Vol. 172 No. #1
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More Stories from the July 7, 2007 issue

  1. Blind people excel at serial recall

    Blind people recall strings of words better than sighted people do, perhaps because of their greater reliance on memory in dealing with the tasks of daily life.

  2. Earth

    Icebergs can be biological hot spots

    Icebergs carry nutrients from the land and shed them into the sea, nourishing life in the frigid waters near Antarctica.

  3. Health & Medicine

    Linking stress and senility

    A gene that's active in the brain may help explain why emotional stress seems to increase a person's likelihood of getting Alzheimer's disease.

  4. Physics

    Pas de deux for a three-scoop particle

    Physicists have discovered the first particle containing one member of each of the three families of quarks.

  5. Enzyme is target in parasite

    The flatworm that causes the tropical disease schistosomiasis may be vulnerable to drugs that neutralize an essential enzyme in the parasite.

  6. Oldest siblings show slight IQ advantage

    The oldest boys in families, including those who became oldest after the death of an earlier-born brother, have a slight IQ edge over their younger siblings.

  7. Physics

    Smallest laser minds the gap

    The smallest, most efficient laser yet represents a step toward speedier information transfer within computers.

  8. Health & Medicine

    Antibiotics in infancy tied to asthma

    Infants who get several courses of antibiotics before their first birthdays are more likely to develop asthma later.

  9. Earth

    Polymer Breakdown: Reaction offers possible way to recycle nylon

    A new chemical process offers hope that the thousands of tons of nylon thrown away every year could one day be recycled.

  10. Animals

    Faker Crayfish: Males keep bluffing but don’t get caught

    Some male Australian crayfish fake out their rivals by brandishing claws that look impressive but have little strength.

  11. Health & Medicine

    Bad News for Cats: Cat allergen hits all allergic people

    People allergic to dust mites, mold, grass, and other common irritants—but not to cats—still have greater breathing difficulties when they live around the animals.

  12. Hidden Smarts: Abstract thought trumps IQ scores in autism

    Autistic children and adults do better on a nonverbal test of abstract reasoning than they do on standard IQ tests, suggesting that their intelligence has been underestimated.

  13. Materials Science

    Allergy Nanomedicine: Buckyballs dampen response of cells that trigger allergic reactions

    Drugs based on soccer ball–shaped carbon molecules could one day help fight allergies.

  14. Physics

    Dropping the Ball: Air pressure helps objects sink into sand

    A ball plunges deeper into sand under atmospheric pressure than under a vacuum, because the presence of air allows sand to flow like a liquid.

  15. Health & Medicine

    Spermicide Flip Side: Compound may promote papillomavirus infection

    The widely used spermicide nonoxynol-9 may boost the infectiousness of human papillomavirus, mouse tests show.

  16. Trouble in Paradise

    Schizophrenia strikes inhabitants of the Micronesian nation of Palau, especially the men, at an unusually high rate, raising questions about culture's role in a disease usually regarded as purely biological.

  17. Health & Medicine

    Restoring Scents

    Experimental treatments may activate the sense of smell in people who can detect few or no odors.

  18. Humans

    Letters from the July 7, 2007, issue of Science News

    Hex sine? The NASA researchers baffled by the hexagonal shape in Saturn’s soupy atmosphere at its northern pole (“A hexagon on the ringed planet,” SN: 4/28/07, p. 269) should read “As waters part, polygons appear” (SN: 6/3/06, p. 348). It is worth investigating whether there is a similar phenomenon—I still suspect some sort of standing […]