Vol. 161 No. #9
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More Stories from the March 2, 2002 issue

  1. Encouraging signs but no woodpecker

    A birding team searching in Louisiana for the possibly extinct ivory-billed woodpecker heard a promising pattern of taps but did not see the bird or hear it calling.

  2. Health & Medicine

    High homocysteine tied to Alzheimer’s

    Research has linked the incidence of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia to elevated blood concentrations of the amino acid homocysteine.

  3. Tech

    Littlest catalysts get a lot of support

    Tiny metal clusters used as catalysts are getting so small that presumably inert carrier materials that host them are also getting involved in the reactions.

  4. Health & Medicine

    Coffee beans, cavity-causing germs

    Compounds in coffee loosen the grip of bacteria that cause tooth decay.

  5. Earth

    El Niño’s coming! Is that so bad?

    Although El Niño is often blamed for ill effects that total billions of dollars, a broader analysis suggests that the United States garners substantial benefits during this weather pattern.

  6. Chemistry

    Wheat protein smooths ice cream

    Proteins extracted from winter wheat keep ice cream smooth by preventing ice crystals from growing.

  7. Health & Medicine

    More good news about chocolate

    The Kuna people of Central America appear to keep their blood pressure down by drinking cocoa rich in chemicals called flavanols.

  8. Paleontology

    No Olympian: Analysis hints T. rex ran slowly, if at all

    Tyrannosaurus rex, a bipedal meat eater considered by many to be the most fearsome dinosaur of its day, may not have been the swift Jeep-chaser portrayed by Hollywood.

  9. Good Grief: Bereaved adjust well without airing emotion

    Among bereaved spouses tracked for up to 2 years after their partners' death, those who often talked with others and briefly wrote in diaries about their emotions fared no better than their tight-lipped, unexpressive counterparts.

  10. Astronomy

    Ambitious Mission: Hubble slated to get one heckuva tune-up

    If all goes according to plan, astronauts aboard the space shuttle Columbia will embark on the fourth and most technically challenging mission to replace damaged parts and install new detectors on the Hubble Space Telescope.

  11. Health & Medicine

    Broken Weapon: Mutation disarms HIV-fighting gene

    A gene that once produced a small protein able to prevent HIV from infecting cells now lies unusable in the human genome.

  12. Animals

    Honey-Scented Elephants: Young males’ faces drip sweet signals

    An Asian bull elephant just reaching maturity secretes a liquid from glands on its face that smells like honey.

  13. Materials Science

    Thin Jet Flies Two for One: Double streams yield sheathed nanoballs, fibers

    Researchers have used powerful electric fields to stretch liquids into ultrathin jets in which a stream of one liquid encloses the stream of another.

  14. Copy Crab: DNA confirms that crab forms have several origins

    New genetic evidence suggests that crabs aren't all close relatives and their characteristic shape evolved independently on numerous occasions.

  15. Health & Medicine

    Protein Repair: New compounds may help cells fight off cancer

    Researchers have identified a compound that enables even defective p53 proteins to initiate anticancer chain reactions.

  16. Paleontology

    Duck-faced croc had a gap-toothed grin

    Paleontologists have unearthed fossils of a tiny crocodile that boasted a smile like no other: The animal had no teeth across the entire front of its mouth.

  17. Health & Medicine

    Tracking Tumors

    Researchers are trying to visualize molecular and cellular changes as a cancer responds to therapy in order to predict whether treatments are effective sooner than it's currently possible to determine.

  18. Earth


    Laboratory studies of how snow crystals change shape under fluctuating environmental conditions and computer analyses that match the patterns of past avalanches with detailed meteorological data are helping scientists uncover the secrets of avalanches.