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VOLUME 104 | NUMBER 2 | March 2016

The Benefits of Science

Jamie L. Vernon

DNA Damage and Nanoparticles

Fenella Saunders

Q&A with Bryant C. Nelson, a research chemist, who is developing methods to quantify whether nanoparticles cause genetic damage.


Katie L. Burke

In this roundup, associate editor Katie L. Burke summarizes notable recent developments in scientific research, selected from reports compiled in the free electronic newsletter Sigma Xi SmartBrief. Online:

The Historic Turns of a River

Sandra J. Ackerman

Laser-mapping technology makes visible the meanderings of Oregon's Willamette River over the past 12,000 years.

How to Recruit and Retain Underrepresented Minorities

Ashanti Johnson, Melanie Harrison Okoro

From kindergarten through fulltime positions, what works to engage aspiring minority researchers in studying ocean science?

Angiogenesis, Aging, and Alzheimer’s Disease

Charles T. Ambrose

Can a form of treatment that promotes the growth of new capillaries, improving blood flow in the brain and elsewhere, ease the symptoms of aging and Alzheimer’s disease?

The Merritt Parkway and Other Driving Respites

Henry Petroski

Smaller roads offer an escape from the strangled traffic of I-95, as well as a detour into the pre-interstate highway era of automobile travel.

A 3D Twist for Flat Photos

Natasha Kholgade Banerjee

Manipulating digital photos to fill in their missing parts could be useful in everything from furniture design to accident scene reconstruction.

O Pioneer

Laura Dassow Walls

An inveterate explorer with an insatiable curiosity about the natural world, Humboldt observed flora, fauna, climatic variation, and geology in close detail from continent to continent and described his findings in some of the bestselling volumes of his age.

Cypherpunks Write Code

Jamie Bartlett

What happens in this virtual world—the Dark Net—and why?

Science Books in Six

American Scientist’s readers, writers, and editors share the science books that struck their fancy in 2015—summed up in just six words!

The Visual World of Infants

Russell D. Hamer

Discovering what babies can see has been a formidable challenge, but research methods now provide an objective picture of their surprising visual abilities.

Spring Budburst in a Changing Climate

Richard B. Primack, Amanda S. Gallinat

Henry David Thoreau’s 160-year-old field notes document the changing life in the woods, as a warming climate jumbles the timing of annual springtime schedules.

Meat-Eating Among the Earliest Humans

Briana Pobiner

Evidence of meat-eating among our distant human ancestors is hard to find and even harder to interpret, but researchers are beginning to piece together a coherent picture.

Steel's Contentious Birth

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