Vol. 175 No. #10

More Stories from the May 9, 2009 issue

  1. Earth

    Arctic ice more vulnerable than ever

    Ocean’s ice cap is smaller than long-term average and thinnest yet as melt season begins.

  2. Earth

    Nickel down, oxygen up

    Researchers point to the early ocean's concentration of nickel as the possible start for events that allowed Earth's atmosphere to accumulate oxygen.

  3. Health & Medicine

    Acid reflux link to asthma now in doubt

    Heartburn drugs called proton pump inhibitors, commonly prescribed for asthma patients, don’t prevent breathing attacks.

  4. Health & Medicine

    The other, friendly fat

    Brown fat is active in adult humans and could help keep people lean.

  5. Materials Science

    Double-laser approach makes one thin line

    Erasing and stenciling could refine tiny printing for sculpting nano-sized devices.

  6. Animals

    Oh, he’s such a lab bird

    Bold flycatchers may be more likely than shy birds to get trapped for lab studies.

  7. Life

    Early land arthropods sported shells

    Ancient ocean-dwelling arthropods may have worn shells to enable their transition to land.

  8. Health & Medicine

    Hypoglycemia linked to dementia

    Episodes of low blood sugar that require medical attention seem to increase a person’s risk of developing dementia in old age, a study in people with type 2 diabetes shows.

  9. Space

    Massive solar flares captured in 3-D

    Distance between orbiting STEREO craft allows better imaging of coronal mass ejections.

  10. Life

    Lizards sunbathe for another reason

    Panther chameleons may regulate their vitamin D levels by lounging in the sun.

  11. Tech

    Cloaked eye still sees

    Researchers have proposed a model that would allow sensors to send and receive information virtually undetected.

  12. Health & Medicine

    Seemingly misplaced DNA acts as lenses

    Nocturnal animals orient DNA in retinal cells to focus light.

  13. Physics

    Nanoclusters seem to skirt physics law

    In simulations, tiny loophole allows colliding nanoclusters to increase speed after impact.

  14. Plants

    Landscaper’s darling hybridizes into an environmental nuisance

    Variation underlies the Callery pear tree’s transformation .

  15. Science Future for May 9, 2009

    May 10 Winners of the “Best Visual Illusion of the Year Contest” announced in Naples, Fla. View entries at illusioncontest.neuralcorrelate.com May 10–15 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for students in grades 9–12 in Reno, Nev. Visit www.societyforscience.org June 10–14 The World Science Festival in New York City. See the lineup at www.worldsciencefestival.com

  16. The Fifth Postulate: How Unraveling a Two-Thousand-Year-Old Mystery Unraveled the Universe by Jason Socrates Bardi

    The story of the discovery of non-Euclidean geometry. Wiley, 2009, 253 p., $27.95. THE FIFTH POSTULATE: HOW UNRAVELING A TWO-THOUSAND-YEAR-OLD MYSTERY UNRAVELED THE UNIVERSE BY JASON SOCRATES BARDI

  17. Book Review: Darwin’s Sacred Cause: How a Hatred of Slavery Shaped Darwin’s Views on Human Evolution by Adrian Desmond and James Moore

    While forming his theory of common descent, Charles Darwin peered beyond his observations of ants, barnacles and blue-footed boobies to try to comprehend a broader subject: human slavery. He encountered the slave trade’s horrors through stories told within his moneyed, abolitionist family. After visiting slave-holding nations on the Beagle, Darwin was forever haunted by the […]

  18. Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Tsunamis: Projects and Principles for Beginning Geologists by Matthys Levy and Mario Salvadori

    Kid-friendly activities reveal the science behind natural disasters. Chicago Review, 2009, 136 p., $14.95 EARTHQUAKES, VOLCANOES, AND TSUNAMIS: PROJECTS AND PRINCIPLES FOR BEGINNING GEOLOGISTS BY MATTHYS LEVY AND MARIO SALVADORI

  19. At Nobel Conference, scientists and public converse

    Physics professor Charles Niederriter of Gustavus Adolphus College directs the Nobel Conference, an annual forum where scientists and the public discuss a contemporary scientific topic. Held every year at Gustavus Adolphus, in Saint Peter, Minn., this year’s Nobel Conference, October 6–7, will examine the current state of water resources. Staff writer Laura Sanders recently talked […]

  20. Animals

    Swarm Savvy

    How bees, ants and other animals avoid dumb collective decisions

  21. The Genetic Dimension of Height and Health

    From Danny Devito to Yao Ming, the world is filled with short people and tall people and everyone in between. While factors such as nutrition influence height differences, much of that variation depends on genes. After all, both of Ming’s parents were basketball stars, and Devito’s were not. THE GENETIC DIMENSION OF HEIGHT AND HEALTH […]

  22. Ecosystems

    Living Physics

  23. Letters

    Don’t dismiss Lamarck Your January 31 special birthday edition on Darwin (SN: 1/31/09, p. 17) was excellent, but I believe that science has allowed Jean-Baptiste Lamarck’s contributions to be overshadowed by Darwin’s. The change that can occur to an organism’s genetic makeup during its own lifetime harks away from Darwin’s slow evolutionary process by chance […]

  24. Science Past from the issue of May 9, 1959

    Forecast 25% increase in air’s carbon dioxide — A 25% increase in the amount of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere during the 150-year period ending in 2000 A.D. has been forecast. Dr. Bert Bolin of the University of Stockholm in Sweden told the National Academy of Sciences meeting in Washington that the burning of […]

  25. Nanoscale: Visualizing an Invisible World by Kenneth S. Deffeyes and Stephen E. Deffeyes

    Illustrations reveal the nanoscale world in rich detail. MIT, 2009, 133 p., $21.95. NANOSCALE: VISUALIZING AN INVISIBLE WORLD BY KENNETH S. DEFFEYES AND STEPHEN E. DEFFEYES