Vol. 170 No. #17
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More Stories from the October 21, 2006 issue

  1. Astronomy

    Record-breaking galaxy

    Looking ever deeper into space and farther back in time, astronomers have found a galaxy more distant than any other known in the universe.

  2. Health & Medicine

    Do acid blockers let microbes reach the colon?

    Suppressing stomach acid while taking antibiotics may allow drug-resistant bacteria to colonize the intestines.

  3. Prepared brains achieve insight

    Sudden verbal insights arise from distinct brain operations that focus attention and facilitate access to word knowledge.

  4. Health & Medicine

    Antiviral drug may limit herpes spread

    In people with genital herpes, the drug famciclovir sharply reduces virus shedding from the genitalia.

  5. Animals

    Tropical diversity came with time

    Species in richly diverse tropics don't evolve faster than do species in temperate zones.

  6. Cloning is most efficient using non–stem cells

    Fully matured cells can be used to clone animals.

  7. Earth

    Waters near croplands impair frogs’ immunity

    Pesticide-containing waters leave frogs more susceptible to fungal infections than pristine environments do.

  8. Air’s oxygen content constrains insect growth

    The size to which insects grow is limited by their need to route oxygen to tissues in their legs.

  9. Autism’s DNA Trail: Gene variant tied to developmental disorder

    A study of more than 700 families with children diagnosed with autism has identified a gene variant, already known to affect brain formation, that boosts a person's chances of developing this severe disorder.

  10. Horns vs. Sperm: Male beetles on tight equipment budget

    A group of dung beetle species that sprout elaborate horns often face trade-offs between horn and testes sizes.

  11. Planetary Science

    A sunrise view of Mars

    The first high-resolution images sent by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter support the notion that water once flowed across much of the Red Planet.

  12. Chemistry

    Back on the Table? Element 118 is served up again

    A team of nuclear chemists from the United States and Russia have announced the brief reappearance of element 118.

  13. Quirky Cardiology: Crocs’ hearts may aid their digestion

    The crocodile's ability to direct oxygen-depleted blood to its stomach may be instrumental in digesting large, bony meals.

  14. Physics

    Vanishing Actor: Physicists unveil first invisibility cloak

    The first functional invisibility cloak, which operates at microwave frequencies, has emerged from the laboratory.

  15. Astronomy

    Assault on Andromeda: Nearby galaxy had recent collision

    New findings suggest that a small galaxy recently plunged into Andromeda, opening a new window on collisions that are rare today but were common in the early universe.

  16. Health & Medicine

    Prep Work: Bird-flu vaccine might work better with primer

    Giving people a vaccine against an existing form of avian influenza might help them respond better when given a shot for a future strain of the virus during a pandemic.

  17. Planetary Science

    Ring Shots

    With the sun poised behind Saturn, the Cassini spacecraft recently got a unique view of the rings' icy dust particles, enabling it to discover two new rings and confirm the presence of two ringlets.

  18. Physics

    Fit to Be Tied

    Two new books present scathing critiques of string theory, which holds that the universe has 11 dimensions and that its fundamental building blocks are ultratiny loops of energy known as strings.

  19. Math

    Swirling Seas, Crystal Balls

    A remarkable geometric shape made up of a sequence of triangles leads to a host of intriguing forms and mobile structures.

  20. Humans

    Letters from the October 21, 2006, issue of Science News

    Fish story? To argue that the concentrations reported in “Macho Moms: Perchlorate pollutant masculinizes fish” (SN: 8/12/06, p. 99) are environmentally relevant is misleading. Those concentrations are usually in groundwater, not surface waters. I’ve been involved in the environmental field for almost 20 years and have yet to hear of any fish being caught in […]