Vol. 165 No. #12 Archives

More Stories from the March 20, 2004 issue

  1. Planetary Science

    Revisiting a forgotten planet

    Engineers are readying a NASA spacecraft for a May 11 launch to Mercury, one of the least-explored planets in the solar system.

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  2. Animals

    Hornbills know which monkey calls to heed

    Hornbills can tell the difference between two kinds of alarm calls given by monkeys.

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  3. Health & Medicine

    Drug for migraines helps some patients

    An experimental drug that slows blood flow in the brain knocks out migraine headaches in some people.

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  4. Anthropology

    Grannies give gift of longer lives

    Data from two 18th- and 19th-century farming communities supports the theory that child care assistance from grandmothers has contributed to the evolution of extended human longevity.

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  5. Physics

    Complexity by way of simplicity

    Researchers have demonstrated a new way to simplify some intricate patterns whose extreme complexity has convinced theoretical physicist Stephen Wolfram that traditional science can't explain many important natural phenomena.

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  6. Health & Medicine

    Heart patients gain from steep cholesterol drop

    Heart patients can lessen their risk of a heart attack and increase their odds of survival by aggressively reducing harmful low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in their blood.

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  7. Animals

    Road rage keeps ants moving smoothly

    Streams of ants manage to avoid traffic gridlock by a bit of strategic pushing and shoving.

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  8. Health & Medicine

    Ear piercings cause illness, disfigurement

    Piercing the upper-ear cartilage under nonsterile conditions can leave a person vulnerable to a Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection, as happened in Oregon in 2000.

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  9. Movie sparks group brain responses

    People exhibit a surprising amount of brain activity in common while viewing a dramatic movie, a brain-imaging study finds.

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  10. Astronomy

    Planetoid on the Fringe: Solar system record breaker

    Lurking more than 13 billion kilometers from Earth in the coldest, remotest part of the solar system, a newly discovered body is the most distant object ever found to orbit the sun and the largest denizen of the solar system discovered since Pluto.

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  11. Brain Gain: Odd RNA converts stem cells into neurons

    An unusual strand of RNA guides stem cells to transform into neurons.

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  12. Chemistry

    Mini Motor: Synthetic molecule yields nanoscale rotor

    Scientists have built a tiny rotor out of a synthesized molecule that rotates in the presence of an electric field.

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  13. Health & Medicine

    Gap in the Defense: Brain cancer patients short on valuable protein

    Brain tumor cells have a dearth of an obscure protein called ING4, whose sister compounds have shown anticancer effects.

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  14. Anthropology

    Prehistoric Family Split: DNA puts Neandertals on edge of human ancestry

    The largest sample of ancient mitochondrial DNA extracted from Stone Age fossils to date indicates that Neandertals made, at most, a small genetic contribution to our direct prehistoric ancestors.

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  15. Tech

    Iron Power: Eking more juice from batteries

    By creating an extremely thin layer of an unusually electron-hungry form of iron, chemists have made a prototype rechargeable battery electrode that may lead to improved metal hydride batteries.

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  16. Humans

    Top of the Top 40: Search tool for a cancer cure places first in national science competition

    Herbert Mason Hedberg, the 2004 winner of the Intel Science Talent Search, and 39 other students have received recognition and scholarships for their innovations in science, mathematics, and engineering.

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  17. The Bad Seed

    Researchers are racing to identify tumor-forming stem cells in skin, lung, pancreatic, and many other cancers.

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  18. Mother and Child Disunion

    Data on extensive giveaways of daughters by their mothers in northern Taiwan a century ago may challenge influential theories of innate maternal sentiments.

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  19. Humans

    Letters from the March 20, 2004, issue of Science News

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