Vol. 182 No. #9
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More Stories from the November 3, 2012 issue

  1. Life

    Birds catching malaria in Alaska

    The mosquito-spread disease may be transmitted north of the Arctic Circle as climate shifts.

  2. Humans

    Feather finds hint at Neandertal art

    Plumage found at ancient sites may indicate capability for abstract thought among humans’ Stone Age cousins.

  3. Astronomy

    Team glimpses black hole’s secrets

    In the distant galaxy M87, new observations about structure’s rotational speed and jets show the potential of a budding telescope network.

  4. Tech

    Degradable devices vanish after use

    Technique combines silicon, magnesium and silk for medical implants, transistors and digital cameras that can melt away.

  5. Health & Medicine

    Male DNA found in female brains

    Postmortem sampling suggests fetal cells can slip through the blood-brain barrier.

  6. Chemistry

    Chemical bond shields extreme microbes from poison

    Molecular structure explains how ‘arsenic life’ bacteria instead survive by fishing out phosphate from their surroundings.

  7. Life

    Duck-billed dino could slice and dice

    Ancient animal’s teeth were made of six different tissue types.

  8. Humans

    Human-Neandertal mating gets a new date

    Late Stone Age interbreeding between Neandertals and people may have left a mark on Europeans’ DNA.

  9. Life

    Mouse stem cells yield viable eggs

    Japanese scientists’ technical feat might provide new insights about protecting and extending human fertility.

  10. Life

    Black mamba bite packs potent painkiller

    Scientists find that a component of snake venom blocks pain-sensing nerve signals.

  11. Space

    Superfast star spotted orbiting Milky Way’s black hole

    Upcoming gravitational close encounter will test relativity theories in the extreme.

  12. Life

    2012 medicine Nobel honors research on reprogramming adult cells

    John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka share this year's prize.

  13. Physics

    2012 physics Nobel recognizes experiments probing quantum world

    Serge Haroche and David Wineland win for investigating single particles of light and matter.

  14. Life

    Research in cell communication system wins 2012 chemistry Nobel

    G protein-coupled receptors relay messages from other cells and the environment into the cell's interior.

  15. Astronomy

    The alien next door

    Newly discovered planet is just 4.4 light-years distant.

  16. Microbes

    Protecting the planet

    Catharine “Cassie” Conley has the coolest job title at NASA: She’s the agency’s planetary protection officer. (The best title used to be “director of the universe,” but a reconfiguration a few years back eliminated that job description, she says.)

  17. Science Future for November 3, 2012

    November 8–16 Take in nine days of science-based films during the Imagine Science Film Festival at several locations around New York City. This year’s films explore the mind, brain and time. See bit.ly/SFimfilm November 17 A new exhibit called “Our Global Kitchen” at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City explores issues […]

  18. SN Online

    ON THE SCENE BLOG Deep brain stimulation shows promise for treating spinal cord injuries. Read “Brain zap helps spine-damaged rats walk.” X-ray: NASA, CXC, G. Cassam-Chenaï and J. Hughes et al/Rutgers Univ., Radio: NRAO, AUI, NSF, GBT, K. Dyer, R. Maddalena and T. Cornwell/VLA, Optical: F. Winkler/Middlebury College, NOAO, AURA, NSF, CTIO, Schmidt/DSS ATOM & […]

  19. The Spine of the Continent: The Most Ambitious Wildlife Conservation Project Ever Undertaken by Mary Ellen Hannibal

    A journalist travels the length of the Rockies documenting efforts to create a massive wildlife corridor stretching from Canada to Mexico. Lyons Press, 2012, 272 p., $24.95

  20. The Science of Human Perfection: How Genes Became the Heart of American Medicine by Nathaniel Comfort

    A historian finds parallels between the 19th century eugenics movement and the rise of modern human genetics. Yale Univ., 2012, 316 p., $35

  21. Owls of the World: A Photographic Guide by Heimo Mikkola

    Spectacular imagery enhances this detailed guide to 249 species of owls, including sections on owl biology, evolution and behavior. Firefly, 2012, 512 p., $49.95

  22. Fifty Minerals That Changed the Course of History by Eric Chaline

    From alabaster to zinc, this book highlights the scientific, cultural and commercial significance of a bevy of alloys, metals, rocks and gemstones. Firefly, 2012, 224 p., $29.95

  23. Humans

    Homo Mysterious

    Evolutionary Puzzles of Human Nature by David P. Barash.

  24. Math

    The Joy of x

    A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity by Steven Strogatz.

  25. Life

    Nouveaux Antennas

    A single hairlike appendage may allow a cell to sense the outside world

  26. Health & Medicine

    Suicidal Threads

    Early abuse weaves its way into the brain, with potentially tragic consequences.

  27. Astronomy

    Prospecting for Quasicrystals

    Siberian journey nets a mineralogical space oddity.

  28. Letters

    Fractious debateRachel Ehrenberg’s feature story on hydraulic fracturing “The Facts Behind the Frack,“ (SN: 9/8/12, p. 20) spurred a big response from readers. We received letters voicing strong opinions on both sides of the fracking debate. The article was intended as an overview of what science has to say about the risks of fracking and, due […]

  29. Science Past from the issue of November 3, 1962

    PAST-SEEKING CAMERA — A camera that can “see” what already has happened as well as what is happening may have provided the United States with information on missile bases in Cuba…. Special photographic plates are sensitive to heat (infrared) radiation and the past presence of objects is shown differentially. This is only one of the […]

  30. Wonderful Life with the Elements: The Periodic Table Personified by Bunpei Yorifuji

    An artist explains the properties of the elements by drawing them as quirky characters in this fun guide to the periodic table. No Starch Press, 2012, 206 p., $17.95