Vol. 175 No. #6
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More Stories from the March 14, 2009 issue

  1. Psychology

    Fatal fallout of financial failure

    Using population data, researchers have linked a widespread Asian economic crisis in 1997 to an abrupt increase in suicide rates the following year in hard-hit places.

  2. Life

    Duplication in genomes may separate humans from apes

    A sudden peak in duplication of chunks of DNA in the common ancestor of humans, chimps and gorillas led to genetic flexibility, which created differences among the species.

  3. Health & Medicine

    A better test for prostate cancer

    Elevated urine concentrations of a compound called sarcosine in men with prostate cancer may signal an aggressive malignancy.

  4. Humans

    For gamblers’ brains, almost counts

    In an experiment mimicking slot machines, people’s brains reacted similarly to almost winning as to winning, possibly explaining why gambling can be addictive.

  5. Health & Medicine

    Bigger rewards boost tobacco quit rate

    Smokers who are offered several hundred dollars are three times as likely to quit as those offered no reward.

  6. Space

    About-face: A look at the moon’s farside

    Researchers have for the first time mapped the gravitational field of the moon’s farside — the lunar half that is permanently turned away from Earth.

  7. Humans

    First rough draft of Neandertal genome released

    A rough draft of the Neandertal genome is complete, scientists announced on Darwin’s 200th birthday.

  8. Science & Society

    Kids’ gestures foretell better vocabularies

    Toddlers who gesture more at age 14 months possess larger vocabularies when entering school, new research finds.

  9. Climate

    Plumes of arctic haze traced to Russia, Kazakhstan

    Smoke from forest fires, agricultural burning may be substantial part of springtime plumes.

  10. Life

    Sponge’s secret weapon restores antibiotics’ power

    A chemical from an ocean-dwelling sponge can reprogram antibiotic resistant bacteria to make them vulnerable to medicines again, new evidence suggests.

  11. Life

    Jumping genes provide unexpected diversity

    Mobile DNA elements have stuffed and shrunk the human genome, a comparison of two genomes reveal

  12. Climate

    The hidden costs of better fuels

    Whether crop-based biofuels will reduce greenhouse gas emissions depends on how, and where, they're grown.

  13. Ecosystems

    Marine census: Surprising number of creatures bipolar

    Census of Marine Life offers a preview of massive international census gives fuller count, shows some sea species at both poles.

  14. Agriculture

    Predators zoom in on lice-infested salmon

    New research reveals another impact of fish farming on wild stocks.

  15. Life

    Anti-aging: A little stress may keep cells youthful

    The aging-related Sirtuin 1 protein also regulates heat shock response, a mechanism cells use to combat stress.

  16. Physics

    Physics could unite plankton

    Oceanic version of wind shear can disorient marine microorganisms and trigger formation of thin, densely populated layers.

  17. Space

    Satellite collision: brief update on Hubble and debris

    In an unprecedented collision, two large satellites crashed into each other in low-Earth orbit on February 10. The effect on a planned Hubble repair mission remains unclear.

  18. Questions of Truth: Fifty-one Responses to Questions about God, Science, and Belief by John Polkinghorne and Nicholas Beale

    A Q&A with a physicist-turned-priest explores the intersection of science and faith, from the universe’s origin to cancer. Westminster John Knox Press, 2009, 186 p., $16.95. Questions of Truth: Fifty-one Responses to Questions about God, Science, and Belief by John Polkinghorne and Nicholas Beale

  19. Book Review: Science on the Air: Popularizers and Personalities on Radio and Early Television by Marcel Chotkowski LaFollette

    “Facts — Interest! — Thrill!! Newspapers using Science Service have discovered that science is not necessarily dry as dust.” This 1926 advertisement conveys the excitement and lament of those dedicated to popularizing science. In plain prose, LaFollette provides a detailed account of the people and organizations that strove to bring science to the masses from […]

  20. Humans

    U.S. science remains far from ‘its rightful place’

    Rush Holt, a plasma physicist by training, represents New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District in the U.S. Congress. From 1989 to 1998, Holt was assistant director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, a research institute focused on fusion as an alternate energy source. Holt was elected to the House of Representatives in 1998. Recently, staff writer […]

  21. Cold Panacea

    It was like the cavalry had shown up.Twenty years ago, newspapers and broadcasters burst with news from the campus of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City delivering what seemed a miracle. Its name was cold fusion. Its lure was simple: inexhaustible, clean and affordable energy.A news conference is not a very professional way […]

  22. Physics

    Science Stimulus

    Barack Obama has proven to be an impresario at selling new policies — and at selling himself as the best man to implement them. On the stump a year ago he promised a no-nonsense, let’s-fix-this approach to the nation’s mounting social and economic ills. His campaign pledges ranged from making health care insurance universally affordable […]

  23. Science Future for March 14, 2009

    Until April 4 Participate in the San Diego Science Festival. Search the kid-friendly event calendar at www.sdsciencefestival.org April 22 Find ways to join in the global celebration of the 39th annual Earth Day at www.earthday.net Until April 26 The National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., presents “Orchids Through Darwin’s Eyes.” Visit www.mnh.si.edu

  24. The World Is Fat: The Fads, Trends, Policies, and Products That Are Fattening the Human Race by Barry Popkin

    Four family profiles link the modern lifestyle to obesity.  Avery, 2009, 229 p., $24.95 The World Is Fat: The Fads, Trends, Policies, and Products That Are Fattening the Human Race by Barry Popkin