Science News

Science newspaper is a magazine specializing in Science topics.

Articles from Vol. 154, No. 1, July 4

Amyloid Can Trigger Brain Damage
Autopsies of Alzheimer's patients show waxy plaques of a protein called beta-amyloid littering the brain like shrapnel on a battlefield. Yet researchers have failed to establish whether beta-amyloid actually causes the disease. Now, a study of...
Ancient North American Shoes Step to Fore
By about 8,000 years ago, inhabitants of what is now the United States were making and wearing sophisticated sandals and slip-on shoes, according to researchers who analyzed a rare sampling of ancient footwear. Prehistoric North Americans apparently...
Chemical Switch Cuts off Melatonin
Many jet-lagged travelers, eager to reset their internal body clocks, rely on timely doses of the natural hormone melatonin to trigger sleep. Now, researchers at Rockefeller University in New York have found a substance that may have the opposite...
Fatal Skin Fungus Found in U.S. Frogs
Chytrid skin fungi, which have devastated frogs in parts of Australia and Central America, have now turned up in the wild in the United States. Early signs hinted that U.S. species might tolerate the infection as no more than a nuisance, but new data...
Informed Consent - Not
A nurse hands a breast cancer patient a seven-page, single-spaced consent form describing the potential risks of an experimental treatment. The patient signs on the line, indicating she understands the possible dangers of unproven cancer therapy But...
La Nina Readies to Steal El Nino's Thunder
Water temperatures in parts of the equatorial Pacific Ocean have dropped precipitously in the last 2 months, chilling El Nino's fever and setting the stage for the arrival of another climatic hooligan: La Nina. Meteorologists were divided earlier...
Mice Help Nail Down Gene for Rare Syndrome
Randy L. Johnson is interested in how limbs form, so he wondered what would happen if mice lacked a gene related to one implicated in the development of chicken limbs. Much to Johnson's surprise, his studies of such mutant mice have led to the identification...
Modeling the Whole Universe
They've got the whole world in their computer. For the first time, cosmologists have harnessed enough computing power to model the entire observable universe. Beginning 1 billion years after the Big Bang, when the cosmos was almost perfectly smooth...
Persistent Pollutants Face Global Ban
Last week, 34 northern industrial nations adopted two new United Nations agreements--pledges to phase down or out 19 toxic industrial pollutants. Known as the Aarhus Protocols, after the Danish city in which they were signed, the agreements call for...
Ringing Earth's Bell: What Makes Our Planet Constantly Quiver?
Put an ear to the ground and you will hear the muffled fusion of thousands of sounds. The rumble of a delivery truck, the clatter of high-heeled shoes, the chatter of moles, and the crashing of distant ocean waves all contribute to the din underfoot....
Rogue Algae: The Mediterranean Floor Is Being Carpeted with a Shaggy, Aggressive Invader
Scuba divers have long flocked to the Mediterranean's warm waters to view the colorful bustle along its seafloor. Rooted to the bottom are sponges, corals, sea fans, and anemones. While starfish and lobsters patrol corridors between their moored brethren,...
Scientists Lose Contact with Solar Craft
The past couple of weeks should have been an easy transition for solar astronomer Arthur I. Poland. Retiring from his administrative role with an orbiting solar observatory so that he could devote his full attention to data acquired by it, Poland...
So Cool, and Some Are Still Stars
"Oh, Be a Fine Girl (Guy), Kiss Me." That line may get your face slapped in a singles bar, but it's an old standby in astronomy textbooks. In the stellar realm, those words of wisdom are a mnemonic device for the sequence of letters OBAFGKM....
Understanding the Big Bang of Life
Astronomers believe they can accurately describe the initial moments after the Big Bang, the cosmic explosion that gave rise to the universe. Paul Primakoff envisions doing the same for the beginning of a new life. "Sperm and egg fusion is the Big...