Science News Magazine:Vol. 170 No. #4
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More Stories from the July 22, 2006 issue
Some deadly monikers
Two recently found small moons orbiting Pluto have now been officially dubbed Nix and Hydra.By Ron Cowen
Stilts for ants make case for pedometer
Changing the leg length of desert ants upsets their ability to judge distance, providing the first evidence in any animal of a built-in odometer based on stride.
Why people punish
When punishing criminals, people tend to seek retribution, not deterrence.By Eric Jaffe
Orchid bends around to insert pollen
An orchid species in China has set a new record for acrobatics in self-pollination, twisting its male organs around and inserting them into the cavity where the female organ lies.
Mammoths: Blondes and brunettes?
The wool of woolly mammoths may have come in at least two shades.
Health & Medicine
Ingredient might prevent sexually transmitted disease
A seaweed derivative that's commonly added to many consumer products as a thickening agent can inhibit the virus that causes cervical cancer and genital warts.
Alaskan coral beds get new protection
To protect cold-water corals, huge areas of Alaskan waters will be off limits to trawls and other fishing gear that typically scrape the seafloor.By Janet Raloff
Global warming heats up nursery of hurricanes
Sea-surface temperatures in the North Atlantic Ocean reached record highs last year.By Sid Perkins
Terrific Timekeeper: Optical atomic clock beats world standard
An innovative atomic clock is more precise than the breed of clocks that's been the best for 50 years.By Peter Weiss
Bee Concerned: Big study—Selective pollinators are declining
A new study provides evidence of a decline among some of Europe's insect pollinators and the wild plants that need them.
Gender Divide: Gene expression differs in males and females
The two sexes vary in the amounts of proteins produced by thousands of genes.
Deadly Disorder: Imagined-ugliness illness yields high suicide rate
The suicide rate among people with a psychiatric disorder that causes them to perceive themselves as ugly is higher than that among people with major depression.By Eric Jaffe
From Mind to Matter: Data analysis challenges psychokinesis
Numerous experiments in which volunteers mentally attempt to influence the output of computers that generate random sequences of 1s and 0s have failed to show that individuals can use their minds to manipulate the physical world.By Bruce Bower
Sandy clues to ancient climate
The orientation of dunes in north-central Nebraska indicates that the climate there a millennium ago was much different than it is today.By Sid Perkins
Health & Medicine
Big Headache: Auras may add risk to migraines
Women who experience migraines that are preceded by sensory irregularities face a heightened risk of heart attack and stroke.By Nathan Seppa
Recurrent Eruption: Explosive stellar saga
Six thermonuclear explosions have ripped off the outer layers of a dense, nearby star in the past 108 years.By Ron Cowen
Bringing Up Baby’s DNA
Researchers are developing ways to harvest babies' genes in less invasive ways.
A new, physics-based approach to analyzing simple games, such as Chomp and Nim, reveals changing geometric patterns reminiscent of crystal growth.
Letters from the July 22, 2006, issue of Science News
First, count all the lawyers The study in “Legal Debate: Assumptions on medical malpractice called into question” (SN: 5/13/06, p. 291) fails to address the more disturbing issue: Most of the insurance money (apparently) goes to lawyers (both sides), and very little to those injured. Peter WilsonSimi Valley, Calif. The numbers in the story pose […]By Science News