Vol. 177 No. #12

More Stories from the June 5, 2010 issue

  1. Health & Medicine

    Epigenetic changes show up in people with PTSD

    Study finds alterations in genes tied to immune system and brain development, but whether they cause the disorder remains unclear.

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  2. Life

    Undereducated immune cells get aggressive with HIV

    Scientists discover a mechanism that makes some people resistant to infection with the AIDS virus.

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  3. Life

    Neandertal genome yields evidence of interbreeding with humans

    After years of looking, geneticists are shocked to find that 1 percent to 4 percent of DNA in people from Europe and Asia is inherited from Neandertals.

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  4. Health & Medicine

    Genetic switch makes old mice forgetful

    Reversing a chemical change restored the animals’ memory-making ability.

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  5. Astronomy

    Fast-moving star is a really big loser

    The cosmic bullies that sent 30 Doradus 016 reeling must be even bigger, possibly upping the theoretical maximum heft of today’s stars.

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  6. Earth

    Gravity lows mark burial sites of ancient tectonic plates

    Dips in Earth's gravitational field are tied to 'slab graveyards'

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  7. Psychology

    Bereaved relatives helped by chance to view body after sudden loss

    Grieving people rarely regret having seen a dead loved one, even in cases of violent death, a British study suggests.

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  8. Health & Medicine

    Sickle-cell anemia tied to cognitive impairment

    Patients with the hereditary condition score worse on standardized tests than people without it.

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  9. Chemistry

    Another plastics ingredient raises safety concerns

    Bisphenol A’s ‘twin’ may be more potent at perturbing estrogen signals.

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  10. Life

    All present-day life arose from a single ancestor

    A major tenet of evolutionary theory — that all life stems from a common source — passes a statistical test.

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  11. Life

    Eureka, brain makes real mental leaps

    Studies of rats reveal neuron activity changes en masse during aha moments.

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  12. Humans

    Grown men swap bodies with virtual girl

    People who undergo virtual-reality perspective shifts feel like they’ve switched bodies with a virtual character.

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  13. Earth

    Earliest birds didn’t make a flap

    The feathers of Archaeopteryx and Confuciusornis probably were not strong enough to support sustained flight.

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  14. Animals

    Fight or flee, it’s in the pee

    Researchers get a better understanding of how mice smell a rat, or a cat, and maybe even a snake.

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  15. Planetary Science

    Martian moon probably pretty porous

    Phobos may be a mass of rocky rubble, not a captured asteroid.

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  16. Science & Society

    Students win big at Intel ISEF 2010

    Global high school science competition concludes with top prizes going to projects on cancer-fighting quantum dots, quantum computer algorithms and computer programming.

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  17. Science Future for June 5, 2010

    June 11 – 14 American Society of Mammalogists meets in Laramie, Wyo. See www.uwyo.edu/asm2010 July 17 San Francisco’s Exploratorium museum launches a series of podcasts on the science of creativity. See www.exploratorium.edu/webcasts/index.php July 17 – 21 The American Society for Virology hosts its annual conference in Bozeman, Mont. Get agenda at www.asv.org

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  18. The Babylonian Theorem: The Mathematical Journey to Pythagoras and Euclid by Peter S. Rudman

    Ancient Babylonians and Egyptians paved the way for Greek mathematicians, a physicist contends. THE BABYLONIAN THEOREM: THE MATHEMATICAL JOURNEY TO PYTHAGORAS AND EUCLID BY PETER S. RUDMAN Prometheus Books, 2010, 248 p., $26.

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  19. Manhattan Project to the Santa Fe Institute: The Memoirs of George A. Cowan by George A. Cowan

    A chemist reflects on his career in nuclear physics and events in 20th century science. MANHATTAN PROJECT TO THE SANTA FE INSTITUTE: THE MEMOIRS OF GEORGE A. COWAN BY GEORGE A. COWAN Univ. of New Mexico Press, 2010, 175 p., $27.95.

