Vol. 177 No. #7

More Stories from the March 27, 2010 issue

  1. Health & Medicine

    ‘Ministrokes’ may cause more damage than thought

    A common test given to patients after the passing attacks appears to miss some cognitive impairments.

  2. Ecosystems

    Sea of plastics

    Oceanographers are finding more patches of floating polymers, some up to 20 meters deep.

  3. Chemistry

    Naming an atomic heavyweight

    More than a decade after its debut in a German lab, element 112 is officially named copernicium.

  4. Health & Medicine

    Coffee associated with lower stroke risk

    SAN ANTONIO — People who drink coffee are nearly one-third less likely than nondrinkers to develop a stroke, a new study suggests. It didn’t matter if the brew was drip grind, decaffeinated or even lowly instant. Epidemiologist Yangmei Li of the University of Cambridge in England and her colleagues analyzed the health records of more […]

  5. Health & Medicine

    U.S. women still have higher stroke incidence than men

    SAN ANTONIO — For reasons no one quite understands, U.S. women appear nearly three times as prone to have strokes as men. Vascular neurologist Amytis Towfighi of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and her colleagues analyzed data from 2,274 people in 2005 and 2006. The participants were part of a large ongoing […]

  6. Humans

    Facebook users keep it real in online profiles

    College students on Facebook display their real personalities, not reinvented selves, a new study suggests.

  7. Archaeology

    Stone Age engraving traditions appear on ostrich eggshells

    Fragments indicate symbolic communication on 60,000-year-old water containers.

  8. Humans

    Titanic study: It takes time to do the right thing

    Comparing the Titanic and Lusitania disasters suggests that people in a crisis are more likely to maintain social norms if they have longer to react.

  9. Paleontology

    Ancient DNA suggests polar bears evolved recently

    A study of a rare Norwegian fossil narrows down when polar bears evolved and finds they are closely related to modern-day brown bears in Alaska.

  10. Life

    Rise of female weaponry driven by poop fights

    Motherly fights for excrement in one species of dung beetle have favored the evolution of a special female horn.

  11. Space

    Geophysicists push age of Earth’s magnetic field back 250 million years

    South African rocks suggest that the earliest stages of life on Earth were protected from harmful solar radiation.

  12. Life

    Researchers distinguish two different types of blood stem cells

    Working in mice, scientists find that red and white blood cells arise from different progenitors.

  13. Life

    Mature females key to beluga sturgeon survival

    Hatchery fish are unlikely to restore caviar-producing fish populations, a new assessment finds.

  14. Science Past from the issue of March 26, 1960

    HIDDEN WATER TRACED BY BOMB FALLOUT IN RAIN — Radioactive fallout from atom bomb tests can be used to seek out and “expose” new sources of drinking water that lie hidden deep in the earth…. Raindrops have an affinity for absorbing minute particles of tritium from the fallout left in the atmosphere after nuclear bomb […]

  15. Nature’s Chemicals: The Natural Products that Shaped Our World by Richard Firn

    A biologist explores useful compounds made by plants and microbes. Oxford Univ. Press, 2010, 250 p., $65. NATURE’S CHEMICALS: THE NATURAL PRODUCTS THAT SHAPED OUR WORLD BY RICHARD FIRN

  16. Eternity Soup: Inside the Quest to End Aging by Greg Critser

    An aging society has spurred academics and entrepreneurs to study getting old and what could or should be done to stop it. Harmony Books, 2010, 234 p., $26. ETERNITY SOUP: INSIDE THE QUEST TO END AGING BY GREG CRITSER

  17. The Warcraft Civilization: Social Science in a Virtual World by William Sims Bainbridge

    Studying players in the computer game World of Warcraft can explain real-world group behavior, a sociologist argues. MIT Press, 2010, 244 p., $27.95. THE WARCRAFT CIVILIZATION: SOCIAL SCIENCE IN A VIRTUAL WORLD BY WILLIAM SIMS BAINBRIDGE

  18. Flatland: An Edition with Notes and Commentary

    Two mathematicians add new analyses and context to Abbott’s classic story about a two-dimensional universe. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2010, 294 p., $14.99. FLATLAND: AN EDITION WITH NOTES AND COMMENTARY BY EDWIN A. ABBOTT, NOTES BY WILLIAM F. LINDGREN AND THOMAS F. BANCHOFF

  19. Science & Society

    Book Review: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

    In her new book, science writer Rebecca Skloot describes how Henrietta Lacks' cells changed the face of modern medical science.

  20. Book Review: Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche by Ethan Watters

    Watch out world — here comes American culture waving a manual of psychiatric diagnoses. Soon, everyone from Hong Kong schoolgirls to Sri Lankan villagers will think about mental health and illness in the same homogenized way. In Crazy Like Us, journalist Ethan Watters makes a case that this monolithic scenario could happen, a disturbing specter […]

  21. Contemplating future plans for particle colliders

    Caltech physicist Barry Barish is the director of the global design effort for the International Linear Collider, which is currently in the planning stages. If built, the ILC would smash together electrons and their antimatter counterparts, positrons, at nearly the speed of light. The ILC would complement the Large Hadron Collider, a European proton collider […]

  22. Humans

    Odds Are, It’s Wrong

    Science fails to face the shortcomings of statistics.

  23. In Pursuit of the Briefest Beat

    In his mind, Paul Corkum envisioned a dramatic thriller. Its actors were the pulsating electric fields of ordinary infrared laser beams and the electrons of atoms in the laser’s path. As the plot unfolded, a puzzle would be resolved — opening, he realized, a new frontier in the measurement of the ultrafast and the ultrabrief. […]

  24. Stomach’s Sweet Tooth

    People deceive their taste buds every day — a dash of Sweet’N Low in the coffee, perhaps, a diet soda or a stick of sugarless gum. These little white lies seem to cover up harmless, even healthy choices. After all, fooling the mouth with artificial sweeteners provides a fix without the calories or the cavities. […]

  25. Letters

    Ancient graffiti Regarding “Graffiti on the walls in Pompeii” (SN: 01/30/10, p. 14), I remember reading some years ago about graffiti being discovered in Pompeii. There was even a symbol that researchers interpreted as a sort of “Kilroy was here.” Is this an on­going study? New sites? I wonder if there were other markings, such […]

  26. Science Future for March 27, 2010

    April 23 Celebrate National DNA Day through a webchat with NIH researchers. Go to www.genome.gov/10506367 April 26 – 30 Scientists and engineers meet in Nottingham, England, to discuss the science of quantum dots. See www.qd2010.org May 14 Deadline for receipt of nominations for AAAS fellows. Download forms at www.aaas.org/aboutaaas/fellows

  27. The Rise and Fall of the Biopsychosocial Model by S. Nassir Ghaemi

    A psychiatrist criticizes the idea of psychiatric disease as a product of biological and social factors. Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2010, 253 p., $50. THE RISE AND FALL OF THE BIOPSYCHOSOCIAL MODEL BY S. NASSIR GHAEMI