Vol. 180 No. #2

More Stories from the July 16, 2011 issue

  1. Health & Medicine

    Body & Brain

    No link between viral suspect and chronic fatigue, plus reading minds, colored glasses for migraines and more in this week’s news.

  2. Life

    Heart has cellular regeneration ability

    In mice, injecting a protein spurs the organ’s own stem cells to regrow small amounts of tissue after damage.

  3. Physics

    Wave function directly measured

    Physicists reach out and touch an equation.

  4. Physics

    It lives and lases

    A glowing cell can produce laser light.

  5. Tech

    New technique spins superlong nanowires

    Made from any number of materials, fibers are millionths of a millimeter across and kilometers long.

  6. Life

    Ketamine’s antidepressant effect explained

    A potential fast-acting treatment boosts the brain chemical BDNF, which may be lacking in depression.

  7. Life

    Female infidelity may violate goose-gander parity principle

    Female birds stray from their mates in part because of cheating genes from their philandering fathers, a zebra finch study suggests.

  8. Space

    Next solar cycle could be a no-show

    Three lines of evidence suggest that the sun’s next activity cycle will be delayed for years and may not happen at all, an outcome that could have major implications for Earth’s climate.

  9. Chemistry

    Dino proteins could have been sheltered

    An analysis of collagen structure finds protective pockets, backing up claims of preserved tissue finds.

  10. Life

    Loophole found in genetic traffic laws

    In a violation of textbook biology, a modified RNA component can cause the cell's protein-making machinery to run genetic stop signs.

  11. Health & Medicine

    Body & Brain

    The health benefits of wheat and olive oil, plus Down syndrome dementia, a heartbreaking gene and more in this week’s news.

  12. Planetary Science

    Messages from Mercury

    The latest data from a NASA spacecraft give compositional clues and reveal craters that could hold frozen water

  13. Earth

    Earth & Environment

    Earth’s bulging waistline, plus ancient mangrove swamps and new threats from wildfires in this week’s news.

  14. Physics

    Science of friction is a bit rough

    In lab experiments, physicists trying to understand earthquakes are bumping up against the limitations of existing theory.

  15. Earth

    Modern-day sea level rise skyrocketing

    A spike that began during the 19th century appears to be linked to rising temperatures and increasing greenhouse gases.

  16. Physics

    Better putting in a few simple steps

    A physicist develops a rule of thumb for getting the ball in the hole.

  17. Life

    Multicellular life arises in a test tube

    A yeast experiment recapitulates a major early milestone in the history of life.

  18. Paleontology

    Big dinosaurs kept their cool

    Body temperature of long-gone beasts resembled that of mammals, study of fossil teeth suggests.

  19. Space

    Spacecraft goes from crash landing to mission accomplished

    The wreckage of the Genesis probe yields a bonanza of discoveries about conditions in the early solar system.

  20. Life

    Blue light used to treat diabetes

    Illumination triggers control of blood sugar in mice implanted with engineered human cells.

  21. Science Future for July 16, 2011

    July 23 – 24 Learn the secrets of bubbles at the 6th Annual Bubble Days at Baltimore’s Maryland Science Center. Go to www.mdsci.org July 27 Explore the science behind athletics from basketball and cycling to ballet’s toe balancing, in Portland, Ore. Ages 21+. See www.omsi.edu/afterdark July 30 Stargaze with Smithsonian and amateur astronomers near Paris, […]

  22. Science Past from the issue of July 15, 1961

    CERAMICS PROVED BEST FOR POWER GENERATORS — Ceramics have proved to be the best material for checking the white-hot stream of gases in a new kind of electric power generators. Westinghouse Electric Corporation scientists, Pittsburgh, Pa., believe ceramics will be superior to iron and steel for magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) electric power generators. They found that ceramics, […]

  23. Paleontology

    Dinosaurs died of rickets

    After more than 80 years, a theory that too little vitamin D led to the demise of the dinos still awaits a shred of evidence.

  24. Antarctic Wildlife: A Visitor’s Guide by James Lowen

    Buy this book This photographic field guide could come in handy on a cruise of the Antarctic Peninsula, or just be a fun way to learn about life way down under. Princeton Univ. Press, 2011, 240 p., $22.95

  25. Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Oceans’ Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter by Ellen Prager

    Buy this book A tastefully scandalous tour of defensive secretions and extreme sexual flexibility backs up a plea for ocean conservation. Univ. of Chicago Press, 2011, 200 p., $26

  26. Epigenetics by Richard C. Francis

    Buy this book A rollicking narrative goes beyond the gene to show how external influences shape genetic legacy. W. W. Norton & Co., 2011, 224 p., $25.95

  27. The Ragged Edge of the World by Eugene Linden

    Buy this book A journalist follows cargo cults in New Guinea, Pygmies in Africa and other groups to trace industrialization’s effects. Viking, 2011, 256 p., $26.95

  28. Book Review: Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman

    Buy this book People only think they know what they’re doing. In reality, great ideas, decisions and opinions are all generated well before the conscious brain is in on the task, argues Eagleman, a neuroscientist. In fresh, clear prose unencumbered by neuro-jargon, Eagleman weaves descriptions of simple, relatable experiments and compelling case studies throughout the […]

  29. Book Review: A Planet of Viruses by Carl Zimmer

    Buy this book Reading a book about microbes leaves no doubt about who is in charge: They are. Some of Zimmer’s previous books have placed parasites and bacteria at the top of biology’s pecking order. In his latest book, they are viruses. The tiny microorganisms that challenge our notions about what is alive are found […]

  30. Humans

    Collapsing Coastlines

    Gray waves surged over miles and miles of open water, breaking against the bluffs underlying Kaktovik. The tiny village sits precariously on the Beaufort Sea, a frigid body of water bordering Alaska’s northeastern Arctic coast. As the choppy waters inundated vulnerable stretches of shoreline, the surf carved deep chasms into the tall bluffs. GOING… Storms […]

  31. Health & Medicine

    The Power of D

    A nutritional supplement that is free of charge, offers a wide range of health benefits and poses little risk sounds like fodder for a late-night TV commercial. But proponents of vitamin D are increasingly convinced that the sunshine vitamin delivers the goods, no strings attached. A host of studies suggest vitamin D has value that […]

  32. Letters

    Yawn and open your ears I read with interest your article on yawning (“Yawn,” SN: 5/7/11, p. 28). Over the years I have formulated a private theory on at least one of the reasons why we yawn and would like to share my speculations with your readership. My insight essentially began when I noticed that […]

  33. SN Online

    ATOM & COSMOS Researchers finally detect muon neutrinos switching to electron neutrinos, plus more updates in “News in Brief: Atom & Cosmos.” GENES & CELLS Triggering sleep in fruit fly brains turns the bugs’ short-term memories into long-lived ones. Read “From Z’s to A’s.” LIFE Male cleaner fish punish females when they scare big clients […]

  34. Out of Character: Surprising Truths About the Liar, Cheat, Sinner (and Saint) Lurking in All of Us by David DeSteno and Piercarlo Valdesolo

    Subtle changes in environment and context can lead anyone to act as either a saint or a sinner, two psychologists argue, highlighting the flexibility of character. OUT OF CHARACTER Crown Archetype, 2011, 259 p., $25