The Advances section of Scientific American's November issue took readers into the air with the world's highest flying geese, back in time with an unlikely ancestor, into space to rendezvous with some garbage, to the Internet for a new way of conducting clinical trials, and beyond. For readers interested in learning more about the developments described in this section, a list of further background material follows:
"On the Trail of Space Trash"
The National Research Council's report on space garbage is available on their Web site.
"Bigger Plates, More Food—Or Is It the Other Way Around?"
In "The Influence of Bite-Size on Quantity of Food Consumed: A Field Study," researchers at the University of Utah measured how bite size can influence overall consumption.
You can also see what, and how much, is on the dinner table around the globe in this Time magazine photo essay.
"Olympians of the Sky"
Charles Bishop of Bangor University in Wales studied where and when bar-headed geese fly.
Kelli Hoover's lab continues to work on insects of all kinds, including the unfortunate zombie caterpillars. Just like human zombies, zombie insects are pretty gruesome. And check out this slide show of zombie ants.
The Collaborative Chronic Care Network connects patients with doctors using new technology to improve the quality of care. The project is currently only for Crohn's disease, but could expand to address other conditions.
In "Does It Make Sense to Modify Tropical Cycles? A Decision-Analytic Assessment," engineers, scientists and policymakers weigh in on whether humans should try to stifle hurricanes by altering their course and strength. David Cotton's summary also asks the question: "Should we consider polluting hurricanes to reduce their intensity?" (pdf)
"Meet Your Newest Ancestor"
Zhe-Xi Luo described a tiny shrewlike mammal, perhaps one of the earliest mammals in evolutionary history, in a paper in Nature, along with pictures of the fossils and illustrations. (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group.)
"3-D, Hold the Glasses"
New technology that could liberate gamers and movie viewers from 3-D glasses was described in August in Nature Communications.
"Of Flash Mobs and Four Loko"
Read a blog post on this subject at "The Thoughtful Animal," one of the offerings in Scientific American's blog network.
Robert Stickgold, who speculates about how to count memories in this piece, is the director of the Center for Sleep and Cognition at Harvard Medical School. For a list of his publications, click here.
"You Say Embryo, I Say Parthenote"
Look up your congressman's or senator's views on stem cell research by taking a look at the Library of Congress's voting records database.