Vol. 161 No. #12

More Stories from the March 23, 2002 issue

  1. Physics

    Computer simulates full nuclear blast

    In a classified nuclear-weapon experiment, the world's fastest computer simulated a thermonuclear blast in three dimensions.

    By
  2. Clones face uncertain future

    Scientists have cloned a cat, but new studies suggest that cloned animals have shortened lifespans.

    By
  3. When brains wring colors from words

    Brain-scan data indicate that one type of synesthesia, in which people involuntarily see vivid colors while listening to spoken words, is more like a color hallucination than an attempt to imagine colors.

    By
  4. Health & Medicine

    Clot busters may put elderly people at risk

    Very elderly people who get clot-dissolving drugs immediately after a heart attack are more likely to die during their hospital stay than similar-age patients who don't get them.

    By
  5. Computing

    Finding networks within networks

    A new mathematical procedure, or algorithm, picks out those members within a larger network—for instance, related sites on the World Wide Web—that have especially close ties.

    By
  6. Paleontology

    Early hunters are guilty as charged

    Scientists find that hunting is the likely cause of New Zealand's prehistoric bird extinctions rather than habitat destruction or pest introduction.

    By
  7. Health & Medicine

    Computer sharing tackles anthrax

    A drug-discovery effort using more than a million personal computers worldwide has identified thousands of compounds that could form the basis of a cure for anthrax.

    By
  8. Anthropology

    Unified Erectus: Fossil suggests single human ancestor

    A newly found fossil skull may clear up an ongoing debate about whether the human ancestor Homo erectus was a single or several species.

    By
  9. Health & Medicine

    Brave New Drug: Compound stops cowpox and smallpox viruses

    A new drug called HDP-CDV stops smallpox virus from replicating in lab tests and cowpox virus from replicating in mice, suggesting it could work as a treatment for smallpox in people.

    By
  10. Microbes Fire an Oozie: Slime engines may push bacteria along

    Some bacteria may propel themselves with slime engines: clusters of nozzles at the ends of the microbes that exude viscous goop.

    By
  11. Paleontology

    Old Frilly Face: Triceratops’ relative fills fossil-record gap

    Fossils of a creature the size of a Texas jackrabbit cast new light on the early evolution of a group of horned dinosaurs that include the 8-meter-long Triceratops.

    By
  12. Animals

    Leave It to Evolution: Duplicated gene aids odd monkey diet

    A duplicated gene that has rapidly evolved helps certain monkey species thrive on a diet of leaves.

    By
  13. Earth

    A Confluence of Contaminants: Streams’ organic mix may pose environmental risk

    The combined effects of at least some of several dozen organic contaminants newly identified in U.S. streams may pose risks to aquatic organisms.

    By
  14. Animals

    Cold Hamsters: Wild species boosts immunity for winter

    Hamsters that have to survive winter outdoors in Siberia rev up their immune systems, including their response to psychological stress, when days grow short.

    By
  15. Earth

    Water for the Rock

    A long-popular theory about how Earth got wet—that the oceans are puddles left by an ancient rain of comets—doesn't seem to hold water, and new hypotheses suggest that the celestial pantry is now empty of a key ingredient in the recipe for Earth.

    By
  16. Physics

    The Black Hole Next Door

    Microscopic black holes—fleeting replicas of the huge, matter-gobbling ones in space—may be detected soon in our atmosphere and at a big particle collider now being built.

    By