Vol. 183 No. #5

More Stories from the March 9, 2013 issue

  1. Space

    An atom sheds light on neutron stars

    By measuring a neutron-rich atom on Earth, astronomers virtually dig into the crust of dead stars.

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  2. Life

    Pigeons’ prominent plumage traces to one gene

    A mutation responsible for ruffs, crests and collars appears to have arisen once and then passed among species through breeding.

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  3. Oceans

    Life found deep below Antarctic ice

    Lake buried under 800 meters of ice hosts cells, researchers find.

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  4. Animals

    Mole sniffs the world in stereo

    Nostrils of the common mole recognize slight differences in smells to steer it toward its food.

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  5. Space

    Supernova’s death throes revealed

    In archival images, astronomers see giant star’s activity in weeks before supernova.

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  6. Archaeology

    A king’s final hours, told by his mortal remains

    The skeleton of Richard III reveals a violent and chaotic end for a controversial English monarch.

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  7. Animals

    Compared with rodents, bat species carry more viruses

    Viruses that can jump from animals to people may find the flying mammals a fine place to lurk.

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  8. Life

    Ancestors of today’s placental mammals may never have shared the Earth with dinosaurs

    A newly constructed family tree dovetails with the fossil record, but differs considerably from previous genetic studies by suggesting that placental mammals emerged after the dinosaur extinction.

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  9. 2013 AAAS meeting

    Highlights from the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Boston, February 14-18, 2013.

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  10. Life

    Bird, human tweets come from similar parts of the brain

    Genetics study finds parallels in birdsong and language.

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  11. Earth

    Blood levels of BPA become source of controversy

    New data question whether human blood measurements of BPA reflect sample contamination or just exaggerated exposures.

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  12. Tech

    Imaging technique offers look inside hearing loss

    Two-photon microscopy visualizes hair cells in the inner ear, offering insights into processes leading to deafness.

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  13. Humans

    Exploring NASA’s quirky places

    Best known for its role in crafting and commanding spacecraft such as Curiosity, JPL is also home to decades’ worth of accumulated oddities.

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  14. SN Online

    CULTURE BEAKER Read Rachel Ehrenberg’s column “In Hollywood, buzz beats star power when it comes to predicting box office take.” Y. Ivanenko et al/J. of Neuroscience 2013 MIND & BRAIN See a video showing a test of a baby’s motor control (right) in “Newborn babies walk the walk.” EARTH See video of the meteor that […]

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  15. New age for ancient man

    It has taken longer than previously credited for the kind of people now on earth to rise to become what we know as modern man. Evidence now is that man and his cultures extend beyond two million years into the past. Radioactive dating has given new time determinations for human ancestors and evolution in the […]

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  16. Thirst: Water and Power in the Ancient World by Steven Mithen

    Learn how humans have managed water throughout history and how shortages have driven conflict and social change. Harvard Univ., 2012, 347 p., $25.95

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  17. A Little History of Science by William Bynum

    This abridged version of the human search for knowledge covers major discoveries in medicine, astronomy and other fields. Yale Univ., 2012, 263 p., $25

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  18. Near-Earth Objects: Finding Them Before They Find Us by Donald K. Yeomans

    The head of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office describes the planet’s risk of being smacked by a comet or asteroid and what can be done to prevent such a fate. Prince­ton Univ., 2012, 172 p., $24.95

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  19. Fifty Machines That Changed the Course of History by Eric Chaline

    Review key inventions of the 19th and 20th centuries, from bicycles to the Underwood typewriter. Firefly, 2012, 224 p., $29.95

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  20. BOOK REVIEW: The Visioneers: How a Group of Elite Scientists Pursued Space Colonies, Nanotechnologies, and a Limitless Future by W. Patrick McCray

    In the wake of the Manhattan Project and the Apollo program, almost anything seemed possible. And some scientists of the late 20th century went beyond the fanciful notions of futurists and science fiction writers to seriously explore where technology might take humans, society and culture. McCray chronicles the main players in two trends that captured […]

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  21. BOOK REVIEW: Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing by Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman

    The first chapter of Fabricated is set a few decades in the future: In your kitchen a 3-D printer outfitted with food cartridges cooks up breakfast, while across the street a giant printing nozzle oozes out the concrete foundation of a new home. At work, you’re investigating the bioprinting black market, wherein counterfeiters sell sloppily […]

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  22. Tech

    The 3-D Printing Revolution

    Using a technique known as 3-D printing, regular people can now make goods typically produced in huge quantities in factories overseas.

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  23. Humans

    A Cancer Patient’s Best Friend

    Similarities between tumors in people and dogs mean canine studies can inform human disease.

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  24. Letters to the editor

    Scrutinizing baseball’s streaks My family owned the Oakland A’s, formerly the Kansas City Athletics, from 1960 to 1980. During this period, our team won three consecutive World Series (1972 – 74) and five consecutive division titles (1971 – 75). I personally witnessed that one player would be on a streak and his attitude appeared to raise his teammates’ spirits […]

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  25. Upcoming events

    March 15 Learn about the 1989 “discovery” of cold fusion, later disproved, at a screening of the documentary film The Believers at Fermilab, near Chicago. A discussion with physicists and the directors follows. See bit.ly/SFbelievers March 16 – 23 Try science activities, help clean up the coast and get teaching ideas at the San Diego […]

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  26. The Science of Consequences: How They Affect Genes, Change the Brain, and Impact Our World by Susan M. Schneider

    A biopsychologist examines how the brain shapes beha­vior by learning from the consequences of actions. Prometheus, 2012, 383 p., $21

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