Vol. 176 No. #7

More Stories from the September 26, 2009 issue

  1. Chemistry

    Leptin leads to hamster baby boom

    High levels of leptin may tell mother hamsters to invest in larger litters, a new study suggests.

  2. Space

    Particle imbalance may upset the apple cart

    An asymmetry that the standard model of particle physics may not account for hints at the existence of a new and massive elementary particle.

  3. Life

    Mitochondrial DNA replacement successful in Rhesus monkeys

    New procedure may halt some serious inherited diseases, a study suggests.

  4. Animals

    Fruity whiff may inspire new mosquito repellents

    Odors from ripening bananas can jam fruit flies’ and mosquitoes’ power to detect carbon dioxide, a new study finds.

  5. Humans

    Girls have head start on snake and spider fears

    At 11 months of age, girls quickly learn to associate fearful faces with images of snakes and spiders, a new study suggests.

  6. Humans

    New genes give gut bacteria antibiotic resistance

    Scientists find new genes for antibiotic resistance in common bacteria in the human gut.

  7. Health & Medicine

    Obesity surgery’s benefits extend to next generation

    Children born to women who have undergone weight-loss surgery are healthier than children born to moms who are severely obese, a study shows.

  8. Animals

    Play that monkey music

    Man-made music inspired by tamarin calls seems to alter the primates’ emotions, a new study suggests.

  9. Health & Medicine

    From three to four chambers

    Scientists identify gene that may shape the heart.

  10. Health & Medicine

    Mice with mutation feel the burn

    Instead of becoming obese, mice with a mutation in an immune gene burn off the fat they eat.

  11. Ecosystems

    Google works on a different web

    Page ranking system inspires algorithm for predicting food webs’ vulnerability.

  12. Chemistry

    New bond in the basement

    Scientists identify a sulfur-nitrogen link, never before seen in living things, critical to holding the body together.

  13. Astronomy

    New images and spectra from a rejuvenated Hubble

    Newly released images provide graphic evidence that repairs have transformed the Hubble Space Telescope into a brand new observatory.

  14. Science Future for September 26, 2009

    October 5–7 Nobel Committee announces medicine, physics and chemistry awards. Visit nobelprize.org November 1 Petitions for a chemistry-themed postage stamp are due to the American Chemical Society. See cenblog.org/2009/07/07 November 1–3 “Darwin in the 21st Century: Nature, Humanity and God” at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. Visit nd.edu/~reilly/darwinconference.html

  15. Theo Gray’s Mad Science: Experiments You Can Do at Home — But Probably Shouldn’t by Theodore Gray

    Dramatic experiments, captured in color photography with step-by-step instructions, demonstrate scientific principles from the everyday world. Black Dog & Leventhal, 2009, 239 p., $24.95. THEO GRAY’S MAD SCIENCE: EXPERIMENTS YOU CAN DO AT HOME — BUT PROBABLY SHOULDN’T BY THEODORE GRAY

  16. Book Review: Stories in Stone: Travels Through Urban Geology by David B. Williams

    Cities may seem like the most artificial places on Earth, yet a close look at massive buildings can reveal troves of natural geological glory. In chapter after fascinating chapter of Stories in Stone, Williams, a geologist, deftly describes the mineralogy and history of some of the world’s most common building materials. STORIES IN STONE: TRAVELS […]

  17. From baby scientists to a science of social learning

    Developmental psychologist Andrew Meltzoff codirects the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. In the July 17 Science , Meltzoff and his colleagues published a paper titled “Foundations for a New Science of Learning.” Meltzoff recently spoke with Science News writer Bruce Bower. What does the science of learning […]

  18. Desperately Seeking Moly

    Of all the radioactive isotopes used in medical diagnostics, none plays a more pivotal role than technetium-99m. Each weekday, hospitals and clinics around the world use it to perform about 60,000 diagnostic procedures. Used in about 80 percent of nuclear imaging tests, the isotope is one of modern medicine’s major tools for detecting, evaluating and […]

  19. Hunting Hidden Dimensions

    In many ways, black holes are science’s answer to science fiction. As strange as anything from a novelist’s imagination, black holes warp the fabric of spacetime and imprison light and matter in a gravitational death grip. Their bizarre properties make black holes ideal candidates for fictional villainy. But now black holes are up for a […]

  20. Broken Symmetry

    On the outside, people’s right and left sides look pretty much the same. On the inside, though, such superficial symmetry gives way to an imbalanced array of organs: The heart, spleen and stomach sit on the left side of the body, while the liver and pancreas take up the right. Even organs that at first […]

  21. Letters

    ‘Black hole’ origins “Black hole theory and discovery” (Back Story, SN: 7/4/09, p. 6) credits John Archibald Wheeler for inventing the term black hole in 1967. This is a very widespread choice, but it cannot be right. In January 1964, your ancestral publication, Science News Letter, carried a short article titled “‘Black holes’ in space,” […]

  22. Science Past from the issue of September 26, 1959

    Many Americans suffer “television bottom” — Many Americans are suffering from a condition called “television bottom.” The medical term for the condition is coccygodynia, pain in the tail of the spine. It arises frequently from spending long periods of time before the television set.… Most patients habitually sit with a poor posture, with the lower […]

  23. Homage to a Pied Puzzler

    A collection of math problems and stories pays tribute to math popularizer and Scientific American columnist Martin Gardner. AK Peters, 2009, 285 p., $49. HOMAGE TO A PIED PUZZLER, EDITED BY ED PEGG JR., ALAN H. SCHOEN AND TOM RODGERS