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  20. Butterflies and Moths: Portraits from the Tropical Forests of Costa Rica by J.C. Miller, D.H. Janzen and W. Hallwachs

    Full-page photos and text unveil Costa Rican Lepidoptera. BUTTERFLIES AND MOTHS: PORTRAITS FROM THE TROPICAL FORESTS OF COSTA RICA BY J.C. MILLER, D.H. JANZEN AND W. HALLWACHS Belknap Press/Harvard Univ. Press, 2010, 256 p., $24.95.

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  21. In Praise of Science: Curiosity, Understanding, and Progress by Sander Bais

    Science and reasoning have unique roles in society, a physicist argues. IN PRAISE OF SCIENCE: CURIOSITY, UNDERSTANDING, AND PROGRESS BY SANDER BAIS MIT Press, 2010, 192 p., $24.95.

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  22. Book Reviews: Geoengineering

    Hack the Planet: Science’s Best Hope – or Worst Nightmare – for Averting Climate CatastropheEli Kintisch HACK THE PLANET BY ELI KINTISCH HOW TO COOL THE PLANET BY JEFF GOODELL How to Cool the Planet: Geoengineering and the Audacious Quest to Fix Earth’s ClimateJeff Goodell Buy this book Two new books serve as guides to […]

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  23. Book Review: The Science of Doctor Who by Paul Parsons

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/080189560X?ie=UTF8&tag=sciencenews06-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=080189560XThe real science of fake science sounds like a recipe for factual disaster. But this exploration of the long-running TV series delivers on its promise to answer the kinds of questions raised by the best of science fiction. The book takes readers on a satisfying romp through labs around the world where the show’s fantastical […]

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  24. Meet the Howlers by April Pulley Sayre

    Facts about howler monkeys complement the playful poem in this tale of rain forest life. (Ages 4 – 7) MEET THE HOWLERS BY APRIL PULLEY SAYRE Charlesbridge, 2010, 32 p., $16.95.

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  25. Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age by Cheryl Bardoe

    Photos and accounts of real-life research bring extinct mammals to life in this book, published to coincide with a current exhibit at Chicago’s Field Museum. (Ages 9 – 12 MAMMOTHS AND MASTODONS: TITANS OF THE ICE AGE BY CHERYL BARDOE Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2010, 48 p., $18.95.

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  26. Pythagoras and the Ratios: A Math Adventure by Julie Ellis

    A boy’s quest to tune a pan flute and a lyre illustrates some of the many uses of mathematical ratios. (Ages 9 – 12) PYTHAGORAS AND THE RATIOS: A MATH ADVENTURE BY JULIE ELLIS Charlesbridge, 2010, 32 p., $16.95.

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  27. Magic Up Your Sleeve: Amazing Illusions, Tricks, and Science Facts You’ll Never Believe by Helaine Becker

    Optical illusions and magic tricks reveal basic science principles. (Ages 8 – 12) MAGIC UP YOUR SLEEVE: AMAZING ILLUSIONS, TRICKS, AND SCIENCE FACTS YOU’LL NEVER BELIEVE BY HELAINE BECKER Owlkids Books, 2010, 64 p., $10.95.

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  28. Not Your Typical Book About the Environment by Elin Kelsey

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/189734984X?ie=UTF8&tag=sciencenews06-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=189734984XExplanations of ecology and sustainability present kids with a hopeful view of solving environmental problems. (Ages 9 – 12) NOT YOUR TYPICAL BOOK ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT BY ELIN KELSEY Owlkids Books, 2010, 64 p., $10.95.

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  29. Looking Closely Around the Pond by Frank Serafini

    Young readers can guess what will be revealed in close-up photos of pond life, then learn about the plants and animals shown. (Ages 4 – 7) LOOKING CLOSELY AROUND THE POND BY FRANK SERAFINI Kids Can Press, 2010, 40 p., $16.95.

