Vol. 161 No. #18
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More Stories from the May 4, 2002 issue

  1. Health & Medicine

    Virus gives cancer the cold treatment

    A genetically engineered version of a common cold virus appears to kill cancer cells without harming healthy tissue.

  2. Astronomy

    Elliptical duet rides the Kuiper belt

    Follow-up observations of an icy object in the Kuiper belt and its moon reveal that the two bodies revolve about each other in the most elongated orbit of any pair of objects in the solar system.

  3. Earth

    Symbionts affect coral’s chemistry

    The presence of symbiotic organisms in the tiny animals that build coral reefs changes the rates at which the animals take in minerals from the water, a finding that may affect the results of many research projects that have used chemical analyses of coral remains to infer past sea-surface temperatures.

  4. Brain keeps tabs on arbitrary patterns

    Several parts of the frontal brain cooperatively identify apparent regularities in random sequences of events and detect breaks in those patterns.

  5. Earth

    Monitors get weird vibes from Antarctic

    In late 2000, seismometers on islands in the South Pacific picked up vibrations that were eventually traced to a large iceberg drifting in the Ross Sea north of Antarctica.

  6. Humans

    In USSR, generals did it by the numbers

    A statistical analysis of the dates and times of Soviet underground nuclear tests suggests that the favorite numbers of the test-site commander may have had a significant influence upon the precise timing of the detonations.

  7. Earth

    In case of temblor, run downhill

    Computer models of the ground motions measured on a shallow hill during an earthquake suggest that, in certain circumstances, the ground movements could be magnified by as much as 10 times those measured on flat areas nearby.

  8. Small Wonder: Microbial hitchhiker has few genes

    Scientists have identified a microbe with remarkably few genes living on another microbe on the ocean floor.

  9. Paleontology

    Ancient Whodunit: Scientists indict wee suspects in ancient deaths

    Evidence locked in 180,000-year-old sediments suggests that a toxic algae bloom was the cause of death for a large group of mammals that were fossilized intact on an ancient lake bottom.

  10. Rescue Rat: Could wired rodents save the day?

    Researchers have wired a rat's brain so that someone at a laptop computer can steer the animal through mazes and over rubble.

  11. All Cried Out: Major depression puts lid on tears

    A new study suggests that depressed individuals cry no more often in response to a sad situation than nondepressed people do.

  12. Astronomy

    Faded Stars Get New Role: Hubble takes a long look

    By setting their sights on the galaxy's faintest stars, scientists have calculated the universe's age to be between 13 billion and 14 billion years old.

  13. Health & Medicine

    Cancer Link Cooks Up Doubt: Heating may form potential carcinogen in food

    Foods cooked at high temperatures contain large concentrations of acrylamide, a compound suspected to cause cancer in people, but researchers are cautious about acting on preliminary, unpublished data.

  14. Astronomy

    Sharper Images: New Hubble camera goes the distance

    Astronomers have unveiled a picture of the distant universe that ranks as the sharpest and most detailed ever recorded.

  15. Astronomy

    Dusty Disks May Reveal Hidden Worlds

    Images of gaps, rings, arcs, warps, and clumps in disks of dusty debris surrounding nearby stars are providing new clues about the nature of planets that lie beyond the solar system.

  16. The Social Net

    New studies explore the nature of social interactions on the Internet, from online corporate work groups to white supremacist chat rooms.