Vol. 174 No. #2
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More Stories from the July 19, 2008 issue

  1. Animals

    Squeaky chimp sex, or not

    Female chimps tend toward silent sex when the other girls could overhear.

  2. Health & Medicine

    Girl athletes’ energy crisis

    Lack of regular periods in teenage female athletes stems from a hormone imbalance arising from inadequate energy intake.

  3. Health & Medicine

    Where funny faces come from

    Making a face might have helped human ancestors survive.

  4. Health & Medicine

    Wishful thinking

    Male athletes who think they are getting growth hormone claim to feel better and score higher in a jumping test while on a placebo.

  5. Anthropology

    Numbers beyond words

    New research with Amazonian villagers suggests that their language lacks number words but that they still comprehend precise quantities of objects.

  6. Agriculture

    A vanilla Vanilla

    The orchid that gives us vanilla beans has startlingly low genetic diversity, suggesting crops might be susceptible to pathogens, researchers report.

  7. Humans

    Worth the cooties

    Boys who attend preschool classes with a majority of girls do better developmentally than other boys.

  8. Physics

    Left in the cold

    An optical trap lets atoms in but not out, and it can be used to study matter at ultracold temperatures.

  9. Health & Medicine

    Pain, numbness, pain

    Some anesthetics not only cause a burning feeling when they're given, but can also increase the pain felt after surgery.

  10. Health & Medicine

    Heel test

    A simple, inexpensive ultrasound test of the heel might reveal whether a person is at risk of osteoporosis and should get more extensive tests.

  11. Health & Medicine


    Epigenetic shifts continue throughout a person’s lifetime, and the overall pattern of these shifts appears similar within families.

  12. Animals

    Don’t blame the guys

    Scientists take a new look at what drives female damselflies to look like males.

  13. Astronomy

    Impact may have transformed Mars

    Three teams suggest that a huge object slammed into Mars, giving the planet an unusually dualistic topography.

  14. Health & Medicine

    Vessel rescue

    A blood pressure medication limits damage to the aorta in people with Marfan syndrome, possibly signaling a new therapy for the condition.

  15. Space

    Martian soil hints at water, nutrients

    The first chemical analysis of dirt by the Mars Phoenix Lander supports the notion that liquid water flowed on the Red Planet at some point.

  16. Ecosystems

    Ecosystem engineers

    Nonnative earthworms are deliberately burying ragweed seeds, enhancing the weed’s growth, researchers report.

  17. Space

    School teacher spots green blob

    Mystery object appears to be a starless dwarf galaxy.

  18. Health & Medicine

    Sick and down

    To fight off an infection or illness, the body shifts into a slow-down mode that mirrors some symptoms of depression. In fact, scientists now think the immune response itself may even cause the mood disorder.

  19. Physics

    Large Hadron Collider

    When the Large Hadron Collider powers up this fall, protons moving at almost the speed of light will collide with energies high enough, physicists hope, to solve matter’s biggest mysteries.

  20. Stranded: A whale of a mystery

    Scientists generally agree that sonar can trigger strandings of certain whales, but no one really knows what leads these deep divers to the beach.