Vol. 163 No. #12 Archives

More Stories from the March 22, 2003 issue

  1. Physics

    In orbit, water makes the stretch

    An astronaut-at-play stumbled upon an unexpected behavior of water in near-zero gravity: The formation of durable films—some as wide as saucers—that would instantly break here on Earth.

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  2. Discovery of bitter-taste gene is sweet

    Scientists have found that variations in a gene explain why people differ in their ability to taste bitterness.

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  3. Health & Medicine

    Plot thickens for blood pressure drugs

    A new study counters a recent report that diuretics taken for high blood pressure protect against heart problems better than newer, more expensive drugs.

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  4. Earth

    More Arctic clouds may lessen warming

    Nearly 2 decades of satellite observations suggest that an increase in Arctic cloudiness at certain times of the year may partially counteract the effects of global warming in the region.

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  5. Physics

    Squirming through space-time

    In the exotic realm of curved space, the topography of space itself might provide a propulsion assist—albeit a tiny one.

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  6. Animals

    Ants lurk for bees, but bees see ambush

    A tropical ant has perfected the un-antlike behavior of hunting by ambush, but its prey, a sweat bee, has developed some tricks of its own.

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  7. Paleontology

    Was T. rex just a big freeloader?

    A new study suggests that an ecosystem like today’s African savanna could provide sufficient carrion to nourish a scavenger the size of a Tyrannosaurus rex.

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  8. Physics

    Muon Manna? Particle shower may spotlight loose nukes

    Radiation from space may help border guards spot loose nukes stowed in shipping containers.

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  9. Genetically Driven: Mutation shows up in binge eaters

    Overweight binge eaters are more likely to harbor a genetic mutation that disrupts brain signals governing satiety than are people of normal weight.

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  10. Astronomy

    Cosmic Afterglow: Gamma-ray bursts may one-up themselves

    New observations suggest that gamma-ray bursts may be even more energetic than scientists had estimated.

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  11. Original Kin: Six-legged bugs may have evolved twice

    Insects may have evolved independently from other six-legged land bugs and may be more closely related to crustaceans than to their fellow so-called hexapods.

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  12. No Rest for the Waking: Brain cells for alertness fire without cues

    The brain cells that keep people awake fire spontaneously and continuously on their own, suggesting that sleep depends on signals from other brain regions that quiet these neurons.

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  13. A Tale of the Tapeworm: Parasite ploy suggests drug-delivery tactic

    A chemical used by tapeworms to slow intestinal pulsations may help people absorb drugs more efficiently.

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  14. Animals

    Techno Crow: Do birds build up better tool designs?

    Researchers surveying tool use by New Caledonian crows propose that the birds may be the first animals besides people shown to ratchet up the sophistication of their technology by sharing design improvements.

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  15. Astronomy

    Honors for Science News astronomy writer

    Science News astronomy writer Ron Cowen is a recipient of the third David N. Schramm award for distinguished writing on high-energy astrophysics.

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  16. Health & Medicine

    More than a Kick

    Nicotine ramps up activity throughout the body, making the drug a suspect in many tobacco-related ailments.

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  17. Tech

    Refueling Rockets

    Hybrid-rocket fuels—part solid, part liquid—have been around for a half-century, and they may just now be taking off.

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