Vol. 166 No. #17 Archives

More Stories from the October 23, 2004 issue

  1. Materials Science

    Reversible gel restores artwork

    To help conservationists restore paintings to their original glory without damaging the original paint, chemists have developed a cleaning product that switches from a liquid to a gel.

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  2. Anthropology

    Chimps show skill in termite fishing

    Video cameras set up in a central-African forest have recorded the sophisticated ways in which local chimpanzees catch termites for eating.

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  3. Chemistry

    Branching polymer could heal cataract wounds

    Cataract surgery might get a little easier, thanks to a transparent gel that seals surgical incisions in the eye better than standard sutures do.

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  4. Single gene turns flu deadly

    Variations in a single gene may have dramatically increased the virulence of 1918 Spanish flu.

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  5. Tech

    Cramming bits into pits

    By skewing the alignment of pits on an optical disk's surface, disk makers might store much more than one bit per pit.

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  6. Cavefish blinded by gene expression

    New evidence supports the theory that Mexican blind cavefish are sightless by evolutionary selection, not chance.

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  7. Physics

    Tiny tubes tune in colors

    At the right length and conductivity, ultrathin filaments of carbon known as carbon nanotubes can receive visible light waves in the same the way as larger antennas receive radio signals.

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  8. Physics

    Dancing the heat away

    By laser-zapping nanocapsules of water, scientists find that the specific molecular motions caused by the excitation, not just simple heat diffusion, determine how energy and heat flow through such minuscule structures.

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  9. Medical Decisions in Question: Mental incapacity missed by docs

    A substantial minority of medical patients treated for acute conditions at a British hospital lacked the ability to make informed decisions about their care, although their physicians usually didn't recognize it.

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  10. Physics

    Graphite in Flatland: Carbon sheets may rival nanotubes

    Researchers have created freestanding carbon films as thin as one atom.

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  11. Plants

    Green Red-Alert: Plant fights invaders with animal-like trick

    Mustard plants' immune systems can react to traces of bacteria with a burst of nitric oxide, much as an animal's immune system does.

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  12. Chemistry

    Microbes Make the Switch: Tailored bacteria need caffeine product to survive

    Bacteria that rely on a chemical derived from the breakdown of caffeine for their survival could help lead to the development of decaffeinated coffee plants.

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  13. Paleontology

    Early Bird: Fossil features hint at go-get-’em hatchlings

    A well-preserved, 121-million-year-old fossilized bird embryo has several features that suggest that the species' young could move about and feed themselves very soon after they hatched.

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  14. Health & Medicine

    A Problem of Adhesion: More evidence of sickle-cell stickiness

    Interrupted blood flow in people with sickle-cell disease might arise from stickiness inherent in the unusual red blood cells these individuals have.

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  15. Astronomy

    Messy Findings: Planets encounter a violent world

    Some young planets continue to take a beating hundreds of millions of years after they've formed.

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  16. Reworking Intuition

    Financially endangered companies rapidly reorganized to become profitable after key staff members ran simulated companies in 2-day sessions organized by a San Diego psychologist.

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  17. Health & Medicine

    Creepy-Crawly Care

    Encouraging results from research on medical uses for maggots and leeches, coupled with recent government approval of both therapies, lend credibility to the idea that some live organisms deserve a place in the medical armamentarium.

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  18. Humans

    Letters from the October 23, 2004, issue of Science News

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