Vol. 182 No. #2
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More Stories from the July 28, 2012 issue

  1. Life

    Microbes flourish under Arctic sea ice

    Oceanographic expedition surprised to find photosynthetic microorganisms thriving under frozen surface.

  2. Humans

    European cave art gets older

    Ancient illustrations in northern Spain date to more than 40,000 years ago.

  3. Humans

    Color this chimp amazing

    An extra layer of sensory perception called synesthesia might help ape make a monkey of humans on memory tests.

  4. Life

    Chicks do worse in noisy nests

    Baby bluebirds, and their parents, appear to have trouble communicating over the racket made by nearby humans.

  5. Tech

    The descent of music

    Using an evolutionary process, researchers create pleasing tunes out of grating noise.

  6. Life

    Peacocks ruffle feathers, make a rumble

    New recordings reveal that male birds use infrasound, emitting low-pitch sounds detected by peers but inaudible to human ears.

  7. Earth

    East Coast faces faster sea level rise

    From North Carolina to Massachusetts, waters are rising more rapidly than the global average.

  8. Health & Medicine

    Learn to play piano in your sleep

    That’s still impossible, but an experiment suggests hearing a previously learned ditty while snoozing improves later performance of the piece.

  9. Tech

    Interactive map like GPS for Roman Empire

    A simulation calculates the cost in days and dinarii of shipping goods throughout the classical world.

  10. Health & Medicine

    Testosterone therapy takes off pounds

    A five-year study shows that men getting the hormone consistently lose weight.

  11. Earth

    Ozone hikes cardiovascular risk

    The pollutant triggers inflammation and other changes that can heighten the risk of heart attack and stroke.

  12. Humans

    What Silicon Valley can learn from Mother Russia

    Imperial tax records from the last decades of the Empire offer clues to what makes a start-up succeed.

  13. Physics

    Old battery gets a high-tech makeover

    Redesigned nickel-iron battery gives modern lithium-ion devices a run for their money.

  14. Humans

    Lead poisoning stymies condor recovery

    California’s iconic comeback species may need human help as long as even a small percentage of the carcasses they eat contain lead shot.

  15. Health & Medicine

    Male contraceptive shows promise

    Two hormones in gels applied to the skin effectively lower sperm counts, a study finds.

  16. Animals

    Dinosaur debate gets cooking

    A key piece of evidence for cold-blooded dinosaurs, growth lines in bones, has also been discovered in a set of warm-blooded animals.

  17. Archaeology

    Oldest pottery comes from Chinese cave

    New dates show that East Asian hunter-gatherers fired up cooking vessels 20,000 years ago.

  18. Genetics

    Convenience shoulders tomato taste aside

    Decades of breeding for uniform color in unripe fruit may accidentally have reduced flavor.

  19. Animals

    Climate adaptation may be a family affair

    Newborn coral reef fish can cope with changed water conditions if their parents have already adjusted.

  20. Physics

    Higgs found

    The Higgs boson, the last particle in physics’ standard model, falls into place, opening new windows to explore in the universe.

  21. Microbes

    Killing with the flip of a switch

    A single genetic transformation turns mild-mannered bacteria into assassins.

  22. Earth

    Calm, with an eye on the storm

    Tim Samaras hunts twisters despite the danger.

  23. Science Future for July 28, 2012

    August 5/6 NASA’s new Mars rover Curiosity is scheduled to land on Mars late night August 5 Pacific Daylight Time (in the early hours of August 6 in the Eastern time zone). NASA TV will cover the landing live. Find updates on Curiosity at bit.ly/SFMarsland August 16 The 21-and-up crowd can learn about the Big […]

  24. SN Online

    DELETED SCENES BLOG The Higgs boson discovery leaked a day early when SN found a CERN video announcement. See “CMS spokesman: ‘We’ve observed a new particle.’ ” SCIENCE & THE PUBLIC BLOG Huddling together during hibernation puts bats at risk for disease. See “Warning to bats: Cuddle not.” HUMANS The earliest signs of people drinking […]

  25. Animals


    A Visual History by Richard Ellis.

  26. Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People by Harry Ostrer

    This history of the genetics of the Jewish people delves into the population biology and genetic diseases that tie the group together. Oxford Univ., 2012, 264 p., $24.95

  27. The Ballet of the Planets: A Mathematician’s Musings on the Elegance of Planetary Motion by Donald C. Benson

    A mathematician describes the history of the science explaining planetary motion. Oxford Univ., 2012, 178 p., $35

  28. Moral Origins: The Evolution of Virtue, Altruism, and Shame by Christopher Boehm

    An evolutionary anthropologist looks back through human evolution for clues to how groups of hunter-gatherers developed altruism and generous behaviors. Basic Books, 2012, 418 p., $28.99

  29. Life

    The Violinist’s Thumb

    by Sam Kean.

  30. Physics


    A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm.

  31. Particle Physics

    Nature’s secrets foretold

    After decades of searching, it seems scientists have found the elusive Higgs boson.

  32. Particle Physics

    A primer on the long-sought Higgs boson

    Discovering the Higgs boson is cause for celebration — and for explanation, of what the particle is and why it matters.

  33. Cosmology

    Inflation on Trial

    Generally regarded as one of the most successful theories about the early universe, inflationary cosmology is not exactly under attack. But a few scientists are questioning whether it deserves its reputation as completely untouchable.

  34. Health & Medicine

    Catching a Cancer

    The official figure for the percentage of human cancers caused by viruses is around 20 percent — but most experts concede that number is largely an educated guess

  35. Letters

    Shopping standards shift with age In “When good moods go decisively bad” (SN: 6/16/12, p. 10), researchers assume that their 70-year-old study participants would be as interested as their 20-something counterparts in finding up to 40 prices on 60 products in an Internet shopping exercise. When the septuagenarians fail to choose the cheapest product, the […]

  36. Science Past from the issue of July 28, 1962

    BATTLE AGAINST EXHAUST POLLUTION — The automobile exhaust problem is being attacked from many directions in an effort to preserve man’s most necessary commodity, air…. In response to regulations by local and state governments and prodding from the Federal Government, several exhaust-trapping devices for cars have come on the market, none of which controls all […]

  37. Cracking the Egyptian Code: The Revolutionary Life of Jean-Francois Champollion by Andrew Robinson

    The first English-language biography of linguist Jean-François Champollion describes his quest to decipher hieroglyphs using the Rosetta Stone. Oxford Univ., 2012, 272 p., $29.95