Vol. 164 No. #2

More Stories from the July 12, 2003 issue

  1. Animals

    Flight burns less fuel than stopovers

    The first measurements of energy use in migrating songbirds confirms that birds burn more energy during stopovers along the way than during their total flying time.

    By
  2. U.S. survey probes depression care

    More than half of all people with major depression now seek treatment for the disorder, but only 1 in 5 depressed people receives what psychiatrists consider to be adequate medication and psychotherapy.

    By
  3. Let there be light

    Ultraviolet light may have favored, not hindered, the creation of RNA on early Earth.

    By
  4. Plants

    Crop genes diffuse in seedy ways

    A study of sugar beets in France suggests that genes may escape to wild relatives through seeds accidentally transported by humans rather than through drifting pollen.

    By
  5. Adults’ brains show temperamental side

    Using brain-imaging techniques, psychologists have identified possible neural locations underlying shyness or gregariousness.

    By
  6. Earth

    Antimosquito coils release toxic fumes

    Researchers have measured several pollutants in smoke emitted from so-called mosquito coils, which people burn at night to fend off insects.

    By
  7. Tech

    Giving solar cells the rough treatment

    A new solar cell design that traps photons in the crevices of a bumpy surface uses low-cost materials and may make these cells more commercially appealing.

    By
  8. Animals

    Killer sex, literally

    Videotapes of yellow garden spiders show that if a female doesn't murder her mate, he'll expire during sex anyway.

    By
  9. Astronomy

    Record Breaker: A planet from the early universe

    Astronomers have found the oldest and most distant planet known in the universe.

    By
  10. Paleontology

    Secrets of Dung: Ancient poop yields nuclear DNA

    Researchers have extracted remnants of DNA from cells preserved in the desiccated dung of an extinct ground sloth.

    By
  11. Earth

    Double Trees: City trees grow bigger than country cousins

    Clones of an Eastern cottonwood grow twice as well in the New York metropolitan sprawl as in rural New York State.

    By
  12. Earth

    More Than a Miner Problem: Asbestos exposure is prevalent in mining community

    A new study of the residents of Libby, Mont., confirms that even people who don't work with asbestos can have lung abnormalities caused by the mineral.

    By
  13. Tech

    Soft blow hardens Columbia-disaster theory

    By blasting a gaping hole in a shuttle wing with a block of foam fired from a gun, a NASA investigative team appears to have confirmed the leading theory of what caused the Feb. 1 destruction of the space shuttle Columbia.

    By
  14. Health & Medicine

    DNA Differences Add Risk: Altered genes show up in Lou Gehrig’s disease

    People with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are more likely than healthy people to have certain variations in the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) gene, suggesting variant VEGF contributes to the disease.

    By
  15. Earth

    Digging for Fire: Burning peat underlies Mali’s hot ground

    Superheated ground and smoking potholes in northern Mali are evidence not of volcanic activity but of a layer of peat that is burning 2 feet below the desert surface.

    By
  16. Humans

    Udder Beauty

    Sophisticated screening of livestock championship winners may become as common as urine tests of Olympic athletes.

    By
  17. Life

    All the World’s a Phage

    There are an amazing number of bacteriophages—viruses that kill bacteria—in the world.

    By