Vol. 173 No. #9
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More Stories from the March 1, 2008 issue

  1. Gene variants shield against depression

    Some child-abuse victims possess specific variations in a stress-regulating gene that decrease their likelihood of developing moderate or severe depression as adults, a research team reports.

  2. Agriculture

    Resistance to Bt crops emerges

    Resistance to pest-killing cotton crops is spreading among one species of caterpillar, but techniques to prevent the spread of resistance appear to be working for five other species.

  3. Ecosystems

    Predators return

    Warming waters could push new predators into Antarctica's delicate ecosystems.

  4. Tech

    Diamond detectors

    The quantum states of single diamond impurities work as magnetic sensors that could enable nuclear magnetic resonance to detect single atoms.

  5. Earth

    Dioxin’s long reach

    Breast development is delayed in teenage girls who were exposed to the organic pollutant dioxin in the womb and in their mothers' breast milk.

  6. New dating finds oldest coral yet

    A sample of a black coral from a depth of 400 meters turns to be 4,200 years old.

  7. Health & Medicine

    Sun, inflammation speed aging of skin

    Gene profiles show inflammation is the key to making skin age, and sun exposure speeds the process.

  8. Animals

    Great spots for white sharks

    The great white sharks of the eastern Pacific may be genetically isolated from the world's other white sharks, and tagging data reveal that the animals stick to specific routes and destinations.

  9. Anthropology

    Hairy Forensics: Isotopes can identify the regions where a person may have lived

    The proportions of certain chemical isotopes in someone's hair can help detectives pin down that individual's region of origin and track their recent movements, a finding that could be particularly useful in forensic investigations.

  10. True Blue: Electron jumps make protein shine like an LED

    A protein thought to be fluorescent instead emits light the way an LED does, suggesting that some living things might do the same.

  11. Astronomy

    Hefty Find: Density has starring role in making stars massive

    Astronomers find new insights into how massive stars form.

  12. Drug or No Drug: Placebos may be more than appeasing

    A new analysis of FDA data concludes that placebo pills generally offer almost as much symptom relief to depressed patients as antidepressant medications do, raising questions about physicians' antidepressant-prescription practices.

  13. Earth

    Greener Green Energy: Today’s solar cells give more than they take

    With new production techniques, the total emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants from making and using solar panels are now only one-tenth as high as those of conventional power generation.

  14. Health & Medicine

    Pinning down malaria’s global reach

    A new survey and map of malarial areas worldwide show 2.4 billion people at risk.

  15. Anthropology

    Digging that Maya blue

    The unusual pigment Maya blue was probably made over an incense fire as part of a ceremony honoring the rain god Chaak, a new analysis of a pot reveals.

  16. Animals

    Hidden Depths: Antarctic krill startle deep-ocean scientists

    The first camera lowered 3,000 meters to the seabed off the coast of Antarctica videoed what biologists identify as the supposedly upper-ocean species of Antarctic krill.

  17. Micromanagers

    Some scientists believe the human brain is the creation of RNA. Only noncoding RNAs are plentiful, and powerful enough to handle the billions of complex interactions the brain faces every day.

  18. Health & Medicine

    Nurturing Our Microbes

    Nurturing the microbes living in the human body can pay dividends—from shortening the length of colds to fighting obesity and osteoporosis.

  19. Humans

    Letters from the March 1, 2008, issue of Science News

    Big evolvers Regarding “Whales Drink Sounds: Hearing may use an ancient path” (SN: 2/9/08, p. 84), I have heard that whales evolved millions of years ago into their present form, including their very large brains. We humans must be relatively recent in terms of our brain structures. Are there data concerning evolutionary development in whales? […]