Vol. 178 No. #2

More Stories from the July 17, 2010 issue

  1. Health & Medicine

    Different berries, similar cancer-fighting effects

    Animal tests suggest that esophageal and breast cancer might make good targets for several types of berries as dietary supplements.

  2. Life

    Forget mice, elephants intimidated by ants

    Swarms of little nuisances have an outsized effect on who nibbles which trees in the African savanna.

  3. Health & Medicine

    Vitamin B6 linked to lowered lung cancer risk

    High levels of folate and the amino acid methionine also seem to help, a new study finds.

  4. Health & Medicine

    Genetic defect tied to autoimmune diseases

    Rare mutations in an enzyme lead to several different disorders.

  5. Humans

    For sight-reading music, practice doesn’t make perfect

    Individual memory differences may set upper limits on pianists’ sight-reading skill, regardless of their experience.

  6. Physics

    Physics in free fall

    Physicists drop supercold atoms down an elevator shaft to see what will happen.

  7. Earth

    Even a newborn canyon is big in Texas

    A flood carved a surprisingly large gorge that may help understand features on Earth and Mars.

  8. Anthropology

    Lucy fossil gets jolted upright by Big Man

    Scientists have unearthed a 3.6-million-year-old partial hominid skeleton that may recast the iconic species as humanlike walkers.

  9. Animals

    Climate change may favor couch-potato elk

    With drought and rising temperatures in Wyoming, migratory animals suffer while stay-at-home members of the same herd thrive

  10. Health & Medicine

    Stopping platelets at the source

    An experimental treatment may prevent harmful clotting and less need for drugs that increase bleeding risk, a study in baboons shows.

  11. Life

    Vestigial no more

    Gene doppelgängers may help regulate their look-alikes.

  12. Health & Medicine

    Snakes on the brain

    In a bizarre experiment, researchers delve into the neural roots of courage.

  13. Physics

    Memories made of light

    Physicists find a more efficient way to store quantum information in a crystal, a step towards super-secure quantum communications.

  14. Earth

    Antarctic shoal breaks the ice

    Instruments on a massive berg help pinpoint a previously unreported undersea ridge.

  15. Blind mice see again

    Researchers use a bacterial gene to cure blindness in mice.

  16. Archaeology

    Serbian site may have hosted first copper makers

    Newly identified remnants of copper smelting at a 7,000-year-old Serbian site fuel debate over where and when this practice began.

  17. Neutrino experiments sow seeds of possible revolution

    Recent results from two experiments that examine the behavior of neutrinos and anti-neutrinos hint at the possibility of a revolution in particle physics.

  18. Computing

    Circling the square

    The scientist who scanned the first digital image aims to smooth the pixel.

  19. Ecosystems

    Bats, wolves feel the heat

    News from the annual meeting of the American Society of Mammalogists in Laramie, Wyo., June 11-15

  20. Science Future for July 17, 2010

    July 25 – 29 An international group of animal behavior specialists meets in Williamsburg, Va. See animalbehaviorsociety.org/absmeetings August 22 – 26 The fall meeting of the American Chemical Society is held in Boston. See www.acs.org September 1 Deadline to submit videos for Science’s “Dance Your Ph.D.” Contest. See submission guidelines at gonzolabs.org/dance

  21. Super Structures: The Science of Bridges, Buildings, Dams, and Other Feats of Engineering by Mark Denny

    Structures stand, soar and collapse based on fundamental physics principles. SUPER STRUCTURES: THE SCIENCE OF BRIDGES, BUILDINGS, DAMS, AND OTHER FEATS OF ENGINEERING BY MARK DENNY Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2010, 266 p., $30.

  22. Life in the Hothouse: How a Living Planet Survives Climate Change by Melanie Lenart

    A scientist explains how the planet adjusts to warming. LIFE IN THE HOTHOUSE: HOW A LIVING PLANET SURVIVES CLIMATE CHANGE BY MELANIE LENART Univ. of Arizona Press, 2010, 236 p., $22.95.

  23. Remembering Smell: A Memoir of Losing – and Discovering – the Primal Sense by Bonnie Blodgett

    The author’s experience with anosmia leads her to explore the biology and cultural context of smell. REMEMBERING SMELL: A MEMOIR OF LOSING – AND DISCOVERING – THE PRIMAL SENSE BY BONNIE BLODGETT Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010, 256 p., $24.

  24. Explaining Research: How to Reach Key Audiences to Advance Your Work by Dennis Meredith

    Scientists can use new and traditional media to communicate findings to the public. EXPLAINING RESEARCH: HOW TO REACH KEY AUDIENCES TO ADVANCE YOUR WORK BY DENNIS MEREDITH Oxford Univ. Press, 2010, 357 p., $35.

  25. Book Review: Pandora’s Seed: The Unforeseen Cost of Civilization by Spencer Wells

    At first glance, it’s hard to see the downside of being civilized. Compared with Stone Age living, an office job doesn’t look too shabby. Throw in the Internet, leisure time and dessert, and all this culture looks like a win-win. PANDORA’S SEED: THE UNFORESEEN COST OF CIVILIZATION BY SPENCER WELLS But there’s a catch, says […]

  26. Book Review: Not Exactly: In Praise of Vagueness by Kees van Deemter

    Politicians and salesmen aren’t the only people who use — or even rely on — vague language. Never mind that much of the world can be measured in neatly defined units such as centimeters, milligrams and degrees, writes van Deemter, a computer scientist. Most people have little sense of those units, so vagueness permeates speech […]

  27. Nutrition society president says eat less, move more

    Physician Robert Russell became president of the American Society for Nutrition earlier this year. A policy consultant to the National Institutes of Heath, Russell spent a quarter century with the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Medford, Mass., most recently as its director. He has authored hundreds of […]

  28. Safety in Numbers

    Mathematicians don’t wear capes and tights. They are not more powerful than a locomotive and they can’t leap tall buildings in a single bound. But when it comes to protecting people from evildoers, these calculating crusaders could turn out to be super. SAFETY IN NUMBERS A new algorithm uses the location of blasts (red) from […]

  29. Enzymes Exposed

    In some ways, cells are a lot like cities. Maps of a cell’s innards depict thoroughfares linking factories that build large molecules to post offices where those molecules are packaged up and shipped out, for example. The cell’s denizens — proteins and other molecules — shuttle around busy cellular byways like people on the street, […]

  30. All Patterns Great and Small

    How the leopard got its spots and the zebra its stripes might not be just-so stories much longer. Biologists are beginning to pinpoint the molecular mechanisms animals use to deck themselves out with colorful swirls, stripes, spots and dots. PATTERNS GREAT AND SMALL Biologists probe the molecular mechanisms underlying animals’ array of stripes and spots. […]

  31. Letters

    Engineering irritation The article “Engineering a cooler Earth” (SN: 6/5/10, p. 16) was incredibly irritating. The solution to global warming is not technology of the type presented, but population and pollution control. You need to start talking about that. The longer we see the problem in technical terms, the less likely we are to even […]

  32. Science Past from the issue of July 16, 1960

    From the issue of July 16, 1960 One-eyed robot hunts objects lost in the sea — A one-eyed, swimming robot with powerful claw-like pincers is being developed for hunting and retrieving objects lost in the ocean at depths up to 2,000 feet. Solaris, as the robot is called, has propellers for motion. When its TV […]

  33. Exploring the Solar System with Binoculars by Stephen James O’Meara

    Backyard observers can make the most of basic tools. EXPLORING THE SOLAR SYSTEM WITH BINOCULARS BY STEPHEN JAMES O’MEARA Cambridge Univ. Press, 2010, 156 p., $29.99.