Vol. 182 No. #1
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More Stories from the July 14, 2012 issue

  1. Astronomy

    Milky Way will be hit head-on

    The Andromeda galaxy is destined to slam directly into ours, new observations from the Hubble Space Telescope show.

  2. Animals

    How a mosquito survives a raindrop hit

    Lightweight insects can ride a water droplet, as long as they separate from it before hitting the ground.

  3. Health & Medicine

    Why antipsychotics need time to kick in

    Insight into how some schizophrenia drugs work may explain why compounds that build up in the brain can take weeks to provide relief.

  4. Health & Medicine

    Replacing fatty acids may fight MS

    Patients are deficient in four key lipids that neutralize immune cells linked to inflammation and nerve damage.

  5. Space

    Some newfound planets are something else

    A re-evaluation of the Kepler mission’s data suggests one in three hot giant orbs it discovered is actually another kind of object.

  6. Physics

    The electric flour voltage test

    Granular materials give off a zap just before slipping, a finding with potential implications for sensing the starts of silo disasters or earthquakes.

  7. Earth

    Ancient volcanoes destroyed ozone

    Prehistoric eruptions gave off huge amounts of a gas that erodes the UV-blocking atmospheric layer.

  8. Health & Medicine

    Diet sodas may confuse brain’s ‘calorie counter’

    Among regular consumers of sugar-free soft drinks, networks that equate sweet flavors with energy intake may grow numb to the real stuff.

  9. Life

    Grasshoppers’ terror outlives them

    After an existence plagued by predatory spiders, the insects pass into oblivion, leaving a legacy of impoverished soil.

  10. Earth

    13th century volcano mystery may be solved

    Indonesian volcano may be the culprit in the biggest eruption of the last seven millennia.

  11. Astronomy

    Giant celestial disk hard to explain

    A star's oversized debris ring challenges theories of planet formation.

  12. Space

    American Astronomical Society Meeting

    Highlights from the 220th AAS meeting held June 10-14 in Anchorage, Alaska.

  13. Health & Medicine

    Like a prion, Alzheimer’s protein seeds itself in the brain

    Injecting amyloid-beta into mice may induce misfolding of native amyloid-beta molecules, leading to the buildup associated with the neuron-killing disease.

  14. Life

    Second of two blocked flu papers released

    Held back for months by a U.S. government biosafety board, the research pinpoints five mutations that render the potent H5N1 virus transmissible through air.

  15. Health & Medicine

    Body and Brain

    Good touch, bad touch A leg caress can delight or feel totally skeevy, depending on who’s doing the caressing. A touch’s emotional baggage can be seen in the brain’s initial response to that touch, scientists report in the June 19 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Heterosexual men’s somatosensory cortices, brain regions that detect […]

  16. Science Future for July 14, 2012

    August 1 1970s-era Soviet space artifacts go on display at the new visitor center for the Space Foundation headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo. See bit.ly/SFspace70s August 4 The San Diego Zoo’s Black and White Overnight event offers an evening talk by a panda researcher and an early morning visit to the panda exhibit, plus other […]

  17. SN Online

    ENVIRONMENT Snow layers warm northern soils, reducing how much climate-warming carbon the ground can hold. See “Arctic’s wintry blanket can be warming.” Jeff Kanipe ON THE SCENE BLOG A Science News editor visits Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull in “Icelandic volcanoes slumber today, but not forever.” GENES & CELLS Sirtuin proteins, associated with longer life spans, also help […]

  18. Bringing science to Buddhist monks

    As a senior staff scientist at the Exploratorium museum in San Francisco, Paul Doherty has taught kids, high school teachers and the audience of the Late Show with David Letterman about physics. But when he visited India last year, he had a different set of students: monks and nuns. Monks in India learn about physics, […]

  19. The Universe in Zero Words: The Story of Mathematics as Told through Equations Dana Mackenzie

    This history of mathematics revels in the logical beauty of 24 equations that describe the workings of the universe. Princeton Univ., 2012, 224 p., $27.95

  20. The Value of Species by Edward L. McCord

    A naturalist explores reasons to care about preserving species that don’t have practical use to people. Yale Univ., 2012, 184 p., $25

  21. No Time to Lose: A Life in Pursuit of Deadly Viruses by Peter Piot

    A microbiologist tells tales of his adventures in Africa battling infectious diseases from Ebola to AIDS. W.W. Norton & Co., 2012, 304 p., $28.95

  22. Secret Lives of Ants by Jae Choe

    Enter  the miniature world of ants and learn about their societies, from massacres and  power plays to self-sacrifice and factory-like enterprises. Johns Hopkins Univ., 2012, 156 p., $34.95

  23. BOOK REVIEW: The Man with the Bionic Brain: And Other Victories over Paralysis by Jon Mukand

    Review by Laura Sanders.

  24. BOOK REVIEW: Dialogues on 2012: Why the World Will Not End by Christopher Keating

    Review by Tina Hesman Saey.

  25. Chasing a Cosmic Engine

    After 100 years, energetic space particles continue to pose a perplexing mystery.

  26. Animals

    Mosquitoes Remade

    Scientists reinvent agents of illness to become allies in fight against disease.

  27. Letters

    Redesigning flu mortality In “Designer flu” (SN: 6/2/12, p. 20), researcher Michael Osterholmis quoted as saying that even if the actual kill rate of H5N1 is 20 times lower than the current estimate of 59 percent, H5N1 would still have a mortality rate that “far exceeds” that of the 1918 flu. Wikipedia gives a 1918 […]

  28. Science Past from the issue of July, 1962

    DEFORMED BABIES BORN AS RESULT OF SEDATIVE —Some 800 deformed babies are expected to be born in the United Kingdom as a result of their mothers taking a dangerous sleeping pill during early pregnancy. The drug, thalidomide, was previously reported in West Germany as causing some 400 abnormal births. It has now been withdrawn from […]

  29. Bird Sense: What It’s Like to Be a Bird by Tim Birkhead

    A look at what it’s like to be a bird explores avian senses and traces how scientists have studied birds through time. Walker & Co., 2012, 288 p., $25