Vol. 158 No. #22
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More Stories from the November 25, 2000 issue

  1. Health & Medicine

    Sputum Test May Predict Lung Cancer

    By zeroing in on aberrations in two cancer-fighting genes, researchers have found a marker for cancer risk that could help doctors screen people for signs of lung cancer early enough for treatment to be effective.

  2. Materials Science

    To make bronze, tin flakes do a wild dance

    Upsetting some prevailing ideas about how alloys form, rafts of tin atoms jitterbug madly around on a pure copper surface and leave spots of bronze in their wakes.

  3. Low-cal diet may reduce cancer in monkeys

    Researchers monitoring monkeys have seen signs that slashing normal calorie consumption can benefit long-lived primates by extending natural life spans and reducing the odds of suffering diseases such as cancer.

  4. Animals

    Really big guys restrain youth violence

    Importing six full-grown bull elephants into a park of youngsters stopped killing sprees by young males.

  5. Tech

    Novel sensing system catches the dud spud

    A new device can detect a single potato that's infected with bacterial soft rot while buried deep in a storage crate with hundreds of healthy tubers.

  6. Astronomy

    Old stars shed light on young Milky Way

    Analyzing the composition of 70 of the oldest stars in the galaxy—the largest such sample so far—scientists have found new evidence that a generation of short-lived stars that died explosively must have preceded this elderly population and that the oldest part of the Milky Way originated not as a single component, but as bits and pieces that may have taken several hundred million years to form and coalesce.

  7. Animals

    Time to revise right whales’ family tree?

    A statistical analysis of DNA from nearly 400 right whales around the world suggests there may be three species of Eubalena, not just two—a conclusion that may boost conservation efforts.

  8. Paleontology

    Fossil find extends ants’ ancient lineage

    The recently described, 92-million-year-old fossil of a primitive worker ant pushes back the first record of its particular subfamily by 40 million years, forcing researchers to reevaluate their ideas about the early evolution of these insects.

  9. Health & Medicine

    Caffeine may ward off Parkinson’s

    Scientists may have found an explanation for why coffee drinking prevents Parkinson's disease.

  10. Health & Medicine

    A vaccine to help ex-smokers

    By generating antibodies that neutralize nicotine, a vaccine could keep ex-smokers from getting the nicotine high that drives many of them back to their bad habit.

  11. Perfect pitch common among the blind

    Blind musicians are more likely to have perfect pitch than are sighted people.

  12. Blame the brain for lack of rhythm

    Some people are born with dysmusia, a condition marked by difficulty learning to play music or recognizing melodies.

  13. Health & Medicine

    Boldly into the breech controversy

    Addressing a long-simmering controversy, a large new study has shown that in pregnancies where the baby has positioned itself to emerge feet or buttocks first, the delivery safest for the mother and child is a planned cesarean section rather than a vaginal birth.

  14. Health & Medicine

    Cancer cells on the move

    A new study suggests how a gene recently linked to liver, skin, and pancreatic cancer also causes an often-deadly form of breast cancer.

  15. Earth

    Problems with eradicating polio

    The oral vaccine's live but attenuated virus may in rare cases revert to the disease-causing form, which can then turn up in natural waters even in regions now certified free of the wild-type virus.

  16. Earth

    Infectious stowaways

    A new study finds that ballast water can move huge quantities of cholera germs and other microbes between ports around the globe.

  17. Plants

    Lowering lilies on the tree of life

    Water lilies may belong on the lowest branch of the family tree of flowering plants, along with a shrub called Amborella.

  18. Anthropology

    Out on a Limb

    The science of body development may make kindling out of evolutionary trees.

  19. Tech

    When the Chips are Down

    Scientists seek alternatives to a computer technology nearing its limits.