The Advances section of Scientific American's July issue chronicles tree-saving tortoises, the largest spider fossil ever discovered, an update on the hunt for dark matter, and many other developments. For those interested in learning more about the news described in the section, a list of selected further reading follows below.
"Tortoises to the Rescue," page 16
"Resurrecting Extinct Interactions with Extant Substitutes," in the April 21 issue of the Current Biology, explains how tortoises are helping restore a depleted population of ebony trees on the island of Mauritius.
"International Particle of Mystery," page 19
For more on the XENON 100 dark matter hunt, visit the collaboration's home page; "Particle Hunt Nets Almost Nothing; the Hunters are Almost Thrilled," in The New York Times, chronicles the moment when the XENON 100 results first came in.
"What Is It?," page 19
"A golden orb-weaving spider," in the April 20 issue of Biology Letters, details the largest spider fossil ever discovered.
"Itch Doctor," page 21
This site offers more details on Zhou-Feng Chen's research and on the Center for the Study of Itch at Washington University in Saint Louis.
The Chen Lab Web site details his work on itch receptors and offers links to his publications.
"Big Buzzword on Campus," page 22
"The Third Revolution: The Convergence of the Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Engineering," the Massachusetts Institute of Technology white paper described in this Advances piece, can be found here (pdf).
This Columbia University video details the school's new Northwest Corner interdisciplinary science building.
"A Wild Weedy Scourge," page 24
"Resource Heterogeneity, Soil Fertility and Species Diversity: Effects of Clonal Species on Plant Communities," by J. Alexander Eilts and colleagues in May issue of The American Naturalist describes how plants like cogon grass, which spread through expansive underground networks, reduce biodiversity even in soils that are thought to boost it.
"Beauty and the Beasts," page 24
"The Face That Launched a Thousand Ships: The Mating-Warring Association in Men," by Lei Chang and colleagues, in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, states that male participants primed by attractive faces or legs of young women were significantly faster in responding to images or words of war than those primed by unattractive faces or national flags.
"Donor Fatigue," page 26
"Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Life After XMRV," published June 3 in the online version of the journal Nature, discusses doubts among scientists that the XMRV virus causes chronic fatigue syndrome. (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group).