Vol. 178 No. #1
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More Stories from the July 3, 2010 issue

  1. Archaeology

    Jamestown settlers’ trash confirms hard times

    Analyses of discarded oyster shells confirm a deep drought during the Virginia colony’s earliest years.

  2. Planetary Science

    Jupiter’s crash of ’09

    The body that crashed into Jupiter last summer was likely an asteroid, and such impacts might occur as frequently as every 10 to 15 years, new studies suggest.

  3. Humans

    Tracing Jewish roots

    An analysis of the entire genome of Jewish people shows Middle Eastern roots and traces ancestry across the globe.

  4. Health & Medicine

    New angle on treating sepsis

    An enzyme that plays a role in the lethal inflammatory disorder may be a suitable drug target, early tests show.

  5. Physics

    A giant proposal for a new type of molecule

    Atoms linked across vast distances, can point in two directions at once

  6. Life

    Marine creature cooks up chemical defense from food

    The sea hare transforms a benign algal pigment into a noxious molecule to help ward off crabs and other predators, new studies show.

  7. Health & Medicine

    In youth hockey, more contact means more injuries

    Concussions are three times more common among 11- to 12-year-olds in leagues that permit checking, a Canadian study finds.

  8. Earth

    Possible snake shortage looms

    Declines among species in Europe and Africa raise herpetologists’ worries of widespread population losses.

  9. Life

    Missing chemicals on Titan could signal life

    Methane-based organisms on one of Saturn’s moons might be consuming the materials.

  10. Humans

    Ancient shoe steps out of cave and into limelight

    Excavations in an Armenian cave have uncovered the oldest known leather footwear, a 5,500-year-old shoe.

  11. Ecosystems

    Sharks use math to hunt

    Marine predators cruise the seas using fractal principles.

  12. Earth

    Gulf gusher is far and away the biggest U.S. spill

    As cleanup efforts progress, scientists try to track missing oil roaming below the surface.

  13. Health & Medicine

    What’s missing may be key to understanding genetics of autism

    A large study of people with the developmental disorder reveals the importance of extremely rare variations in genes, making each case a bit different.

  14. Ecosystems

    Parasite brood gets help from nearby microbes

    A critical interaction between whipworm and E. coli suggests a new way to battle the common gut infection.

  15. Physics

    Bouncing beads outwit Feynman

    Ratchet-and-pawl thought experiment whirs to life, extracting work from bouncing beads.

  16. Humans

    First Mexican-American and African-American genomes completed

    Studies hint that genetic diversity among Native Americans may rival that seen in some African populations.

  17. Health & Medicine

    H1N1 virus lacks Spanish flu’s killer protein

    Researchers uncover a deadly secret of Spanish flu.

  18. Space

    Kepler craft reports apparent planetary bonanza

    New results from an orbiting telescope promise to more than double the number of known extrasolar planets.

  19. Science Future for July 3, 2010

    August 8 – 12 Geoscientists meet in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, for an international conference. See www.agu.org/meetings/ja10 August 11 – 14 The Cognitive Science Society meets in Portland, Ore. Go to cognitivesciencesociety.org/conference2010 September 6 Last day to view the Chicago Field Museum’s exhibit on creatures of the Ice Age. See www.fieldmuseum.org/mammoths

  20. Science vs. Religion: What Scientists Really Think by Elaine Howard Ecklund

    Through surveys and interviews, a sociologist examines scientists’ views on religion. SCIENCE VS. RELIGION: WHAT SCIENTISTS REALLY THINK BY ELAINE HOWARD ECKLUND Oxford Univ. Press, 2010, 228 p., $27.95.

  21. Green Light: Toward an Art of Evolution by George Gessert

    An artist who works with living material considers how aesthetic values influence the ways people breed plants and animals. GREEN LIGHT: TOWARD AN ART OF EVOLUTION BY GEORGE GESSERT MIT Press, 2010, 233 p., $24.95.

  22. Bright Boys by Tom Green

    A writer, producer and playwright tells the story of the first real-time, electronic digital computer and the people who created it. BRIGHT BOYS BY TOM GREEN A.K. Peters, 2010, 327 p., $39.

  23. A Zeptospace Odyssey: A Journey into the Physics of the LHC by Gian Francesco Giudice

    A physicist describes the science behind the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest particle accelerator, for a general audience. A ZEPTOSPACE ODYSSEY: A JOURNEY INTO THE PHYSICS OF THE LHC BY GIAN FRANCESCO GIUDICE Oxford Univ. Press, 2010, 276 p., $45.

  24. Book Review: The Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons

    People wearing gorilla suits don’t always stand out in a crowd. When volunteers were asked to count the number of ball passes made by a basketball team in a video, half never noticed a gorilla-suited intruder walking across the court doing chest thumps. THE INVISIBLE GORILLA: AND OTHER WAYS OUR INTUITIONS DECEIVE US BY CHRISTOPHER […]

  25. Book Review: Inside the Outbreaks: The Elite Medical Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service by Mark Pendergrast

    In 1951, a group of American men suited up to go to war. This wasn’t unusual at the time — the Korean War was on — but this brigade was armed with field notebooks and test tubes, and was trained to take aim at threats to public health. Inside the Outbreaks tells the story of […]

  26. Explaining the equation behind the oil spill disaster

    Catastrophes come in all shapes and sizes, but some basic causative principles underlie most of them. Robert Bea, an engineer at the University of California, Berkeley, has studied system failures from space shuttle explosions to levee breaks during Hurricane Katrina — but as a former oil rig worker he is most familiar with drilling disasters. […]

  27. Fat chance

    Throughout the leaner epochs of human history, when food supplies were unreliable, the species would not have survived without a way to hoard calories for later use. That is, without fat. Once a meal has supplied the body’s immediate energy needs, any unused fuel gets converted into long molecules called triglycerides, which are dispatched to […]

  28. Life from scratch

    A short stroll from Boston’s Charles River, behind a sheath of blue glass on the seventh floor of a Harvard Medical School research building, Jack Szostak is getting set to replay the greatest event on Earth. LIFE FROM SCRATCH By creating vesicles containing proto-genetic material (depicted in this computer graphic), researchers are trying to watch […]

  29. The Truth Hurts

    Truster-Pro and the Vericator may sound like devices Wile E. Coyote would order from the Acme Co., but they are real technologies for detecting lies. Unlike the traditional polygraph, which zeroes in on factors such as pulse and breathing rate, these analyzers aim to assess veracity based solely on speech. THE TRUTH HURTS Many police […]

  30. Letters

    SN on the newsstand I’m blind so I’ve been reading your magazine in braille for quite a while. But most of my sighted friends have never heard of you guys. This is a great publication, and I’m glad that more readers will now become familiar with it (“Science News goes public: available on newsstands,” SN: […]

  31. Science Past from the issue of July 2, 1960

    HIGH MILK CONTAMINATION FROM NUCLEAR ACCIDENTS — Radioactive contamination of milk is likely to be “the most widespread hazard” resulting from a nuclear accident or explosion depositing fission products on agricultural land, according to recent studies in England reported in a forthcoming issue of Nature…. Elements that appeared to cause the greatest contamination are the […]

  32. March of the Microbes: Sighting the Unseen by John L. Ingraham

    For those who know where to look, microbes abound in daily life. MARCH OF THE MICROBES: SIGHTING THE UNSEEN BY JOHN L. INGRAHAM Belknap Press/Harvard Univ. Press, 2010, 326 p., $28.95.