Vol. 183 No. #2
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More Stories from the January 26, 2013 issue

  1. Life

    Rare genetic tweaks may not be behind common diseases

    Variants thought to be behind inherited conditions prove difficult to pin down.

  2. Life

    Contender for world’s oldest dinosaur identified

    An African specimen suggests the lineage may have arisen 15 million years earlier than thought.

  3. Health & Medicine

    Drug breaks up Alzheimer’s-like deposits in mice

    Recent failed trials of a similar approach in humans fuel skepticism that patients will benefit.

  4. Humans

    Pots bear oldest signs of cheese making

    Some of Europe’s first farmers created perforated vessels to separate curds from whey.

  5. Health & Medicine

    Zinc may help treat box jellyfish stings

    A zinc compound seems to counteract the deadly venom delivered by the sting of the Australian box jellyfish.

  6. Life

    Early life forms may have been terrestrial

    A controversial theory suggests that at least some of the earliest widespread complex life forms lived on land.

  7. Life

    Heart telltale

    Engineered cells that flash when they beat may offer a new way to test drugs for cardiac toxicity.

  8. Life

    Pressure keeps cancer in check

    In lab experiments, physically confining malignant cells prevents runaway growth.

  9. Health & Medicine

    Twin towers dust tied to some cancers, not others

    9/11 rescue and recovery workers have higher rates of prostate and thyroid cancers and multiple myeloma, a study shows.

  10. Chemistry

    Repellent slime has material virtues

    Threads isolated from hagfishes' defensive goo demonstrate superior strength and flexibility.

  11. Humans

    Man the martial artist

    The human hand evolved partly as a tool for fighting, researchers argue.

  12. Space

    California meteorite a scientific gold mine

    Sutter’s Mill rock preserves rare, fresh material from outer space.

  13. Life

    Victorian zoological map redrawn

    Species distribution patterns that inspired Darwin and Wallace get an update.

  14. Humans

    Hitting streaks in baseball may be contagious

    Teammates of a batter on a streak hit better than their average, a review of baseball records finds.

  15. Earth

    West Antarctica warming fast

    A reconstructed temperature record from a high-altitude station shows an unexpectedly rapid rise since 1958.

  16. Earth

    Antarctic subglacial drilling effort suspended

    A British-led team has called off this season’s campaign to penetrate Lake Ellsworth.

  17. Space

    Planets and their sun grow together

    Radio telescopes reveal how nascent bodies funnel gas to their parent star.

  18. Space

    New Martian meteorite is one of a kind

    Rock is water-rich and resembles observed regions of Red Planet’s crust.

  19. Through a glass, less darkly

    After finishing his Ph.D. on glass formation, chemical physicist Patrick Charbonneau thought he’d never study the material again. But something kept nagging him: In some experiments, materials would unexpectedly morph into glass, solid as a rock but molecularly disordered like a liquid. The results didn’t match with glass-formation theory, but they were easy to dismiss […]

  20. Science Future for January 26, 2013

    February 11–13 The University of Tennessee, Knoxville hosts lectures, films, a concert and even a cake contest to celebrate Charles Darwin’s birthday. See bit.ly/SFutdarwin February 18 Learn how the recently discovered “slow” earthquake differs from typical quakes with geophysicist Gregory Beroza at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque. See bit.ly/SFslowquakes

  21. SN Online

    LIFE The activity of just a few genes may be key to limb evolution. Read “Fins to limbs with flip of genetic switch.” NASA, NOAA Scientists analyze chemical forms in gorilla poop to reconstruct monthly shifts in the animals’ diets. See “Feces study gets the poop on gorillas’ diet.” EARTHNew satellite images dubbed “Black Marble” […]

  22. BOOK REVIEW: The Universe Within: From Quantum to Cosmos (CBC Massey Lecture) by Neil Turok

    Review by Alexandra Witze.

  23. David Douglas, a Naturalist at Work: An Illustrated Exploration Across Two Centuries in the Pacific Northwest by Jack Nisbet

    Discover the natural history of the Pacific Northwest through the tale of a naturalist who explored the region 200 years ago. Sasquatch Books, 2012, 191 p., $27.95

  24. King of Poisons: A History of Arsenic by John Parascandola

    This history of arsenic shows how the compound has been used, from candy to nefarious plots. Potomac Books, 2012, 197 p., $27.50

  25. Spectrums: Our Mind-boggling Universe from Infinitesimal to Infinity by David Blatner

    Explore the wonders of six kinds of spectra — numbers, light, sound, size, heat and time — that define the universe. Walker & Co., 2012, 183 p., $25

  26. Longleaf, Far as the Eye Can See by Bill Finch, Beth M. Young, Rhett Johnson and John C. Hall

    A series of photographs enriches this tribute to disappearing longleaf pine forests, which once covered over 90 million acres of North America. Univ. of North Carolina, 2012, 176 p., $35

  27. The Annotated and Illustrated Double Helix by James Watson; Alexander Gann and Jan Witkowski, eds.

    Watson’s 1968 memoir of the discovery of DNA’s structure gets a stylish update, with an extra chapter and added photographs and documents. Simon & Schuster, 2012, 345 p., $30

  28. Physics

    Heart of the Matter

    Neutrinos’ shifty behavior might help explain why the universe has so much stuff in it.

  29. Health & Medicine

    Little Mind Benders

    Parasites that sneak into the brain may alter your behavior and health.

  30. Science Past from the issue of January 26, 1963

    DOGS FOUND COLOR-BLIND — Some animals are able to distinguish colors but others are practically color-blind, Dr. Gerti Duecker, zoologist of the University of Muenster, West Germany, has determined by a series of tests. Dr. Duecker found cats and dogs to be color-blind, although there is some evidence that some dogs have a faint sense […]

  31. BOOK REVIEW: Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data by Charles Wheelan

    Review by Tom Siegfried.