Vol. 176 No. #1

More Stories from the July 4, 2009 issue

  1. Space

    Astrometry nabs an exoplanet

    long-proposed method of searching for extrasolar planets has finally discovered one — a body six times heavier than Jupiter that orbits a dwarf star 20 light-years from Earth.

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  2. Physics

    Mechanical systems all tangled up

    Researchers link the motion of two ion pairs through “spooky action at a distance.”

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  3. Alpine Antarctica, before the ice

    A new survey may have unveiled the birthplace of the world’s largest ice sheet.

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  4. Life

    Huntington’s protein may have a crony

    The mutant protein implicated in Huntington’s may rely on a second protein. The finding could help explain why only some neurons are vulnerable to the disease.

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  5. Chemistry

    Protein caught in the act

    Researchers have developed a new way to see where the molecules are active.

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  6. Humans

    Autism care takes biological toll on mothers

    Caring for teens and young adults with autism not only creates intense psychological pressure on mothers but may promote sharply decreased production of a crucial stress hormone, a long-term study suggests.

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  7. Physics

    Friction gives snakes a smooth slither

    Combination of friction and push propels snakes forward on flat surfaces.

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  8. Earth

    When the Great Lakes were lower

    New archaeological evidence shows signs of prehistoric hunting and other human activities on now-submerged portions of Lake Huron.

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  9. Humans

    Children get social with virtual peers

    Life-size 3-D versions of children can draw kids with autism into social encounters and more news from the annual meeting of the Jean Piaget Society in Park City, Utah, June 4-6.

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  10. Space

    Galactic black holes may be more massive than thought

    The giant black holes at the cores of massive nearby galaxies may be two to four times heftier than estimated.

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  11. Life

    Hummingbird pulls Top Gun stunts

    Male hummingbirds set record for extreme plunges out of the sky.

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  12. Health & Medicine

    Tuberculosis bacterium subverts basic cell functions

    The tuberculosis microbe makes compounds that alter basic systems inside key immune cells, facilitating the bacterium’s survival in the body, new research shows.

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  13. Planetary Science

    Solar system’s future could be bumpy

    A new study assesses the chances that two planets will collide or a planet will plunge into the sun in the next 5 billion years.

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  14. Space

    Betelgeuse shrinks

    A familiar star, visible to the naked eye, has shrunk dramatically in just 15 years.

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  15. Space

    Alien visitor from afar

    A speedy stellar neighbor may be a refugee from another galaxy.

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  16. Health & Medicine

    Stressed-out DNA turns mousy brown hair gray

    Scientists show how change happens when cells responsible for colorful hair lose their self-renewing abilities.

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  17. Health & Medicine

    Replacing microRNA for cancer treatment

    Replacing missing microRNAs in cancer cells may open up a new field for cancer treatment.

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  18. Health & Medicine

    Stomach surgery helps obese adolescents

    Laparoscopic banding surgery to limit appetite improves several health markers in obese adolescents.

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  19. Life

    Estrogen may reprogram prostate cancer gene in black men

    Study finds a lack of chemical tags near a prostate cancer gene in African American males.

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  20. Science Future for July 4, 2009

    July 19-23 Get education training at the NEED National Energy Conference for Educators in Nashville. See www.need.org/training July 31 Deadline for submissions to the Imagine Science Film Festival in New York City. Get more info at www.imaginesciencefilms.com October 28-November 1 Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers conference in Washington, D.C. Visit www.shpe.org/shpe2009

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  21. Triumph of the Heart: The Story of Statins by Jie Jack Li

    A medicinal chemist reviews the history of the  widely used cholesterol-lowering medications. Oxford Univ. Press, 2009, 201 p., $29.95 TRIUMPH OF THE HEART: THE STORY OF STATINS BY JIE JACK LI

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  22. The Lives of Ants by Laurent Keller and Élisabeth Gordon

    A scientist and a writer team up to explore how these insects’ lives parallel human lives — in work, war and garden-tending. Oxford Univ. Press, 2009, 252 p., $27.95 THE LIVES OF ANTS BY LAURENT KELLER AND ÉLISABETH GORDON

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  23. The Ethics of Protocells: Moral and Social Implications of Creating Life in the Laboratory by Mark A. Bedau and Emily C. Parke, eds.

    This text offers a variety of perspectives on the potential risks and rewards of developing self-organizing, microscopic entities. MIT Press, 2009, 365 p., $28 THE ETHICS OF PROTOCELLS: MORAL AND SOCIAL IMPLICATIONS OF CREATING LIFE IN THE LABORATORY BY MARK A. BEDAU AND EMILY C. PARKE, EDS.

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  24. Einstein’s Telescope: The Hunt for Dark Matter and Dark Energy in the Universe by Evalyn Gates

    Scientists attempt to track down the invisible ingredients of the cosmos. W.W. Norton, 2009, 305 p., $25.95 EINSTEIN’S TELESCOPE: THE HUNT FOR DARK MATTER AND DARK ENERGY IN THE UNIVERSE BY EVALYN GATES

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  25. Book Review: Flotsametrics and the Floating World by Curtis Ebbesmeyer and Eric Scigliano

    Buoyant items that end up in the sea — from tennis shoes to tree branches — drift at the mercy of winds and ocean currents, sometimes for thousands of miles. Seafarers have analyzed such debris, called flotsam, for centuries: Noticing odd items washed up on European beaches led Vikings to new harbors and Columbus to […]

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  26. Book Review: Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown with Christopher Vaughan

    Long days and warm weather can make the urge to put down work and go play almost impossible to resist. So don’t. The drive to play is as natural as the drive for food and sex, the authors of this book convincingly argue. “Play shows us our common humanity,” they write. “It is the genesis […]

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  27. Intel ISEF Discussion Panel

    In a “passing of the torch” ceremony, a panel of prominent scientists answered questions from some of the more than 1,500 high school student finalists at this year’s Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, which was held in Reno, Nev. Society for Science & the Public, publisher of Science News, has administered the fair since […]

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  28. Humans

    Seeking genetic fate

    Personal genomics companies offer forecasts of disease risk, but the science behind the packaging is still evolving.

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  29. Physics

    Microswimmers make a splash

    Researchers study secrets of microbes' locomotion and how to mimic that movement.

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  30. Climate

    Fire

    Understanding long-term changes in wildfire patterns challenges scientists from multiple disciplines.

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  31. Letters

    Astronomical art faux pas Assuming they are in the Northern Hemisphere, those two young folk on the cover of the May 23 Science News look remarkably chipper while keeping astronomers’ hours. I make the time to be about 3 a.m. as a waning decrescent moon rises.Dainis Bisenieks, Philadelphia, Pa. SPECIAL ASTRONOMY ISSUE COVER The cover […]

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  32. Science Past from the issue of July 4, 1959

    Brides and grooms are younger than ever — Today’s brides and grooms are younger than any others in the nation’s history, the Population Reference Bureau reported. The average age for first marriages in the U.S. last year was 23 for men and 20 for women. More girls married at 18 than at any other age. […]

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  33. Painting Apollo: First Artist on Another World by Alan Bean

    One of the 12 men to have walked on the moon shares his experiences through his art. Smithsonian Books, 2009, 224 p., $39.95,> PAINTING APOLLO: FIRST ARTIST ON ANOTHER WORLD BY ALAN BEAN

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