Vol. 176 No. #2
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More Stories from the July 18, 2009 issue

  1. Health & Medicine

    Gene plus stress equals depression debate

    A reanalysis of data challenges a prominent report that a particular gene variant interacts with stressful experiences to promote depression, sparking controversy.

  2. Tech

    Proposed quantum motor runs with a kick

    Scientists suggest a way to put ultracold atoms to work.

  3. Paleontology

    Bird in the hand

    Fossilized fingers strengthen evolutionary link between dinosaurs and avian relatives.

  4. Astronomy

    Supernova may be in a new class

    A recently discovered stellar explosion may be part of a new class of supernova.

  5. Health & Medicine

    Downside of red-hot chili peppers

    In the wild, a culinary kick comes with risks to the plant.

  6. Physics

    Martian lightning

    The Red Planet’s dust devils charge up particles, providing first direct evidence of this type of electrical discharge on Mars.

  7. Archaeology

    Ancient granaries preceded the Agricultural Revolution

    Granaries excavated in Jordan indicate that people stored large quantities of wild cereals by about 11,300 years ago, a practice that led to the cultivation of domesticated plants, a new study suggests.

  8. Tech

    Molecule gears up

    Researchers have made one of the most basic components of a machine out of a snowflake-shaped molecule.

  9. Health & Medicine

    Test might ascertain who needs appendectomy

    Appendicitis might be diagnosable with a new urine test, an advance that could prevent many unnecessary surgeries.

  10. Space

    Iron-ic twist deepens cosmic ray puzzle

    Researchers announce an intriguing new finding about the most energetic charged particles in the universe.

  11. Archaeology

    Stone Age flutes found in Germany

    Excavations in Germany have unearthed what may be the oldest known musical instruments.

  12. Space

    Baby Milky Way modeled

    Researchers unveil state-of-the-art simulation of galaxy formation.

  13. Planetary Science

    Losing Louisiana

    A new model predicts that rises in sea level, combined with subsiding lands, will claim a tenth of the state by century’s end.

  14. Chemistry

    Concerns over bisphenol A continue to grow

    Recent research finds that the hormone mimic may be more prevalent and more harmful than previously thought, highlighting why BPA is a growing worry for policy makers.

  15. Science Future for July 18, 2009

    July 20 Follow as Nature Publishing Group reconstructs the first lunar landing via Twitter. Visit twitter.com/ApolloPlus40 July 23–24 AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition meeting to be held in Washington, D.C. See shr.aaas.org/coalition August 16–20 Chemists discuss advances at the American Chemical Society meeting in Washington, D.C. Register at www.acs.org

  16. Animal Migration: Remarkable Journeys in the Wild by Ben Hoare

    A collection of color photos, maps and drawings depicts animals’ treks across the planet. Univ. of California, 2009, 176 p., $34.95. ANIMAL MIGRATION: REMARKABLE JOURNEYS IN THE WILD BY BEN HOARE

  17. Professional Learning Communities for Science Teaching: Lessons from Research and Practice by Susan Mundry and Katherine E. Stiles, eds.

    Examples of educators creating collaborative networks to develop their skills, and how students can benefit. National Science Teachers Association Press, 2009, 161 p., $22.95. PROFESSIONAL LEARNING COMMUNITIES FOR SCIENCE TEACHING: LESSONS FROM RESEARCH AND PRACTICE BY SUSAN MUNDRY AND KATHERINE E. STILES, EDS.

  18. The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self by Thomas Metzinger

    A philosopher argues that your idea of self is all in your head. Basic Books, 2009, 288 p., $27.50. THE EGO TUNNEL: THE SCIENCE OF THE MIND AND THE MYTH OF THE SELF BY THOMAS METZINGER

  19. Hornet Plus Three: The Story of the Apollo 11 Recovery by Bob Fish

    After men first landed on the moon, they still had to get back to Earth — a surprisingly complicated feat. Creative Minds Press, 2009, 232 p., $29.95. HORNET PLUS THREE: THE STORY OF THE APOLLO 11 RECOVERY BY BOB FISH

  20. Book Review: Weather’s Greatest Mysteries Solved! by Randy Cerveny

    Review by Sid Perkins.

  21. Book Review: Evolution Rx: A Practical Guide to Harnessing Our Innate Capacity for Health and Healing by William Meller

    Review by Bruce Bower.

  22. Five problems in physics without the definite article

    In a 2006 book that garnered much press for its silly attacks on string theory, author and physicist Lee Smolin provides a list of “The Five Great Problems in Theoretical Physics.” There are many offensive things about this list, starting with the use of the definite article in the title, which implies that people not […]

  23. Health & Medicine

    You Are Who You Are by Default

    A neural network active when the brain is at rest may prove critical to zoning out, a sense of self and envisioning the future.

  24. Astronomy

    The Star That Ate a Mars

    COVER STORY: Scientists probe debris trapped by white dwarfs to learn more about what faraway Earthlike planets are made of.

  25. Health & Medicine

    Bad Breath

    New studies detail how the invisible particles that pollute the air can damage heart, lungs and genetic programming.

  26. Letters

    On honeybees and jury duty Reading “Swarm Savvy” ( SN: 5/9/09, p. 16 ), I was struck by how closely the honeybee decision-making process resembled the internal dynamics of a jury I once was on. The “obvious” jury decision, in my not-very-humble opinion, was guilty to a lesser charge of non-aggravated battery, but I was […]

  27. Science Past from the issue of July 18, 1959

    Computer could aid doctor in diagnosing — A computer that could aid the doctor in diagnosing a disease has been suggested by two scientists.… The machine would store codes for symptoms, diseases and their relationships. Then, in those cases which are particularly hard to diagnose, such as those already in the hospital, the machine would […]

  28. Complexity: A Guided Tour by Melanie Mitchell

    A scientist surveys the field and explores how complexity emerges from simple interactions in a variety of systems. Oxford Univ., 2009, 349 p., $29.95. COMPLEXITY: A GUIDED TOUR BY MELANIE MITCHELL