Science News

Science newspaper is a magazine specializing in Science topics.

Articles from Vol. 178, No. 2, July 17

All Patterns Great and Small: Researchers Uncover the Origins of Creatures' Stripes and Spots
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] How the leopard got its spots and the zebra its stripes might not be just-so stories much longer. Biologists are beginning to pinpoint the molecular mechanisms animals use to deck themselves out with colorful swirls, stripes,...
Antarctic Shoal Breaks the Ice: Breakup of a Massive Berg Pinpoints an Undersea Ridge
During the last couple of decades, scientists poring over satellite images have noticed several large icebergs breaking up as they wafted along a particular stretch of the Antarctic coast. Now, thanks to data gathered in part by an instrument-laden...
Enzymes Exposed: Clearer Views of the Cell's Movers and Shakers Threaten a Century-Old Mainstay of Biology
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In some ways, cells are a lot like cities. Maps of a cell's innards depict thoroughfares linking factories that build large molecules to post offices where those molecules are packaged up and shipped out, for example. The...
Gene Therapy Helps Blind Mice See: Sight Restored in Cone Cells Impaired by Retinitis Pigmentosa
Researchers have restored sight to blind laboratory mice by using gene therapy. If it works in people, the new treatment may one day allow some with retinitis pigmentosa, an incurable genetic eye disease, to navigate a room, read and drive. "It's...
Neutrino Data Hint at Need for Revised Theories: Nearly Massless Particles Could Turn Physics on Its Ear
Neutrinos are the big nothings of subatomic physics. Nearly massless and with no electric charge, these ghostly particles interact so weakly with other matter that more than 50 trillion of them pass through a person's body each second. Yet two new...
New Fossil Shows Lucy Walked Tall, Discoverers Say: But Critics Contend 'Big Man' Won't End Locomotion Debate
An older guy has sauntered into Lucy's life, and some researchers believe he stands ready to recast much of what scientists know about the celebrated early hominid and her species. Excavations in Ethiopia's Afar region have uncovered a 3.6-million-year-old...
Nutrition Society President Says Eat Less, Move More
Physician Robert Russell became president of the American Society for Nutrition earlier this year. A policy consultant to the National Institutes of Heath, Russell spent a quarter century with the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on...
Pixel Pioneer Offers a Better Way to Scan Images Than Square Approach: 50 Years Later, Creator of Digital Photos Fixes the Early Flaws
Russell Kirsch says he's sorry. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] More than 50 years ago, Kirsch took a picture of his infant son and scanned it into a computer. It was the first digital image: a grainy, black-and-white baby picture that literally changed...
Practice Can Be Less Than Perfect: Working Memory May Limit Musicians' Sight-Reading Skill
Here's a harsh piano lesson: Years of tickling the ivories go only so far for those who want to sight-read sheet music fluently, a new study suggests. Aside from those painstaking hours of practice, a memory skill that pianists have little control...
Research Tests Snakes on the Brain: Imaging Reveals Regions That Are Active during Acts of Courage
Researchers can now say what would happen in Samuel L. Jackson's brain if he really confronted snakes on a plane. In a terrifying sequel to the movie, volunteers were persuaded to bring a slithery serpent within centimeters of their heads while lying...
Safety in Numbers: Mathematics Offers Innovative Weapons for Fighting Terrorism
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Mathematicians don't wear capes and tights. They are not more powerful than a locomotive and they can't leap tall buildings in a single bound. But when it comes to protecting people from evildoers, these calculating crusaders...
Solidifying Memories Made of Light: Crystal Offers More Efficient Quantum Information Storage
Sun-drenched summer vacations may yield pleasant memories, but physicists have now harnessed light to remember something else: quantum information. Researchers have coaxed laboratory crystals to capture and release information carried within a light...
Texas Flood Carves Canyon in Days: Torrent Is a Model for Past Megafloods on Earth and Mars
An unexpectedly large canyon carved in just three days by a Texas deluge may help scientists estimate the size of ancient megafloods believed to have sculpted terrain on both Earth and Mars. In July 2002, record flooding in central Texas caused...
Using Math to Fight Terror Could Be a Good Strategy
Old paradigms never die--they just create conundrums for slow learners. In the print journalism world, for instance, the old paradigm of readers paying for paper with ink on it has been eroded by electronic delivery via various digital devices ranging...
'Vestigial' RNA Runs Interference: Study Suggests Pseudogenes Influence Protein Production
Deploying doppelgangers to distract pesky hangers-on isn't reserved for paparazzi-plagued Hollywood heartthrobs. Some genes use look-alikes as decoys to distract mobs of interfering molecules, a new study shows. The decoys, known as pseudogenes,...
Warming Favors Homebody Herd: Heading for the Hills in Spring Now Strains Yellowstone Elk
Warming temperatures could help explain why migration isn't such a hot idea anymore for some elk living in and around Yellowstone National Park. About a third of what's called the Clarks Fork elk herd moves at the end of winter from land around...