Vol. 162 No. #16
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More Stories from the October 19, 2002 issue

  1. Earth

    Haze clears on sooty climate conditions

    The results of a new study suggest that soot plays a bigger role in regional climate changes than scientists had previously realized.

  2. Anthropology

    Fossil skull spurs identity dispute

    A dispute has broken out over whether a recently discovered, 7-million-year-old fossil skull represents the earliest known member of the human evolutionary family or an ancient ape.

  3. Tests revise image of kangaroo rats

    An ecological study of kangaroo rats has revised thinking about how these desert dwellers cope with their stressful home.

  4. Plants

    Drought-tolerant plant mined for survival genes

    A drought-resistant South African plant is revealing its genetic secrets.

  5. Sea squirt’s DNA makes a splash

    The DNA sequence of a sea squirt may reveal the origins of vertebrates.

  6. Bacterial diet quiets worm genes

    Genetically engineered bacteria help biologists turn off worm genes.

  7. Long live the Y?

    Researchers have identified a means by which the Y chromosome may forestall, or at least delay, the gradual degradation that some biologists argue will ultimately delete it from the human genome.

  8. Health & Medicine

    Final Word? Breast surgeries yield same survival rate

    Women with breast cancer who undergo partial-breast removal are just as likely to survive for at least 20 years as are women who have their entire breast removed.

  9. Paleontology

    Dear Mummy: Rare fossil reveals common dinosaur’s soft tissue

    A mummified dinosaur unearthed in Montana a year ago is giving scientists a rare peek at what the creature's muscles and other soft tissues may have looked like.

  10. Astronomy

    Celestial Divide: Finding two families of galaxies

    By analyzing data from a mammoth sky survey, astromoners have found that galaxies divide into two distinct families, depending on their stellar mass.

  11. Health & Medicine

    Less Crying in the Kitchen: Tasty, tearfree onions on the horizon

    The discovery of a new enzyme responsible for creating the tear-inducing chemicals found in onions may herald the arrival of genetically modified tearfree onions.

  12. Earth

    Contraceptive-Patch Worry: Disposal concern focuses on wildlife

    Some scientists now worry that discarded contraceptive patches may leak synthetic estrogen into the environment, potentially harming wildlife.

  13. Humans

    Nobel Chemistry: Laureates’ techniques enable researchers to probe large biomolecules

    The 2002 Nobel Prize in Chemistry recognized the work of three scientists who created tools for analyzing proteins and other large biological molecules.

  14. Earth

    Snowball Melting? Ancient formation shows glacier activity

    An ancient, well-preserved glacial formation in Oman provided evidence that Earth experienced intermittent ice ages like those in Earth's more recent history.

  15. Spying on Plant Defenses: Insects monitor toxin ramp-up

    A common caterpillar can sense when a plant is gearing up to manufacture insecticidal toxins and respond by starting up its own detoxification system.

  16. Earth

    Shifting Sands

    Sand dunes can provide scientists with clues about ancient patterns of wind and precipitation.

  17. Spreading Consciousness

    A reanalysis of brain-imaging data links conscious visual experience to activity patterns throughout the brain, challenging the popular view that specific brain areas coordinate this mental state.