Science News Magazine:Vol. 159 No. #20
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More Stories from the May 19, 2001 issue
Free-floaters: Images of planets?
Several recent studies have escalated the debate about what exactly constitutes a planet.By Ron Cowen
Brains show evolutionary designs
Mammal species exhibit basic types of brain design from which they have evolved a wide array of brain sizes, according to a new analysis.
Here come mom and dad
Children in two-parent families spend more time with their mothers and fathers now than they did 20 years ago.
How spiny lobsters make scary noises
Spiny lobsters make alarm and protest sounds by drawing their leathery plectra—protrusions at the base of each anntenna—across scaley ridges below their eyes, much like a violin bow pulling across a string.
Lyme ticks lurk on golf course edges
At least half the ticks collected along woodsy edges of five golf courses in Rhode Island carry the baterium that causes Lyme disease.
Anticancer Protein Locks onto DNA
The protein encoded by the normal form of BRCA1 attaches to DNA directly, seeks out unusual DNA structures, and joins multiple DNA strands together—all activities suggesting a direct role in DNA repair.
To save gardens, ants rush to whack weeds
Ants can grow gardens, too, and the first detailed study of their weeding techniques shows that whether a gardener has two legs or six, the chore looks much the same.
They’re not briquettes, but they’ll do
Chunks of fossil charcoal found in ancient sediments in north central Pennsylvania suggest that cycles of wildfire plagued Earth more than 360 million years ago.By Sid Perkins
Light shines in quantum-computing arena
A new computing scheme using available technology and only classical physics appears to handle many tasks that researchers thought would be unsuited to any computers except the still-hypothetical ones that would exploit quantum physics.By Peter Weiss
Snacking in space: Star dines on planet
Astronomers have found evidence that a star has swallowed one or more of its own planets.By Ron Cowen
Many refugees can’t flee mental ailments
Refugees interviewed in camps in Nepal exhibit post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental ailments, especially if they have survived torture in their native country.
San Jose hosts 2001 science competition
More than 1,200 students from almost 40 countries competed last week in San Jose for more than $3 million in prizes and scholarships at the 2001 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
Health & Medicine
Virus in transplanted hearts bodes ill
Pediatric heart-transplant recipients who acquire a viral infection in the heart fare poorly over the long term.By Nathan Seppa
Cosmic Chemistry Gets Creative
By simulating extraterrestrial impacts on Earth, researchers are firing away at the question of how life started.
A More Perfect Union
Forsaking life in the outside world, endosymbiotic bacteria of some insects traded freedom and nutrients for life inside a cell.