Vol. 181 No. #12

More Stories from the June 16, 2012 issue

  1. Humans

    Crime numbers may mislead

    Criminologists argue that city safety rankings should consider underreporting and other sources of error in compiling statistics.

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  2. Psychology

    When good moods go decisively bad

    Positive feelings may lead seniors to weigh fewer options and make poorer choices in some situations.

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  3. Physics

    Physicists go totally random

    Calculations suggest a way to boost the independence of information flow, a finding that could help in cryptography.

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  4. Space

    More than one way to explode a star

    New observations confirm two leading theories of type 1a supernova production.

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  5. Health & Medicine

    Rare neurons found in monkeys’ brains

    Cells linked to empathy and consciousness in primates may offer clues to human self-awareness.

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  6. Humans

    Maya wall calendar discovered

    Classic-era structure displays rare calculations of lunar and planetary cycles.

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  7. Astronomy

    Sun’s shock wave goes missing

    Spacecraft observations redraw astronomers’ ideas about the local stellar environment.

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  8. Life

    Culture results when chimps get cracking

    Adjacent groups in Africa follow different traditions when it comes to opening nuts.

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  9. Life

    Gene appears linked with a person’s daily rhythms

    Variations could play a role in determining time of death, or help shift workers better adapt.

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  10. Life

    Genes may influence body’s bacteria

    Specific DNA variants have been found to be associated with the types of microbes that colonize a person’s body.

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  11. Retinal implants could restore partial vision

    In lab tests on rat retinas, a photovoltaic chip helps display images through special goggles.

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  12. Life

    Gene study links stronger memories, PTSD

    New finding may help explain why some people experience psychological problems after traumatic experiences.

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  13. Health & Medicine

    Even moderate noise may harm hearing

    Chronic, low-level sound exposure causes deficits in rats.

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  14. Tech

    Paralyzed woman grips, sips coffee with robot arm

    For the first time, a brain-computer interface is powerful enough to enable useful movement in human patients.

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  15. Space

    Stellar superflares’ trigger challenged

    Massive eruptions on sunlike stars might not require magnetic interactions from a big, hot, nearby planet.

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  16. Life

    Good cholesterol may not be what keeps the heart healthy

    Genetic study suggests that higher levels of HDL aren’t directly responsible for the lower risk of cardiovascular disease seen in population studies.

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  17. Humans

    From cancer to quantum, teens’ scientific feats celebrated

    Winners of the 2012 Intel ISEF show the promise of science for improving the world.

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  18. Life

    How not to eat the wrong frog

    Panamanian bats use an array of senses to keep from ingesting poison prey.

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  19. Science Future for June 16, 2012

    June 25–29 Check out summer camps on space, flight and more at the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, Ohio. More dates listed at bit.ly/SFcosicamp June 25–August 13 Headfirst’s Imagination Science camps in the D.C. area cover rockets, crime scenes and robots. See bit.ly/SFdcscicamp July 2–6 “The Zoo and You” camp at Santa Ana […]

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  20. SN Online

    BODY & BRAIN A new strategy boosts insulin production in mice. Read “Procedure offers hope in type 1 diabetes.” SCIENCE & SOCIETY A 17-year-old shows off his homemade nuclear fusion reactor (below) at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. See “At ISEF, fusion is hot.” MATTER & ENERGY The Leidenfrost effect allows physicists to […]

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  21. Science at 15,000 feet

    It’s only natural that for her Ph.D. research, Ulyana Horodyskyj found herself rappelling down a Himalayan cliff. After all, she got bitten by the mountaineering bug at age 6, when she witnessed her first avalanche in the Swiss Alps. The Ngozumpa glacier in Nepal is covered in dirt and debris churned up as the glacier […]

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  22. Learning From the Octopus: How Secrets from Nature Can Help Us Fight Terrorist Attacks, Natural Disasters, and Disease by Rafe Sagarin

    Octopus defenses, marmot lie detection, salmon suicide and other natural phenomena provide inspiration for ways to improve national security. Basic Books, 2012, 320 p., $26.99

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  23. Transit of Venus: 1631 to the Present by Nick Lomb

    This illustrated history recounts the scientific contributions and adventures of the 18th and 19th century astronomers who traveled the world to observe Venus passing in front of the sun. The Experiment, 2011, 228 p., $24.95

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  24. Dolphin Confidential: Confessions of a Field Biologist by Maddalena Bearzi

    A marine biologist chronicles her life in the field and offers an insider’s view of how scientists study marine mammals in the wild. Univ. of Chicago, 2012, 216 p., $26

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  25. Evolution in a Toxic World by Emily Monosson

    A toxicologist traces how life evolved to deal with toxic substances and how this plays into chemical exposures today. Island Press, 2012, 232 p., $35

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  26. BOOK REVIEW: Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrew Blum

    The Internet seems to be everywhere, thanks to the wonders of Wi-Fi: the home office, the local coffee shop, even aircraft cruising at 30,000 feet. Yet the largest technological construction that people interact with on a daily basis has its limits. It is, after all, a network of parts and pieces, from dusty desktop routers […]

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  27. BOOK REVIEW: The Cure For Everything: Untangling Twisted Messages about Health, Fitness, and Happiness by Timothy Caulfield

    Don’t be misled. This book’s satirical title is sorted out in the subtitle: “Untangling Twisted Messages about Health, Fitness, and Happiness.” That’s the task at hand, and Caulfield leaves few myths unassailed. He predictably takes a hammer to pseudoscience such as homeopathy. As hundreds or maybe thousands of studies have found, it just doesn’t work. […]

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  28. Health & Medicine

    Feel the Burn

    Bruce Spiegelman isn’t always happy with the way his research gets portrayed. He and colleagues discovered a hormone that muscles make during exercise. When given to mice, the hormone causes the animals to burn more energy and lose weight, and improves their response to insulin — all without changing how much the mice eat or […]

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  29. Space

    At Home in the Universe

    When Lewis and Clark started exploring the West, they didn’t know much about what lay beyond St. Louis. Neither, at first, did astronomers know much about cosmic realms beyond Uranus. If Earth-dwellers could peer through clouds of dust, they’d see this bustle of activity around Sagittarius A* at the Milky Way’s core (shown in white […]

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  30. Earth

    Defying Depth

    When you think about life’s pressures weighing down on you, consider the plight of Palaemonetes varians — the Atlantic ditch shrimp. By subjecting the Atlantic ditch shrimp to conditions experienced by its deep-dwelling relative Mirocaris fortunata (above), scientists hope to get a better idea of how animals handle pressure. © Océanopolis The Abyss Box, designed […]

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  31. Letters

    Dark matter inspiration On reading Tom Siegfried’s editorial “Dark matter nothing to fear, if it’s there or not” (SN: 5/19/12, p. 2):As into the universe I did stare     I met a particle that wasn’t there     It wasn’t there again today     Oh, I wish it would go away.Tom Derderian, Winthrop, Mass. Reality bits Regarding “Bits of […]

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  32. Science Past from the issue of June 16, 1962

    COMPUTER CALCULATES B.C. POSITIONS OF PLANETS — The positions of the planets, the moon and the sun from 601 B.C. to 1 A.D. have been calculated using an electronic “brain,” or computer. The astronomical tables are expected to provide scholars with new insight in the study of ancient civilizations…. Dr. O. Neugebauer of Brown University, […]

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  33. The Brain: Big Bangs, Behaviors, and Beliefs by Rob DeSalle and Ian Tattersall

    Superbly simple illustrations by Patricia J. Wynne complement this road map to the brain’s evolution. Yale Univ., 2012, 368 p., $29.95

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