Science News

Science newspaper is a magazine specializing in Science topics.

Articles from Vol. 168, No. 20, November 12

Big Bird Terrorized South America
Researchers working in Argentina have discovered fossils that may represent the heftiest flightless bird to ever have roamed the planet. The fragmentary remains--a nearly complete skull and a foot bone called a tarsometatarsus--belonged to a member...
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Ghostly Electrons: Particles Flit through Atom-Thin Islands
Confine electrons within microscopically thin layers of material and weird things happen. Experiments on semiconductors in the 1980s demonstrated that to physicists (SN: 10/17/98, p. 247). Now, two independent research teams have found that electrons...
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Gone with the Flow: Ancient Andes Canals Irrigated Farmland
Archaeologists working in a valley on the western slopes of Peru's Andes mountains have discovered the earliest known irrigation canals in South America, a find that illuminates the origins of large-scale agriculture in the New World. Tom D. Dillehay...
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Mmmm, That's Crunchy
Analysis of isotopes in the teeth of otters and mongooses from Africa have led one paleontologist to suggest that some of humanity's ancient kin shared those modern animals' preference for shelled prey such as freshwater crabs and snails. The eating...
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Protecting Earth: Gravitational Tractor Could Lure Asteroids off Course
When a wayward asteroid is about to smash into Earth, scriptwriters for the movie Armageddon called in Bruce Willis to drill into the rock and nuke it. He succeeds but sacrifices his own life. Now, two NASA scientists, both also astronauts, suggest...
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Protective Progeny: Peptide Treats and Prevents Breast Cancer
A synthetic version of a protein present in a woman's body during pregnancy is as effective against breast cancer as the current drug tamoxifen is, according to a study in rodents. The new substance may avoid tamoxifen's side effects. Epidemiological...
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Runaway Heat? A Darkening Arctic May Accelerate Warming Trends There
Slide into the black vinyl seat of a car that s been parked for hours on a sunny summer day, and your exposed skin will be assaulted by heat. On an 80[degrees]F (27[degrees]C) day, that dark vinyl can reach a scorching 180[degrees]F (82[degrees]C)....
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Statins for Algernon: Cholesterol-Lowering Drug Fights Learning Disability
In Daniel Keyes' 1966 novel Flowers for Algernon (Harcourt), an experimental treatment gives a mouse and a learning-disabled man increased intellectual abilities. Real-life researchers, too, have strived to develop effective treatments for learning-disabled...
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That's the Way the Spaghetti Crumbles: Physicists Solve a Vexing Kitchen Puzzle
Great scientists sometimes do silly experiments. The renowned physicist and Nobel prize winner Richard P. Feynman, for instance, once got it into his head to figure out why uncooked spaghetti doesn't snap neatly in two when you bend it far enough to...
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Tusk Analyses Suggest Weaning Took Years
Tusks of juvenile mammoths carry a chemical record of the animals' environment and behaviors, including how quickly they became weaned from their mothers, scientists have found. As the tusks of modern elephants do, a mammoth's tusks grew continuously...
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Whiff Weapon: Pheromone Might Control Invasive Sea Lampreys
The sea lamprey, a serpentine fish that feasts on other fishes' blood, nearly wiped out the Great Lakes' native game fish populations in the 1940s. Now, researchers have characterized the primary components of the pheromone that the lamprey relies...
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Yikes! the Moon! Bat Lunar Phobia May Come from Slim Pickings
A study of creatures that fly around at night supplies a new answer to the question of why some bats avoid hunting under a full moon. Earlier work suggested that the bats were hiding from predators, according to Alexander Lang of the Karl Franzens...
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