Vol. 181 No. #10
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More Stories from the May 19, 2012 issue

  1. Life

    Fossils show signs of earliest burrowing

    Worms’ seafloor tunneling more than a half-billion years ago could have stirred up evolutionary forces.

  2. Health & Medicine

    Slacker rat, worker rat

    Rodent work ethic, like people’s, comes in two types.

  3. Health & Medicine

    Mapping the brain’s superhighways

    New scans created using diffusion MRI technique reveal an order to information flow in the mind.

  4. Space

    Planets’ gravity tidies stellar ring

    The vast dust disk around the star Fomalhaut hints at a pair of orbiting bodies.

  5. Health & Medicine

    Autism linked to obesity in pregnancy

    Association may spark research into a possible biological mechanism.

  6. Life

    Bat-killing fungus is a European import

    Tracing the origins of the strain that causes white-nose syndrome in U.S. animals to Europe, scientists show that infection ups arousal rate during hibernation, depleting energy stores.

  7. Life

    Pigeon navigation finding called off-course

    Iron-containing cells that had been reported in beaks look mostly like immune system components, a new study finds.

  8. Physics

    Long-sought particles possibly glimpsed

    Majorana fermions, which are their own antiparticle, could one day be useful in quantum computing.

  9. Health & Medicine

    Movie clips help ease drug craving

    Images of heroin may prove useful in treating addiction.

  10. Humans

    Ancient walking gets weirder

    Fossil footprints and bones suggest variations among human ancestors in upright gait and stance.

  11. Humans

    Highlights from the American Association of Physical Anthropologists annual meeting, Portland, Ore., April 11-14

    Shorts on Stone Age finds in Southeast Asia, chatting among Neandertal ancestors and early cannibalism.

  12. Life

    Daytime anesthesia gives bees jet lag

    Honeybees, as stand-ins for surgery patients, show drug’s aftereffects as biorhythms get out sync.

  13. Life

    Engineering better hair transplants

    Cell-based approach to new follicles takes hold in skin.

  14. Life

    See, blind mice

    Transplants of light-gathering cells restore night vision in rodents.

  15. Space

    Hunt for cosmic ray source falls short

    After failure to detect neutrinos from gamma-ray bursts, scientists might need to revise theories.

  16. Life

    Polar bears older than previously thought

    New analysis reveals that the Arctic species dates back to about 600,000 years ago.

  17. Chemistry

    Synthetic heredity molecules emulate DNA

    Scientists have created six XNAs that, like the genetic building blocks they mimic, can store and pass on hereditary information.

  18. Astronomy

    Dark matter search turns up empty

    New calculations suggest dearth of invisible substance in solar neighborhood.

  19. Science Future for May 19, 2012

    May 26–27 The Mystery at the Museum tour has visitors meet characters and follow clues while visiting behind-the-scenes areas at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. See bit.ly/SFammyst June 5–6 See the transit of Venus across the sun, the last chance to see the event until 2117. The date and time […]

  20. SN Online

    LIFE A study documents homicide among chimps. Read “Chimps show lethal side.” NASA, JPL-Caltech, UA ATOM & COSMOS Cameras spy a Martian dust devil in “Tall, devilish storm skids across Mars’ surface.” DELETED SCENES BLOG For two astrophysics studies, negative results were meaningful. See “A result of zero doesn’t always mean zero results.” A dairy […]

  21. The Science Life

    Taking the world for a spin.

  22. Before the Lights Go Out: Conquering the Energy Crisis Before It Conquers Us by Maggie Koerth-Baker

    A journalist explores society’s energy options for the future, including technologies both old and new. Wiley, 2012, 225 p., $27.95

  23. The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards by William J. Broad

    A review of research shows the demonstrated benefits — and risks — of various yoga practices. Simon & Schuster, 2012, 298 p., $26

  24. Taste What You’re Missing: The Passionate Eater’s Guide to Why Good Food Tastes Good by Barb Stuckey

    Learn why bacon is so delicious and cilantro is not for everyone in this exploration of how the senses of taste, smell, hearing and sight influence the experience of food. Free Press, 2012, 407 p., $26

  25. Baby-Making: What the New Reproductive Treatments Mean for Families and Society by Bart Fauser and Paul Devroey

    Two fertility doctors describe modern technologies and the future of assisted reproduction. Oxford Univ., 2011, 292 p., $29.95

  26. BOOK REVIEW: The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet by Robert M. Hazen

    Review by Sid Perkins.

  27. BOOK REVIEW: Waking the Giant: How a Changing Climate Triggers Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanoes by Bill McGuire

    Review by Alexandra Witze.

  28. Secret of a Lifetime

    How long a neutron lives holds clues to the cosmos.

  29. Traces of Inaugural Life

    Geologists, biologists join forces to tell new stories about the first cells on Earth.

  30. The Hot and Cold of Priming

    Psychologists are divided on whether unnoticed cues can influence behavior.

  31. Letters

    Visions spark debate In “Visions for all” (SN: 4/7/12, p. 22), researchers found that functioning people who “hallucinated” God were high on the “absorption” scale and that 4 percent of people studied reported hallucinations. This reminded me that 4 percent of the population is grade V hypnotizable. All of these superhypnotizable people rate very high […]

  32. Science Past from the issue of May 19, 1962

    HAPPY HOME LIFE, YEAR 2000 — It is the year 2000. Mr. and Mrs. John Smith, Sr., prospering citizens of a prosperous America, have decided on a suitable wedding present for John, Jr…. They are going to let the boy have his old room in the Smith home, for keeps…. The room is detachable and […]

  33. SNAP: Seizing Your Aha! Moments by Katherine Ramsland

    This exploration of the neuroscience behind “aha” moments offers tips for increasing the odds of such spontaneous insights, or “snaps.” Prometheus Books, 2012, 283 p., $25