Vol. 172 No. #16
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More Stories from the October 20, 2007 issue

  1. Chemistry

    Platinumfree fuel cell

    Cheaper than a typical hydrogen fuel cell, a new, platinumfree cell runs on a "green" liquid fuel.

  2. Planetary Science

    Titan: Land of lakes—and drizzle

    A newly assembled mosaic of radar images of Saturn's moon Titan shows what appear to be hydrocarbon lakes and seas.

  3. Astronomy

    Motion of two nearby galaxies clouds the picture

    The Large and Small Magellanic Clouds are not gravitationally bound to the Milky Way, but are relative newcomers passing by for the first time.

  4. Tech

    CD players could serve as cheap lab tools

    Ordinary CD disc players can be adapted to perform chemical assays and possibly medical diagnoses.

  5. Materials Science

    Feet of clay, but superstrong

    Gluing together nanoscale clay particles with a simple adhesive creates a strong but flexible material.

  6. Bacteria thrive by freeloading

    Mutant bacteria thrive by freeloading off their hard-working kin, but these slackers revert to working normally if they become too numerous.

  7. Emotional memory

    The action of a stress hormone could be why emotionally charged events form especially vivid and durable memories.

  8. Health & Medicine

    Better Than Pap: Virus test detects cervical cancer

    A new test for human papillomavirus (HPV) detects cervical cancer more reliably than traditional Pap smears.

  9. Anthropology

    Going Coastal: Sea cave yields ancient signs of modern behavior

    A South African cave yields evidence of complex, symbolic behavior among ancient people about 164,000 years ago, the oldest such indications yet.

  10. Health & Medicine

    Regulating Muscle Decline: Small molecules linked to degenerative diseases

    Snippets of RNA that regulate gene activity play a role in muscle-wasting diseases such as muscular dystrophy.

  11. Physics

    Axion Gone: New tests find no sign of anomalous particle

    New experiments contradict earlier claims of the discovery of the axion, a possible constituent of cosmic dark matter.

  12. Health & Medicine

    Beware the Starlings: Common birds can carry avian influenza

    Common songbirds such as starlings may be able to carry and spread avian influenza.

  13. Planetary Science

    Portrait of a Martian crater

    An ultrasharp image of part of Mars' Gale crater shows waterborne sediments and volcanic ash.

  14. Earth

    Bad Acid: Ocean’s pH drop threatens snail defense

    As ocean waters trend toward acidity, a result of atmospheric greenhouse gas buildup, a shoreline snail's defense against predatory crabs may weaken.

  15. Health & Medicine

    Looking for Biomarkers: Protein signature may warn of impending Alzheimer’s disease

    Measuring the amounts of certain proteins in the blood might provide early warning of Alzheimer's disease.

  16. Not Just Hitchhikers

    Salmonella and other human pathogens on vegetables aren't just riding along like casual smears of dirt; they're moving in and setting up housekeeping.

  17. Stem Cells from Virgin Eggs

    Making embryonic stem cells from unfertilized eggs might bypass many ethical concerns, but important scientific hurdles remain.

  18. Humans

    Letters from the October 20, 2007, issue of Foogue

    Well, read Margit L. Bleecker appears to have discovered that those who score highly on reading tests also score highly on tests of memory, attention, and concentration (“How reading may protect the brain,” SN: 8/18/07, p. 110). I don’t find that highly surprising. Ivan MannHoover, Ala. How it happened stance “Alien Pizza, Anyone?” (SN: 8/18/07, […]