Science News Magazine:Vol. 166 No. #14
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More Stories from the October 2, 2004 issue
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.
Schizophrenia takes fatal turn in China
Suicides among people with schizophrenia are a major public-health concern in China.
The tree of life, with tangled roots
Two ancient, rudimentary organisms merged to create the first complex cell, new data suggest.By Ben Harder
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.By Peter Weiss
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.By Janet Raloff
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.By Ron Cowen
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.
Big Smash: Galaxy clusters in collision
Astronomers have unveiled the most detailed image ever taken of the collision of two clusters of galaxies.By Ron Cowen
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.By Peter Weiss
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.By Sid Perkins
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.By Susan Milius
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.
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.By Ben Harder
Pots, vats, and other artifacts unearthed on three continents are giving archaeologists new clues about ancient cultures' beer-brewing practices.By Carrie Lock
Mathematicians have found that it's easier to pack spheres in some dimensions than it is in others.
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 […]By Science News