Vol. 170 No. #13
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More Stories from the September 23, 2006 issue

  1. Tech

    A thin laser gets thinner

    Researchers have created a microchip laser that fires an extraordinarily thin beam of high-intensity light.

  2. Anthropology

    Neandertal debate goes south

    A controversial report concludes that Neandertals lived on southwestern Europe's Iberian coast until 24,000 years ago, sharing the area for several thousand years with modern humans before dying out.

  3. Health & Medicine

    Progestin linked to hearing loss in older women

    Elderly women who received progestin as part of hormone replacement therapy have poorer hearing than do women who didn't get progestin.

  4. Planetary Science

    Martian doings

    The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has finished reshaping its orbit, while the venerable rover Opportunity is approaching the rim of the widest and deepest crater it has yet visited.

  5. Health & Medicine

    Shingles shot’s value is uncertain

    The cost-effectiveness of a new vaccine against shingles remains uncertain, making it difficult to assess whether adults should routinely receive the shot.

  6. Planetary Science

    SMART stop

    The European Space Agency's first mission to the moon ended with a deliberate bang on Sept. 3.

  7. Tech

    Start your engines

    Mechanical engineers have developed a system that greatly decreases the amount of toxic hydrocarbons a car releases.

  8. Mood disorder cuts work performance

    A national survey finds that people with bipolar disorder lose even more workdays each year as a result of their illness than do workers with major depression.

  9. Anthropology

    Evolution’s Child: Fossil puts youthful twist on Lucy’s kind

    Researchers have announced the discovery of the oldest and most complete fossil child in our evolutionary family yet found.

  10. Health & Medicine

    Graveyard Shift: Prostate cancer linked to rotating work schedule

    Men who alternate between daytime and nighttime shifts on their jobs have triple the normal rate of prostate cancer, according to a Japanese nationwide study.

  11. Astronomy

    Enigmatic Eruptions: Gamma-ray bursts lack supernova fireworks

    The most powerful bursts in the universe may have gotten more mysterious.

  12. Health & Medicine

    UV Blocker: Lotion yields protective tan in fair-skinned mice

    A lotion that stimulates production of the skin pigment melanin induces a deep tan in specially bred laboratory mice.

  13. Animals

    Crickets on Mute: Hush falls as killer fly stalks singers

    Within just 5 years, singing has nearly died out among a population of cricket on a Hawaiian island.

  14. Paleontology

    Flying with Their Legs: Hind feathers made primitive bird nimble

    The earliest-known bird had feathers on its legs that may have provided lift for flight, improving its maneuverability.

  15. Tech

    Long-Sought Laser? Standard microchips may gain speedy optical connections

    Although not made exclusively of silicon, a new type of laser runs on electricity and could be mass manufactured in the same factories as silicon microchips are.

  16. Health & Medicine

    Calling Death’s Bluff

    New methods of assessing a person's risk of sudden death due to a heart arrhythmia may enable doctors to better identify which patients need to receive an implanted defibrillator.

  17. Astronomy

    Temperamental Monsters

    A new theory suggests that many huge stars undergo outbursts during which they shed most of their mass late in life rather than doing it gradually over their 3-to-4-million-year lifetimes.

  18. Humans

    Letters from the September 23, 2006, issue of Science News

    Moo juiced? I live in Northern California, where forest-biomass power plants are common (“Radiation Redux: Forest fires remobilize fallout from bomb tests,” SN: 7/15/06, p. 38). One power plant takes the ashes that result and places them where cows forage. I’m wondering to what level of concentration this process will accumulate the cesium in organic […]