Vol. 165 No. #19 Archives

More Stories from the May 8, 2004 issue

  1. Physics

    Fundamental constant didn’t vary after all

    In disagreement with prior findings, an analysis of new quasar observations indicates that alpha, the universal constant that defines the strength of the electromagnetic force, has not varied since the early days of the cosmos.

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  2. Uganda shows strong gains in war on AIDS

    Uganda has shown remarkable progress against HIV, the AIDS virus.

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  3. Chronic vibrations constrict vessels

    Chronic vibrations of the hands can distort and twist some arterial cells to the breaking point, animal research indicates.

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  4. Earth

    Tracks of dust devils spotted from space

    Scientists scanning satellite images of the southern Sahara have detected trails left on the landscape by the whirlwinds commonly known as dust devils.

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  5. Brain roots of music depreciation

    The brains of tone-deaf people may be unable to detect subtle shifts in pitch, which keeps them from learning the basic structure of musical passages.

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  6. Health & Medicine

    Humidity may affect LASIK surgery

    High humidity can boost the chances of needing follow-up surgery after LASIK surgery for nearsightedness.

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  7. Words in the Brain: Reading program spurs neural rewrite in kids

    Children who are deficient readers show improvement in both reading skills and brain function when given intensive instruction in how written letters correspond to speech sounds, a brain-imaging study finds.

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  8. Animals

    Toxin Takeout: Frogs borrow poison for skin from ants

    Scientists have identified formicine ants as a food source from which poison frogs acquire their chemical weapons.

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  9. Paleontology

    Ancient Buzzing: German site yields early hummingbird fossils

    Excavations in Germany have yielded the only known fossils of hummingbirds from the Old World and by far the oldest such fossils unearthed anywhere.

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  10. Waste Not: Proteins suggest ways to thwart muscle loss

    Researchers have now revealed details of the biochemical signals that drive muscle atrophy.

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  11. Materials Science

    Next High-Tech Polishing Fluid: Tea—A new brew for the computer industry

    A concoction based on green tea may speed up manufacturing of precision components for computer hard-disk drives while reducing toxic wastes.

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  12. Health & Medicine

    Cord Blood to the Rescue: Infusions help babies with Hurler’s syndrome

    Umbilical cord blood transplants boost overall health and survival in patients with the rare hereditary condition called Hurler's syndrome.

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  13. Astronomy

    Closing In on a Monster: A black hole’s dusty environs show themselves

    The first clear picture of the immediate surroundings of a supermassive black hole confirms that these gravitational monsters hide behind thick belts of dust.

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  14. Health & Medicine

    Delaying Dementia

    The limited success of attempts to treat Alzheimer's disease with several compounds that appear able to prevent the disorder suggests that the window for derailing the development of the illness may close years before cognitive decline becomes evident.

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  15. Teen Brains on Trial

    Scientific opinions differ about whether evidence on delayed maturation of the adolescent brain should be used to argue that teenagers have reduced culpability for crimes and thus should be exempt from the death penalty.

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  16. Humans

    Letters from the May 8, 2004, issue of Science News

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