Vol. 168 No. #12
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More Stories from the September 17, 2005 issue

  1. Physics

    Champion of strength is forged in mighty anvil

    A new form of carbon created in an anvil and composed of microscopic needles of diamond has emerged as the strongest known material.

  2. Earth

    The river’s rising: A depressing effect

    When the Amazon River swells in flood each rainy season, the immense weight of the water causes Earth's surface in the region to sink dozens of centimeters.

  3. Health & Medicine

    Lead in spice mixes caused poisonings

    Contaminated spices, purchased from poorly regulated sources, can explain some cases of lead poisoning that involve several members of a family.

  4. Archaeology

    French site sparks Neandertal debate

    Radiocarbon analyses of material from a French cave indicate that Neandertal and modern human occupations of the site overlapped around 36,000 years ago, possibly explaining why Neandertals began to employ some new toolmaking techniques around that time.

  5. Chemistry

    Cactus goo purifies water

    Scientists are working on an environmentally benign water-filtering process that uses the nopal cactus.

  6. Chemistry

    Novel reaction produces hydrogen

    Chemists have found a new way to produce hydrogen using only water, an organic liquid, and a metal catalyst.

  7. Chemistry

    How hot was it?

    Scientists have created heat-sensing polymers that indicate exposure to high temperatures by changing color under ultraviolet light.

  8. Astronomy

    Farthest Bang: A burst that goes the distance

    The most-distant gamma-ray burst ever found hails from 900 million years after the birth of the universe, around the time when stars and galaxies first flooded the universe with light.

  9. Chemistry

    Greener Nylon: One-pot recipe could eliminate industrial leftovers

    Researchers have devised a one-step process for making the primary ingredient of nylon.

  10. Plants

    Day-Glo Flowers: Some bright blooms naturally fluoresce

    Some common flowers fluoresce but the glow most likely has little effect on pollinators.

  11. Health & Medicine

    Head-to-Head Comparison: Coils top clips in brain-aneurysm treatment

    Tiny platinum coils inserted into a ruptured brain aneurysm to seal off the bleeding appear safer in the long run for some patients than traditional brain surgery does.

  12. Noises On, Language Off: Speech impairment linked to unsound perception

    A language disorder that affects a substantial number of elementary school children arises from a difficulty in picking out basic elements of speech, such as consonants, from streams of sound.

  13. Forever Young: Digging for the roots of stem cells

    Three proteins have been shown to function as master regulators that shut off differentiation and enable stem cells to retain their capacity to develop into any type of cell.

  14. Tech

    Stepping Lightly: New view of how human gaits conserve energy

    Using a simple mathematical model, scientists may have pinpointed the key aspects of human locomotion that make ordinary walking and running the most energy-efficient ways for people to get around on foot.

  15. Earth

    The Wind and the Fury

    New research suggests that, as global warming proceeds, hurricane winds will gain speed and the storms will dump more rain, but controversy lingers as to how much more violent the storms will become and when they will occur.

  16. Health & Medicine

    Oral Exams

    Scientists are taking advantage of the components in spit to develop new, saliva-based diagnostic tests.

  17. Humans

    Letters from the September 17, 2005, issue of Science News

    Just Feynman A lot of people ask how someone like Richard Feynman, who played the bongo drums, loved practical jokes, and was an amateur safecracker and a bon vivant, could also win a Nobel Prize in Physics (“Dr. Feynman’s Doodles: How one scientist’s simple sketches transformed physics,” SN: 7/16/05, p. 40). Actually, all of Feynman’s […]