Vol. 182 No. #8
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More Stories from the October 20, 2012 issue

  1. Planetary Science

    Voyager chasing solar system’s edge

    On the 35th anniversary of the spacecraft’s launch, scientists ponder when it will move beyond the sun’s reach.

  2. Chemistry

    Too-young caterpillars like scent of sex

    Larvae respond to mate-attracting pheromones, raising evolutionary questions about what a very grown-up chemical signal could mean to them.

  3. Planetary Science

    Mars clays may have volcanic source

    Deposits didn’t need flowing water to form, new research suggests.

  4. Life

    New swine flu virus could infect people

    Strains found in Korean pigs contain gene mutations that make them potentially transmissible to humans.

  5. Health & Medicine

    Anti-inflammatories tied to cardiac risk

    Heart attack survivors who take ibuprofen or diclofenac appear more likely to die or suffer another attack, a large Danish study finds.

  6. Life

    Wild snakes reproduce without sex

    Virgin births are not just a by-product of captivity.

  7. Health & Medicine

    First dengue vaccine trial disappoints

    The shots protect against three of the four viral subtypes, failing to deliver full protection, a study in Thailand shows.

  8. Life

    Stem cells may help in treating deafness

    A new method triggers the development of sound-sensitive neurons in the inner ear.

  9. Tech

    Facebook peer pressure gets out the vote

    People were more likely to take part in the November 2010 election when they were told that their online friends already had.

  10. Health & Medicine

    Brain’s white matter diminished in isolated mice

    Experiments may offer a biological explanation for the social and emotional problems of neglected children.

  11. Life

    Killer whale mama’s boys live longer

    Survival benefits may explain females’ extended life span following menopause.

  12. Physics

    Uncertainty not so certain after all

    Lab experiments undermine the first formulation of Heisenberg’s famous physics principle, but leave its broader implications intact.

  13. Life

    Flash leads to flex in lab-grown muscle

    Light-activated artificial tissue inspires dream of squirming wormbots.

  14. Life

    DNA tags may dictate bee behavior

    Chemical alterations affect genetic activity but not the genes themselves.

  15. Health & Medicine

    Gamblers go all-in on Ritalin

    Risk-taking may rise when healthy people use the stimulant to boost concentration.

  16. Humans

    A moving lift for poor families

    Federal housing subsidies didn’t fight poverty as hoped, but trading public housing for new neighborhoods brought psychological benefits.

  17. Health & Medicine

    Oral MS drug passes tests

    A drug called BG-12, similar to a psoriasis medicine used in Germany, supresses multiple sclerosis relapses well, two studies find.

  18. Life

    E. coli caught in the act of evolving

    Researchers track thousands of bacterial generations to document the development of a trait nearly 25 years in the making.

  19. Math

    Bumblebees navigate new turf without a map

    The insects can quickly calculate the best route between flowers.

  20. Humans

    Africans’ genes mute on human birthplace

    Latest DNA studies confirm previous research on the prehistory of African groups, but still can’t locate the root of the species.

  21. Life

    Breast cancer gets genetic profile

    Insights from new data may help improve treatment for some types of disease.

  22. Earth

    Intraplate quakes signal tectonic breakup

    The unusual April temblors are the latest in a massive energy release that is cleaving the Indo-Australian crustal plate in two.

  23. Humans

    Car-crazy kid wins middle school science competition

    First place at Broadcom MASTERS goes to 14-year-old who studied automotive aerodynamics.

  24. Spider man fell for jumpers

    View the videos The recently named Lapsias lorax spider got its name from the Dr.Seuss character with a yellow mustache. Courtesy W. Maddison/Beaty Museum Wayne Maddison examines a tiny but venomous snake caught along with spiders shaken from tree branches. Snakes are one hazard Maddison faces in the tropics, along with leeches, wasps and more. […]

  25. Science Future for October 20, 2012

    November 3 The dress code is caveman chic at the Orlando Science Center’s Neanderthal Ball. Enjoy wine, music, fine dining and a “diamond dig” at this upscale event. Details at bit.ly/SFball November 7 Cocktails accompany a  discussion by biological anthropologist Fatimah Jackson, who studies medicinal African plants, as part of the American Museum of Natural […]

  26. SN Online

    MATTER & ENERGY Chemists find more evidence of the existence of ununtrium in “News in Brief: Japanese lab lays claim to element 113.” Guenter Wieschendahl/Wikimedia CommonS ON THE SCENE BLOGMiddle-schoolers tackle scientific challenges at the Broadcom MASTERS competition. Read “Building a funner mousetrap.” HUMANS Pastoralists may have constructed England’s ancient stone monuments. See “Herders, not […]

  27. Overpotential: Fuel Cells, Futurism, and the Making of a Power Panacea (Studies in Modern Science, Technology, and the Environment) by Matthew N. Eisler

    This history of fuel cell research considers why engineers keep trying, and failing, to produce a commercially viable technology. Rutgers Univ., 2012, 260 p., $49.95

  28. Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep by David K. Randall

    A journalist with unusual sleep habits seeks to learn why we slumber and how sleeping — or not — affects thoughts, behavior and health. W.W. Norton & Co., 2012, 290 p., $25.95

  29. The Secrets of Triangles: A Mathematical Journey by Alfred Posamentier and Ingmar Lehmann

    This guide to the surprising properties of a fundamental shape sheds light on geometric principles. Prometheus Books, 2012, 387 p., $26

  30. Ordering Life: Karl Jordan and the Naturalist Tradition by Kristin Johnson

    Karl Jordan’s innovative methods of classifying insect species are highlighted in this biography of the early 20th century entomologist. Johns Hopkins Univ., 2012, 376 p., $39.95

  31. BOOK REVIEW: Are We Getting Smarter? Rising IQ in the Twenty-First Century by James R. Flynn

    Review by Bruce Bower.

  32. Microbes

    Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic

  33. Humans

    Social Media Sway

    Worries over political misinformation on Twitter attract scientists’ attention.

  34. Life

    Scent Into Action

    Rodent responses to a whiff of predator may offer clues to instinct in the brain.

  35. Letters

    Consider numbers I have been a faithful subscriber to Science News for a long time, since I subscribed for my kids in the 1960s. I don’t have a degree but was a naval aviator for 32 years. I just cannot get used to converting kilometers per hour to miles per hour each time I encounter […]

  36. Science Past from the issue of October 20, 1962

    U.S. NOW HAS CAPABILITY FOR TWIN SPACE SHOT  —  The United States now can equal the Soviet manned twin space shot, SCIENCE SERVICE learned at Cape Canaveral. The systems and power to do this are now available, J. Merritt, operations director of Project Mercury at Cape Canaveral, said. Although we do not have the vehicle […]

  37. This is Improbable: Cheese String Theory, Magnetic Chickens and Other WTF Research by Marc Abrahams

    The founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes rounds up strange studies, such as one on the best way to slice a ham sandwich. Oneworld Publications, 2012, 320 p., $15.95