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Science News

  • 15 May 1997

    Forty-four years ago today, American chemist Stanley Miller gave a jolt to the debate on the origins of life with the publication in Science of his famous paper, "A Production of Amino Acids Under Possible Primitive Earth Conditions." Miller tested the hypothesis that life's chemical build

  • 15 May 1997

    A highly contagious poultry virus has infected penguins in Antarctica. It is the first known transmission of a "foreign" disease to wildlife on the icy continent.

  • 15 May 1997

    Funding problems in Russia have led to an 8-month delay in the planned launch of the first pieces of the international space station. The initial launch will now occur in June 1998, NASA announced today.

  • 15 May 1997

    Scientists have cloned the first biological "clock" gene from a mammal.

  • 14 May 1997

    Some scrounging in the basements of the University of Munich has turned up brain samples from the first patient known to be correctly diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

  • 14 May 1997

    In an ambitious bid to put a price tag on Mother Nature, a group of conservation-minded ecologists and economists has estimated that it would cost $33 trillion per year to replace the Earth's "ecosystem services": environmental resources such as fresh water and soil, and processes such as climate

  • 14 May 1997

    Quick reactions from astronomers last week may have settled a long-standing debate in astrophysics: the origin of the mysterious flashes of energy called gamma-ray bursts.

  • 14 May 1997

    Genetic tests for mutations in the so-called breast cancer genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, may not reveal as much about cancer risk as earlier reports have estimated, according to two studies published in tomorrow's New England Journal of Medicine.

  • 13 May 1997

    The discoverer of the Earth's inner core, Danish geophysicist Inge Lehman, was born on this day in 1888. After studying the shock waves from earthquakes recorded on seismographs, Lehman proposed that Earth has a smaller, solid inner core.

  • 13 May 1997

    The number and shape of moles on your skin may signal your risk of malignant melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer.

  • 13 May 1997

    WASHINGTON--The Department of Energy (DOE) will delay for 11 days the start of extensive construction on a major laser facility to allow a federal court to hold a hearing on a legal challenge to the $1.2 billion project.

  • 13 May 1997

    Is anger by any other name still anger? Yes, according to a group of anthropologists who have analyzed several pairs of words connoting emotion in English and Japanese.

  • 13 May 1997

    In a surprising move, the California Institute of Technology announced today that it has named Nobel Prize-winning virologist David Baltimore as its new president.

  • 12 May 1997

    The G7 countries and Ukraine have agreed on a plan to reduce the risk of a second explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant's destroyed reactor.

  • 12 May 1997

    WASHINGTON, D.C.--NASA today offered a look at the first fruits of two new instruments installed aboard the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) during February's servicing mission.

  • 12 May 1997

    Scientists have discovered why a single mutated protein can lead to serious mental retardation in men with a common genetic disorder called fragile-X syndrome: The healthy protein is essential for establishing during childhood the adult pattern of connections between nerve cells in the brain.

  • 9 May 1997

    Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, a British x-ray crystallographer who won the 1964 Nobel Prize in chemistry for her cutting-edge work determining the molecular structures of complex organic molecules, was born on 10 May 1910.

  • 9 May 1997

    Like a desert mirage, a small box with a wire and some sodium atoms can make light curve. This new device, described in the current issue of Physical Review Letters, could someday lead to a new kind of switch for optical computer chips.

  • 9 May 1997

    Despite a sound mind and fine ears, some 5% to 8% of preschoolers somehow confuse the sounds of consonants and struggle to talk coherently. Now scientists think they know why: The children's brains aren't fast enough to perceive rapidly changing sounds.

  • 9 May 1997

    Spitting in Singapore may get you thrown in jail, but in nature there are far more lethal results. When a caterpillar drools on a corn leaf, the offended vegetable releases chemical vapors that attract parasitic wasps, which lay eggs in the caterpillar.

  • 8 May 1997

    Russia's Ural Mountains have yielded what may be the oldest evidence yet for pollen eating among insects.

  • 8 May 1997

    MIAMI BEACH--Russia's Mir space station has had its share of problems, from fires to dwindling oxygen supplies. But astronauts there can now worry less about one potential nightmare: the prospect that harmless microbes on Earth may evolve into killers in space.

  • 8 May 1997

    Corals by nature are stoic creatures, huddling together in their stony reefs to resist the ocean's currents and turbulence.

  • 8 May 1997

    An analysis of squash seeds and other table scraps dug up in a Mexican cave suggests that people in the Americas gave up hunting and gathering for farming at least 8000 years ago--centuries earlier than previously thought.

  • 7 May 1997

    MIAMI BEACH--A new drug has been shown to cure laboratory mice of tuberculosis much more quickly than standard treatments.

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