Vol. 169 No. #9
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More Stories from the March 4, 2006 issue

  1. Tech

    Tiny ticker

    Researchers have demonstrated that they can control how frequently a DNA-based nanodevice changes between two forms.

  2. Tech

    A dim view of biologic and chemical agents

    Microscopic gel balls that act as lenses may become the active ingredient of quick-acting sensors for bioagents and chemicals.

  3. Tech

    Making the most of chip fabrication

    An advance in the way microelectronic circuit patterns are created may help preserve conventional chip-making methods beyond the currently predicted date of their demise.

  4. Astronomy

    Chasing a stellar blast

    An exploding star recently discovered in a nearby galaxy may be a milestone in the study of type 1a supernovas.

  5. Earth

    Closed pores mean more fresh water

    Less plant sweat means more river flow.

  6. Earth

    China’s deserts expand with population growth

    Carried forward by winds and sandstorms, the dunes of northern China are expanding at an unprecedented rate, primarily because of human activities that have contributed to erosion.

  7. Ecosystems

    Corals don’t spread far from their birthplaces

    Creating a marine protected area might offer only limited benefits to vulnerable corals, because viable coral larvae don't appear to spread far from their points of origin.

  8. Babies show budding number knowledge

    By 7 months of age, babies often can tell the difference between two and three entities, at least under certain circumstances.

  9. Health & Medicine

    Do Over: New MS drug may be safe after all

    The experimental drug natalizumab, which limits relapses in patients with multiple sclerosis, may get a second chance after being withdrawn from use in 2005.

  10. Animals

    Cannibal Power: Mormon crickets swarm to eat and not be eaten

    What keeps the great swarms of Mormon crickets rolling across the landscape may be a combination of nutritional deficits and the risk of getting cannibalized.

  11. Archaeology

    Ancient Andean Maize Makers: Finds push back farming, trade in highland Peru

    Fossilized plant remains recovered from a nearly 4,000-year-old house in the Andes Mountains of southern Peru show that highland inhabitants cultivated maize and imported other plant foods from lowland forests at around the time that large societies developed in the region.

  12. Astronomy

    Unique Explosion: Gamma-ray burst leads astronomers to supernova

    Astronomers have found a supernova associated with the second-closest-known gamma-ray burst, confirming a model in which bursts arise from material blasted into space by a supernova explosion.

  13. Health & Medicine

    Gender Gap: Male-only gene affects men’s dopamine levels

    A gene found only in men affects the brain's production of dopamine, a finding that may help explain why men are more likely than women to develop Parkinson's disease and other dopamine-related illnesses.

  14. Earth

    Smoldered-Earth Policy: Created by ancient Amazonian natives, fertile, dark soils retain abundant carbon

    Amazonian dark earth, or terra preta in Portuguese, is attracting scientific attention for its high productivity, mysterious past, and ability to store carbon.

  15. Gold-Metal Results: Compounds block immune proteins

    Metals such as platinum and gold keep certain proteins from stimulating the body's immune response.

  16. Eat Smart

    Your daily diet may have an impact on your brain's resiliency in the face of injury or disease.

  17. Ecosystems

    Saving Sturgeon

    Sturgeon species around the world are in trouble, which is why humans will increasingly be stepping in to give them a big assist.

  18. Humans

    Letters from the March 4, 2006, issue of Science News

    Impure thoughts Epidemiologist Scott Davis warns, “Melatonin supplements are not regulated” the way drugs are. … “There may be all kinds of impurities and contaminants” (“Bright Lights, Big Cancer: Melatonin-depleted blood spurs tumor growth,” SN: 1/7/06, p. 8). Are you really going to tell me that you aren’t going to take melatonin—if you’re convinced that […]