The Advances section of Scientific American's April issue chronicles the work of researchers trying to stop the spread of dengue fever in Australia, reports on a forthcoming test that may tell patients how quickly they're aging, and delves into the mysteries of horseshoe crab mating rituals, among many other subjects. For those interested in learning more about any of the developments described in this section, a list of selected further reading follows below.
"Outsmarting Dengue Fever," page 8
"Wolbachia-Mediated Resistance to Dengue Virus Infection and Death at the Cellular Level," by Scott O'Neill and colleagues describes how the bacterium Wolbachia pipientis renders mosquitoes incapable of transmitting dengue fever.
"Taming Your Inner Tiger," page 9
Psychologist Brian K. Barber of the University of Tennessee Knoxville has investigated the effects of psychological control on adolescent development across cultures for years. His work also focuses on how parents express affection globally. In "How Do Parents Make Adolescents Feel Loved? Perspectives on Supportive Parenting from Adolescents in 12 Cultures," published online January 27, 2010, in the Journal of Adolescent Research, he found that across cultures, supplying adolescents with anything that can be seen as rare and valuable is perceived as love, such as quality time or moral guidance.
Beyond the Classroom: Why School Reform Has Failed and What Parents Need to Do summarizes a decade's worth of research by developmental psychologist Laurence Steinberg at Temple University and his colleagues into the effects of authoritarian, authoritative, permissive and neglectful parents on more than 20,000 children of many different backgrounds.
"My, What Long Telomeres You Have," page 10:
The Web site of Telome Health, one of the two companies developing a telomere test that may be used to assess how quickly patients are aging, contains solid information about the caps on the ends of our chromosomes.
Stress Less: The New Science That Shows Women How to Rejuvenate the Body and the Mind, by the article's author, Thea Singer, covers the latest in telomere science.
Relevant studies on telomeres include, "Accelerated Telomere Shortening in Response to Life Stress," by R. M. Cawthon and colleagues, and "Cell Aging in Relation to Stress Arousal and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors," by Elizabeth H. Blackburn and colleagues.
"Too Contagious to Fail," page 11
In "Systemic Risk in Banking Ecosystems," from the January 20 issue of the journal Nature, Andrew G. Haldane and Robert M. May, argue that bankers can draw important lessons by studying models that predict the spread of infectious diseases. (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group.)
"Arid Land, Thirsty Crops," page 12
See water.columbia.edu to read more about the projects of the Columbia University Earth Institute Water Center.
"To Share and Share Alike," page 13
The story is based on the paper "Horizontal Transfer, Not Duplication, Drives the Expansion of Protein Families in Prokaryotes," by Todd J. Treangen and Eduardo P. C. Rocha of the Pasteur Institute in Paris.
For more on horizontal gene transfer, see the introduction to Horizontal Gene Transfer on the San Diego State University Web site.
"Too Much Information?," page 14:
"Get Ready for the Flood of Fetal Gene Screening," by Henry T. Greely in the January 20 issue of Nature describes the forthcoming tests and their consequences in detail.
"Crab Love Nest," page 14
These resources offer general information on horseshoe crabs:
"Ordovician Faunas of Burgess Shale Type," published in Nature in May 2010, pushes the ancestry of horseshoe crabs to perhaps more than 500 million years ago. Peter Van Roy and colleagues found horseshoe crab–like specimens among a trove of fossils in Morocco that have strong links to species once thought to have gone extinct in the Cambrian period.
"Population Dynamics of American Horseshoe Crabs—Historic Climatic Events and Recent Anthropogenic Pressures," published in Molecular Ecology in August 2010 by Soren Faurby and colleagues, looks at the impacts of climate change and overharvesting on horseshoe crab populations.
William Sargent wrote two eloquent books describing horseshoe crabs' place in the world: Crab Wars: A Tale of Horseshoe Crabs, Bioterrorism and Human Health (University Press of New England, Hanover, N.H., 2002); and The Year of the Crab: Marine Animals in Modern Medicine (W. W. Norton & Co., New York and London, 1987).
The proceedings of the 2007 International Symposium on the Science and Conservation of the Horseshoe Crab, compiled by John T. Tanacredi, Mark L. Botton and David Smith in 2009, available through Springer New York and www.springer.com.
"Cracking a Century-Old Enigma," page 15
For more on fractals and to read both of Ono's recent papers, see the Web site "Fractal Structure to Partition Function".