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  30. Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be by Daniel Loxton

    An in-depth guide to life’s history gives clear answers to kids’ questions about evolution. (Ages 8 – 13) EVOLUTION: HOW WE AND ALL LIVING THINGS CAME TO BE BY DANIEL LOXTON Kids Can Press, 2010, 56 p., $18.95.

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  31. Outdoor Science: A Practical Guide by Steve Rich

    Teachers looking for ways to get kids excited about science can find detailed hands-on lesson plans for life, earth and environmental sciences. (Ages 3 – 8) OUTDOOR SCIENCE: A PRACTICAL GUIDE BY STEVE RICH NSTA Press, 2010, 140 p., $24.95.

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  32. The Circulatory Story by Mary K. Corcoran

    Humor pulses through this detailed exploration of how blood moves through the body. (Ages 9 – 12) THE CIRCULATORY STORY BY MARY K. CORCORAN Charlesbridge, 2010, 41 p., $17.95.

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  33. Book Review: Voyage to the Heart of Matter: The Atlas Experiment at CERN by Anton Radevksy and Emma Sanders

    Understanding the intricacies of subatomic physics isn’t easy, but in this book the concepts literally leap off the page. The pop-up story about the world’s largest atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider, provides a 3-D tour of the 27-kilometer underground racetrack for colliding protons that straddles the countryside between France and Switzerland. VOYAGE TO THE […]

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  34. Obama adviser weighs ‘the rightful place of science’

    Obama adviser weighs ‘the rightful place of science’ by Eric S. Lander ERIC S. LANDER “Science drives the innovation that provides productivity and growth for the future economy, and it also adds to our quality of life in many ways.” Len Rubenstein In an address to scientists attending the 2010 meeting of the American Association […]

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  35. Engineering a cooler Earth

    None of the scientists in the room so much as blinked when David Keith suggested saving the world with spy planes spraying sulfuric acid. ENGINEERING A COOLER EARTH Giant air-capture machines, like artificial trees, could cleanse the atmosphere of excess carbon dioxide. Michael Morgenstern COOL BUT DIFFERENT FIVE WAYS TO SAVE THE PLANET | The […]

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  36. A pregnant question

    The glow of pregnancy is no shield against depression. Millions of expectant mothers rely on antidepressant medication for help. But treating mom with drugs at this time in her life may have long-term consequences for baby. TWO SIDES | Drugs such as Prozac and Zoloft relieve depression in moms, but the medications could leave a […]

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  37. Elemental escape

    As nuclear physics vacation spots go, the “island of stability” sounds pretty good. But this island isn’t in the Caribbean, the Maldives or even Hawaii. It’s at the edge of the periodic table of the elements. ELEMENTAL ESCAPE | Relative stability of elements Karen Carlo, adapted from figure by Yuri Oganessian Reaching the island would […]

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  38. Letters

    ET, stay home Your excellent editorial in the April 24 issue of Science News (“An intelligent ET would probably just stay home”) explained the most obvious reasons for the unlikelihood of an extraterrestrial message, let alone visitors. Additional obstacles worth mention are 1) the gigantic retro-rockets, parachutes and heat shields required for braking a super-speeding […]

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  39. Science Past from the issue of June 4, 1960

    SOLVING OF SUN’S RIDDLES — Future space probes may skim as “close” as two million miles from the sun’s visible surface, a report to the National Academy of Sciences suggests. Before this can be done, however, greatly improved materials must be developed since temperatures at that distance would be about 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit, roughly the […]

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  40. Guidebook for the Scientific Traveler: Visiting Physics and Chemistry Sites Across America by Duane S. Nickell

    From Maine to Oregon, the country offers sightseeing for science enthusiasts. GUIDEBOOK FOR THE SCIENTIFIC TRAVELER: VISITING PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY SITES ACROSS AMERICA BY DUANE S. NICKELL Rutgers Univ. Press, 2010, 258 p., $19.95.

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