Vol. 166 No. #14
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More Stories from the October 2, 2004 issue

  1. Anthropology

    Ancient head case

    A 1.8-million-year-old Homo erectus skullcap came from a 1-year-old child whose brain grew at a rate more like that of chimpanzees than of people.

  2. Schizophrenia takes fatal turn in China

    Suicides among people with schizophrenia are a major public-health concern in China.

  3. The tree of life, with tangled roots

    Two ancient, rudimentary organisms merged to create the first complex cell, new data suggest.

  4. Physics

    Marrying matter and light

    Physicists have created circuit components that, in a manner analogous to atoms, meld with light, opening new ways to study fundamental light-matter interactions.

  5. Health & Medicine

    Coffee’s curious heart effects

    Very high or low daily consumption of coffee appears to pose far more of a heart risk than drinking moderately.

  6. Planetary Science

    Tiny scope spies distant planet

    Using a telescope not much bigger than Galileo's, astronomers have discovered a planet orbiting a star 500 light-years from Earth.

  7. Chemistry

    Buckyballs at Bat: Toxic nanomaterials get a tune-up

    The soccer-ball-shaped carbon molecules known as buckyballs are toxic to human cells, yet coating the particles can switch off their toxicity.

  8. Astronomy

    Big Smash: Galaxy clusters in collision

    Astronomers have unveiled the most detailed image ever taken of the collision of two clusters of galaxies.

  9. Physics

    Wake Up, Little Surfers: Riding waves toward tabletop accelerators

    Prospects that today's giant particle accelerators could shrink to the size of rooms look better than ever, now that new experiments have produced electron pulses of uniform energy from laser-powered accelerators that act over millimeter distances.

  10. Earth

    Humming Along: Ocean waves may cause global seismic noise

    The slow and nearly constant vibrations of Earth's crust stem from severe winter weather over some of the world's oceans.

  11. Animals

    Beat Goes On: Carp heart keeps pace when fish lacks oxygen

    Without oxygen, a Scandinavian fish not only can survive but also maintains a normal heartbeat for days.

  12. Two-Headed Memories: Collaboration gives recall lift to elderly

    Collaboration with a spouse improves the accuracy of older people's memories on tasks such as remembering items on a shopping list or identifying familiar landmarks on a local map.

  13. Pinpointing Poachers: Gene sleuths map illicit elephant kills

    A new, genetics-based technique for determining ivory's place of origin is geographically precise enough to aid forensic pursuit of African elephant poachers.

  14. Archaeology

    Original Microbrews

    Pots, vats, and other artifacts unearthed on three continents are giving archaeologists new clues about ancient cultures' beer-brewing practices.

  15. Math


    Mathematicians have found that it's easier to pack spheres in some dimensions than it is in others.

  16. Humans

    Letters from the October 2, 2004, issue of Science News

    On a diet While heart disease victim Jody Gorran’s lawsuit against the Atkins empire will be decided in court (“Counting Carbs,” SN: 7/17/04, p. 40: Counting Carbs), the deadlier battle is being waged in the research laboratory. Several studies confirm that low-carbohydrate diets cause marked cholesterol elevations for many individuals. In contrast, a vegetarian diet […]