, of course, before telephones, e-mail and Facebook. A little less usual is the degree to which his correspondence has been preserved, and so widely read. Charles Darwin: The ‘Beagle’ Letters, Frederick Burkhardt, editor Darwin died in 1882, and collecting and assessing Darwinabilia […]

    By
  21. Book Review: Freaks of Nature – What Anomalies Tell Us About Development and Evolution by Mark S. Blumberg

    Onlookers gape at freaks. Despite a person’s best efforts, it is hard to turn away from conjoined twins, one-eyed infants and legless anythings. But Blumberg, a professor of psychology and editor in chief of Behavioral Neuroscience, argues that scientists haven’t given nature’s oddities enough attention. Freaks of Nature: What Anomalies Tell Us About Development and […]

    By
  22. Life

    Darwin’s natural selection redefined the idea of design

    By
  23. Life

    Evolution’s Evolution

    Darwin’s dangerous idea has adapted to modern biology

    By
  24. Life

    Molecular Evolution

    Investigating the genetic books of life reveals new details of 'descent with modification' and the forces driving it.

    By
  25. Life

    Darwin’s Evolution

    Darwin's life and his contribution to science.

    By
  26. SN Special : Darwin turns 200

    This special Web edition of Science News includes expanded versions of articles from the magazine’s print edition plus two additional features, all commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin.

    By
  27. Life

    Darwin Web Special PDFs

    By
  28. Life

    Step-by-step Evolution

    Hard to find, but very fruitful when found, transitional fossils fill in the gaps in the paleontological record.

    By
  29. Letters

    Right-left preference In the article “Body in mind” (SN: 10/25/08, p. 24), Dr. Casasanto speaks of results with people who are left-handed or right-handed. But no mention is made of people who are innately ambidextrous, as in my family. Has he worked with any of these people? What about people who are almost ambidextrous but […]

    By
  30. Science Past for January 31, 1959

    SEA VOICE MAY WARN REDS OF COMING STORMS — By listening to the sea’s voice, Russian scientists say they may be able to detect approaching storms. A Scientific Information Report circulated by the Central Intelligence Agency carries an abstract from an “unevaluated” paper prepared by Ya. Petrov, a Russian scientist. [He] says … V. V. […]

    By
  31. Voyages of Discovery: A Visual Celebration of Ten of the Greatest Natural History Expeditions by Dr. Tony Rice

    Artwork and photographs from the collection of the Natural History Museum in London document three centuries of exploration. Voyages of Discovery: A Visual Celebration of Ten of the Greatest Natural History Expeditions by Dr. Tony Rice Firefly Books, 2008, 335 p., $39.95

    By