Vol. 163 No. #24

More Stories from the June 14, 2003 issue

  1. Astronomy

    Galactic RAVE

    A new study of thousands of Milky Way stars and their motion toward and away from Earth should provide new clues about how our galaxy formed.

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  2. Toddlers ride rail to tool use

    Toddlers' ability to modify their use of a handrail as they walk across a narrow bridge represents an early example of tool use, according to two psychologists.

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  3. Earth

    Satellites unravel a spot of mystery

    Five satellites that happened to be in the right places at the right time may have confirmed the cause of proton auroral spots, aurora-like phenomena that appear high in Earth's atmosphere.

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  4. Tech

    Tiny device brings out the best in sperm

    A new device with potential use in fertility treatments separates robust sperm from stragglers by exploiting a phenomenon that occurs when two microscale fluid flows merge.

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  5. Physics

    A new twist on ropes

    The centuries-old craft of splicing sturdy ropes for ships and ocean rigs gets mathematical scrutiny, turning up new information about wear and tear.

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  6. Astronomy

    Lucky shot

    To protect its sensitive optics, the Hubble Space Telescope had to turn its back on last November’s Leonid meteor storm, and that fortuitously put the luminous Helix nebula directly in the telescope’s sightline.

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  7. Materials Science

    Convenient hydrogen storage?

    A new porous material of metal and organic molecular parts may prove useful for storing hydrogen fuel.

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  8. Earth

    More fish survive if plankton bloom early

    Data collected by Earth-orbiting satellites and oceangoing trawlers suggest that juvenile haddock of Nova Scotia are more abundant in years when plankton populations peak earlier than normal.

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  9. Anthropology

    African Legacy: Fossils plug gap in human origins

    Scientists who discovered three partial Homo sapiens skulls in Ethiopia that date to nearly 160,000 years ago say that the finds document humanity's evolution in Africa, independently of European Neandertals.

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  10. Health & Medicine

    Full-Length Pregnancy: Progesterone product may reduce premature births

    A drug related to the female hormone progesterone helps some pregnant women who are prone to premature birth extend their pregnancies.

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  11. Materials Science

    Super Fibers: Nanotubes make tough threads

    New fibers made from carbon nanotubes and a polymer appear tougher than any other known synthetic or natural material.

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  12. Lease on Life: Old mice live longer when given young ovaries

    Implanting young ovaries in old mice extends their life expectancy.

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  13. Materials Science

    Fixed Focus: Adjustable lenses from liquid droplets

    Seasoned with a pinch of salt, droplets of a polymer precursor become voltage-adjustable lenses that may cut costs in fiberoptic telecommunications.

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  14. Astronomy

    Sharpening a Heavenly Image: Clear view of globular cluster’s crowded core

    Using innovative optics to take the twinkle out of starlight, the Gemini North Telescope on Hawaii's Mauna Kea has recorded the sharpest infrared images ever of a crowded grouping of Milky Way stars.

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  15. Health & Medicine

    Domestic Disease: Exotic pets bring pathogens home

    The potentially deadly monkeypox virus has spread from Africa to people in several states via infected pet prairie dogs.

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  16. Earth

    Not So Green? Using hydrogen as fuel may hurt environment

    Replacing fossil fuels with clean-burning hydrogen—considered to be a way to reduce globe-warming carbon dioxide—may create a different set of environmental problems, including larger and longer-lasting ozone holes.

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  17. Math

    If It Looks Like a Sphere…

    A Russian mathematician has proposed a proof of the Poincaré conjecture, a question about the shapes of three-dimensional spaces.

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  18. Earth

    Oceans Aswirl

    Whirls of ocean water up to hundreds of kilometers across create biological oases, transport heat from tropical climes to cooler latitudes, and affect everything from offshore oil platforms to long-distance yacht races.

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