Vol. 184 No. #6
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More Stories from the September 21, 2013 issue

  1. Earth

    Magma can speed to the surface, powering volcanoes

    Fast ascent of molten rock could help scientists predict eruptions.

  2. Neuroscience

    Caffeine shakes up growing mouse brains

    When pregnant mice consumed caffeine, their offspring had altered neurons and faulty memory.

  3. Health & Medicine

    Vaccine protects against malaria in early test

    A series of shots enables volunteers to fend off a live infection by the disease-causing parasite.

  4. Humans

    DNA reveals details of the peopling of the Americas

    Migrants came in three distinct waves that interbred once in the New World.

  5. Health & Medicine

    Racial homogeneity in early childhood may affect brain

    In lab study, kids who lived in single-race orphanages have difficulty interpreting emotions on faces with foreign features.

  6. Psychology

    Mental disorder seen as ‘badness, not sickness’

    Health workers tend to consider borderline personality disorder a tag for patients who are difficult or impossible to treat.

  7. Animals

    Antarctic waters may shelter wrecks from shipworms

    Ocean currents and polar front form 'moat' that keeps destructive mollusks at bay.

  8. Health & Medicine

    Clues emerge to explain allergic asthma

    Tests in mice reveal that allergens can trigger inflammation by cleaving a clotting protein.

  9. Psychology

    Highlights from the American Sociological Association annual meeting

    Research on social media's reluctant users, marital ideals and single parenthood and intimate victims of cybernastiness presented August 10-13 in New York City.

  10. Planetary Science

    NASA gives up on fixing Kepler

    Space telescope’s days as a premier planet hunter are over.

  11. Materials Science

    Toylike blocks make lightweight, strong structures

    Bucking trend toward reducing numbers of parts, MIT engineers suggest building planes from thousands of identical pieces.

  12. Life

    Years or decades later, flu exposure still prompts immunity

    New forms of influenza viruses can spur production of antibodies to past pandemics in people who lived through them.

  13. Health & Medicine

    Power of sugar may come from the mind

    Only people who believe exertion zaps willpower get a boost from glucose.

  14. Ecosystems

    Aging European forests full to the brim with carbon

    Trees' capacity to sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is dwindling.

  15. Psychology

    Blood marker may predict suicide

    People who killed themselves had higher levels of a gene involved in cell death.

  16. Animals

    Birds know road speed limits

    Crows, house sparrows and other species judge when to flee the asphalt by average traffic rates rather than an oncoming car's speed.

  17. Earth

    Millions in China at risk of exposure to arsenic-tainted water

    Simulation shows possibly contaminated areas and predicts populations at risk.

  18. Earth

    Breakups maintain barchan dune fields, somehow

    Two new theories try to explain how the crescent-shaped sand mountains persist.

  19. Life

    Bats can carry MERS

    DNA of a deadly respiratory virus has been found in a Saudi Arabian mammal.

  20. Life

    Tiny human almost-brains made in lab

    Stem cells arrange themselves into a version of the most complex human organ.

  21. Health & Medicine

    Don’t stand so close to me

    Personal space has a measurable boundary, a study suggests.

  22. Animals

    Seeking the loneliest whale

    An enigmatic whale roams the North Pacific, and next year Bruce Mate will lead a monthlong expedition to find it.

  23. Science & Society

    The Nazi and the Psychiatrist

    Hermann Goring, Dr. Douglas M. Kelley, and a Fatal Meeting of Minds at the End of WWII by Jack El-Hai.

  24. Animals

    Collision Course

    The tales of two ornithologists trying to prevent birds colliding with windows highlight the obstacles facing applied biology.

  25. Humans

    The Tune Wreckers

    People who can’t carry a tune, or can but think they can’t, are a rich resource for researchers studying musical ability.

  26. Tech

    Letters to the editor

    Readers respond to glowing plants, fracking worries and space hookups.

  27. Environment

    Grain alcohol in gasoline?

    An excerpt from the September 21, 1963, issue of Science News Letter.

  28. Psychology

    Behind the Shock Machine

    The Untold Story of the Notorious Milgram Psychology Experiments by Gina Perry.