Vol. 160 No. #17

More Stories from the October 27, 2001 issue

  1. Astronomy

    Moon plume breaks the record

    The Galileo spacecraft has found the tallest plume seen so far on Jupiter's moon Io, the only volcanically active moon known in the solar system.

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  2. Astronomy

    Asteroid studies reveal new puzzles

    Belying the image of an asteroid as a bare rock, a detailed study of the asteroid 433 Eros reveals that many of its crater floors and depressions are coated with fine dust and nearly half of the largest rocks strewn across the asteroid's surface represent material blasted from a single crater.

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  3. Astronomy

    Young stars shed light on young sun

    If our own sun had been as active in its youth as is a group of young sunlike stars recently observed with the Chandra X-ray Observatory, it could account for the abundance of several isotopes, such as aluminum-26, calcium-41, and beryllium-10 found in meteorites.

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  4. DNA hints at origin of all language

    A genetic study of African tribes suggests early language contained clicking sounds.

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  5. Gene defect leads to warts and more

    Scientists have found the gene for an immunodeficiency syndrome.

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  6. Tech

    Natural micromachines get the points

    In custom-made microscopic channels marked with arrows, mobile and thread-like cell structures called microtubules no longer wander aimlessly but slither in a fixed direction—a potential step toward tiny, man-made factories where cellular micromachinery churns out drugs or novel materials.

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  7. Tech

    Brain cells stay in focus as rats roam

    So light that it doesn't weigh down a rat's head, a new microscope mounted over a hole in the awake animal's skull promises to open a window into individual neurons as a rat carries out normal activities.

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  8. Paleontology

    Fossils Indicate. . .Wow, What a Croc!

    Newly discovered fossils of an ancient cousin of modern crocodiles suggest that adults of the species may have been dinosaur-munching behemoths that grew to the length of a school bus and weighed as much as 8 metric tons.

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  9. Health & Medicine

    Team locates anthrax-receptor protein

    Scientists have identified the protein that enables the anthrax toxin to attach to cells and trigger disease, while another team has mapped the molecular structure of the toxin component that does most of the damage to cells.

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  10. Astronomy

    Age of the universe: A new determination

    Analyzing the faint glow left over from the Big Bang, scientists report measuring the age of the cosmos with unprecedented accuracy—14 billion years, accurate to within half a billion years.

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  11. Gene influences density of the skeleton

    The mutated gene responsible for a rare bone disorder has been found.

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  12. Female chimps don’t stray in mate search

    Genetic testing of chimpanzees living in western Africa indicates that females usually seek mates within their home communities, a finding that contradicts some previous reports.

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  13. Chemistry

    Bitter truth about beer comes to a head

    Chemists have figured out exactly how beers develop a skunky flavor and smell.

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  14. Virgin birth infections shift wasp targets

    Scientists have found a second bacterial infection that can cause an insect version of virgin births, but this one can affect the host that a wasp attacks.

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  15. Health & Medicine

    Beta-blockade guards burn victims’ muscle

    A medication that reduces the risk of heart attack also can diminish a muscle-wasting metabolic response common among victims of severe trauma or illness.

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  16. Health & Medicine

    Epilepsy article wins award

    The Epilepsy Foundation honored Science News writer Damaris Christensen with its magazine award for her article "Endgame for Epilepsy?"

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  17. Plants

    Torn to Ribbons in the Desert

    Botanists puzzle over one of Earth's oddest plants: the remarkably scraggly Welwitschia of southwestern Africa.

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  18. Plight of the Untouchables

    Stigma's largely unexplored effects on the health of people sufering from ailments ranging from AIDS to schizophrenia attracted much interest at a recent conference.

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