Vol. 180 No. #1

More Stories from the July 2, 2011 issue

  1. Life

    Mellow corals beat the heat

    Species that overreact to distress signals from algae are more likely to succumb to warming.

  2. Life

    Fish ignore alarming noises in acidifying seawater

    Something about changing ocean chemistry could make young clownfish behave oddly around normally alarming sounds.

  3. Life

    Go deep, small worm

    A discovery in a South African mine suggests life can thrive far below the surface.

  4. Humans

    Ancestral gals roamed, guys stayed home

    Females in two ancient hominid species may have left their home groups to find mates.

  5. Health & Medicine

    A year adds up to big changes in brain

    Third grade brings big shifts in how kids use their heads to solve math problems.

  6. Tech

    Information flow can reveal dirty deeds

    An analysis of Enron e-mails reveals that corrupt networks have a distinctive shape.

  7. Space

    Black hole jets in HD

    Images of unprecedented resolution offer insight into how black holes swallow up matter.

  8. Humans

    Site hints at Asian roots for human genus

    An early Homo species inhabited the Caucasus region 1.85 million years ago, casting doubt on its proposed African origin.

  9. Health & Medicine

    Drug prevents some breast cancers

    A hormone-blocking compound can waylay some malignancies in healthy women who are deemed at risk.

  10. Life

    Weeds increasingly immune to herbicides

    Agricultural scientists warn that crop yields could drop as a result of emerging resistance.

  11. Space


    A new class of stellar explosion is very bright — and somewhat hard to explain.

  12. Tech

    Social Networks

    Power networks in Congress, Twitter’s crystal ball and iPhone contagion in news from an MIT workshop on information in social media.

  13. Chemistry

    Water-air interface barely there

    The transition between gas and liquid is an extremely insubstantial affair.

  14. Life

    Diving spiders make their own gills

    Eurasian diving bell spiders, the only truly aquatic arachnids, survive underwater with the help of “physical gills,” scientists say.

  15. Science Future for July 2, 2011

    July 7Be mesmerized by the color red and how it is made for pigments and paints, at San Francisco’s Exploratorium. Ages 18 and up. See www.exploratorium.edu/afterdark July 18In Washington, D.C., a Smithsonian science historian describes ancient apothecaries and their brews. See  www.residentassociates.org

  16. Science Past from the issue of July 1, 1961

    WINTERGREEN VS. ALMOND IN ODOR PENETRATION TEST — Different chemicals produce different odors because vibrations within the molecules are different. This is the theory of Dr. R.H. Wright of the British Columbia Research Council  in Vancouver, Canada. He compared nitrobenzene, which has an almond smell, and methyl salicylate, which smells like wintergreen. Both these substances […]

  17. From the Archive: Carp eat other fish out

    History repeats with another round of carp invasion.

  18. The Dance of Air and Sea: How Oceans, Weather, and Life Link Together by Arnold H. Taylor

    An oceanographer explores the connectedness of the seas, atmosphere and weather, with implications for climate change. Oxford Univ. Press, 2011, 288 p., $29.95.

  19. BOOK REVIEW: Annoying: The Science of What Bugs Us by Joe Palca and Flora Lichtman

    What makes the spray of a skunk so annoying? It irritates the skin, one scientist says. Or maybe humans are evolutionarily programmed to respond to its stink, reminiscent of rotten meat or caves low on oxygen. Then again, some people like the scent — so perhaps its repulsiveness is something learned, something associated with bad […]

  20. Evolution’s Wedges

    Look to Texas to see evolution’s true colors. There, speckling the state’s green fields, you’ll find the annual phlox, a flower also known as “Texas pride.” Its petals, a light purple elsewhere, are bright scarlet in the southeast near Austin. This color change isn’t a whim: It’s the annual phlox’s response to the presence of […]

  21. Earth

    Death of a Continent, Birth of an Ocean

    To those who live there, east Africa’s Afar region is “the place the devil plows.” One of the hottest and lowest areas on Earth, it is a landscape of baking desert and barren lava flows. To scientists, though, Afar means something more promising: geology in the raw. As Afar is pulled and jostled from below, […]

  22. Health & Medicine


    Video games can be mesmerizing, even for a rhesus monkey. Which may explain, in part, why 6-year-old Jasper has been sitting transfixed at a computer screen in a Washington University lab for nearly an hour, his gaze trained on a small red ball. A more interesting reason for Jasper’s quiet demeanor is that he is […]

  23. Letters

    Your cosmic questions Regarding the “The vital statistics” in “Cosmic questions, answers pending” (SN: 4/23/11, p. 20), I was puzzled by two values: 13.75 billion years (time since the Big Bang) and 90 billion light-years (diameter of the universe). If light has been streaming away for 13.75 billion years, then shouldn’t the diameter of the […]

  24. Animals

    SN Online

  25. Finding Mars by Ned Rozell

    This travel yarn is set in the rugged regions of Earth, following permafrost scientist Kenji Yoshikawa as he traverses the frozen Arctic. Univ. of Alaska Press, 2011, 188 p., $22.95.