Vol. 182 No. #6
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More Stories from the September 22, 2012 issue

  1. Health & Medicine

    Alzheimer’s protein could help in MS

    A-beta, the same molecule that has been tied to dementia when it accumulates in the brain, appears to reduce damage when introduced to the bodies of mice with symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

  2. Tech

    Camera hack can spot cleaned-up crimes

    Exploiting a standard tool of art conservation can help police find painted-over bloodstains.

  3. Humans

    Good times led to grisly custom

    Ancient Chileans developed artificial mummification after an increase in the numbers of living and dead people made naturally preserved bodies hard to ignore.

  4. Life

    Mantis shrimp flub color vision test

    Unexpectedly poor results on crustacean eye exams suggest there’s another way to perceive color.

  5. Health & Medicine

    Brain’s hidden sewers revealed

    Specialized cells host a hitherto unknown cleansing system.

  6. Tech

    Chameleon-like robot can change hue

    Dye-filled microchannels help machine blend in, or stick out.

  7. Space

    Giant cluster phenomenally fertile

    Stars form at an impressive rate thanks to a snoozing black hole at the center of the massive object.

  8. Chemistry

    Supersmall lab-on-a-chip is superfast

    Two-chamber nanowire device that quickly finds diagnostic molecules in blood could be a lifesaver.

  9. Health & Medicine

    Ovulation spurred by newfound semen ingredient

    A common growth-boosting protein may act as a pregnancy-protecting hormone in humans.

  10. Health & Medicine

    Tattoo rashes linked to ink

    Tainted supplies caused outbreak of stubborn bacterial skin infections.

  11. Life

    Kick in the gut may lead to IBD

    Short-term infection could create conditions for long-term intestinal illness, a study suggests.

  12. Humans

    Language family may have Anatolian origins

    Major language family started in Anatolia 8,000 years ago or more, a contentious analysis concludes.

  13. Humans

    Young scientists make the cut

    With the naming of the 30 finalists, middle school students will vie for top prize in national Broadcom MASTERS competition.

  14. Humans

    DNA unveils enigmatic Denisovans

    Technical advances amplify the genetic record of a Stone Age humanlike population, ancestors of modern Melanesians.

  15. Life

    International Congress of Neuroethology, College Park, Md., August 5–10

    Dung beetle gaits and the whine of a mosquito's flight

  16. The volcano watcher

    Matt Patrick’s office is perched not far from the summit of Hawaii’s busiest volcano: Kilauea. When it erupts, he has a good view. Of course, it’s his job to see every possible vista of the peak, whether it’s flying over in a helicopter, hiking to fissures and along lava fields or checking webcams, seismometers and […]

  17. Science Future for September 22, 2012

    September 29 The “Make it Science Day” at the Columbus, Ohio, Center of Science and Industry explores the science of manufacturing. You can even try your hand at basic soldering. See bit.ly/SFmakeit October 17 For National Fossil Day, a part of Earth Science Week, paleontologists and U.S. National Park rangers will explain fossil discoveries at […]

  18. SN Online

    ON THE SCENE BLOG Spinning neutron stars called pulsars keep turning up in new and exotic flavors. Read “Weird pulsars debut at Beijing astronomy meeting.” NASA SCIENCE & SOCIETY The world’s first moonwalker left a legacy of exploration. See “Neil Armstrong, first man on moon, dies at 82.” NUMBERS The busiest air-traffic hubs aren’t always […]

  19. From Here to Infinity: A Vision for the Future of Science by Martin Rees

    An astrophysicist proposes ways for scientists and the public to tackle problems together, from climate change and energy to health care and population growth. W.W. Norton & Co., 2012, 144 p., $23.95

  20. The Case of the Green Turtle: An Uncensored History of a Conservation Icon by Alison Rieser

    The story of efforts to save green sea turtles, including by farming them, illustrates conflicts common to conservation work. Johns Hopkins, 2012, 338 p., $45

  21. Finding the Arctic: History and Culture Along a 2,500-Mile Snowmobile Journey from Alaska to Hudson’s Bay by Matthew Sturm

    A climate researcher intertwines the story of his own snow-mobile expedition with the history of life and exploration in the Arctic. Univ. of Alaska, 2012, 258 p., $24.95

  22. Mathletics: A Scientist Explains 100 Amazing Things About the World of Sports by John D. Barrow

    See what math reveals about sports, from the possibility of speeding up Usain Bolt to the physics of high jumping’s backward flop. W.W. Norton & Co., 2012, 298 p., $26.95

  23. BOOK REVIEW: DNA USA: A Genetic Portrait of America by Bryan Sykes

    Review by Tina Hesman Saey.

  24. BOOK REVIEW: The Ravenous Brain: How the New Science of Consciousness Explains Our Insatiable Search for Meaning by Daniel Bor

    Review by Laura Sanders.

  25. Tech

    When Networks Network

    Once studied solo, systems display surprising behavior when they interact.

  26. Planetary Science

    Planetary Peekaboo

    Astronomers aren’t playing games when it comes to spotting an exoEarth.

  27. Letters

    Cartilage risk I enjoyed Nathan Seppa’s article “Cartilage creation,” (SN: 8/11/12, p. 22) about attempts to generate new cartilage from somatic stem cells. He writes that cartilage evolved “in ancestors who lived shorter lives, carried less body weight and roamed an unpaved world.” Implications: The risk of osteoarthritis increases with age, body weight and impact […]

  28. Science Past from the issue of September 22, 1962

    PIGMENT MAY HELP VISION — The same chemical that gives you that golden tan from the summer sun may also help you to see. The brown pigment, melanin, may take part in controlling the messages sent from the eye to the brain, Lieut. Raymond J. Sever, U.S. Navy, told the American Chemical Society in Atlantic […]

  29. A Field Guide to Radiation by Wayne Biddle

    From “absorbed dose” to zirconium-95, this alphabetical collection of essays makes an interesting guide to the nuclear age. Penguin, 2012, 258 p., $16