The Advances section of Scientific American's October issue includes coverage of preschoolers' innate sense of the scientific method, a report suggesting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is failing to do enough to regulate contaminants in tap water, recently re-discovered texts by Archimedes, and more. For those interested in learning more about the developments described in this section, a list of selected further reading follows.
"More Than Child's Play"
In "Where Science Starts: Spontaneous Experiments in Preschoolers' Exploratory Play," Noah Goodman and colleagues show four- and five-year-olds know how to isolate variables and set up scientific experiments. The paper was published in the September issue of Cognition.
"Is It Safe to Drink?"
The U.S. Government Accountability Office called for better oversight of tap water in its report, "Safe Drinking Water Act: EPA Should Improve Implementation of Requirements on Whether to Regulate Additional Contaminants." The report was released May 27.
"A Tale of Math Treasure"
An exhibit of 10th-century copies of Archimedes' work will open October 16 at The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore.
See images of Archimedes' texts on the Archimedes Palimpset Web site.
"Clearing the Smoke"
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's decision to maintain marijuana's Schedule I classification is available on the U.S. Department of Justice Web site.
Recent clinical trials on marijuana's therapeutic benefits are available from the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research's completed studies page.
"Instant Health Checks for Buildings and Bridges"
Simon Laflamme and colleagues report on their sensors for cracks in bridges in "Strongly Enhanced Sensitivity in Elastic Capacitive Strain Sensors," published January 24 in the Journal of Materials Chemistry.
For a sample of Raimondo Betti's work on aging suspension bridge cables, see "Wind Analysis of a Suspension Bridge: Identification and Finite-Element Model Simulation," published in the Journal of Structural Engineering in 2010.
"The Trouble with Armor"
Graham Askew and colleagues put volunteers in medieval armor, then ran them through treadmill tests in "Limitations Imposed by Wearing Armour on Medieval Soldiers' Locomotor Performance," published July 20 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
Watch (and listen) to an armored man clanking on a treadmill in a BBC video.
"'I've Got Your Back'"
Frans de Waal and colleagues showed chimpanzees more often chose colored tokens that garnered them and a partner food, than tokens that they could exchange for food only for themselves. The researchers published their findings in the August 8 issueof Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: "Spontaneous Prosocial Choice by Chimpanzees."
Charles Darwin wrote his famously prosocial letter in 1858, to "My dear Lyell," a Scottish geologist who was Darwin's mentor and friend. That letter and thousands of others are available online at the Darwin Correspondence Project.
"Taking On Cancer"
The Quest for the Cure, published by Columbia University Press this year, chronicles the history of targeting proteins in drug research.
Brent Stockwell's efforts to find molecules that interact with "undruggable" proteins resulted in the publication of "Discovery of Mdm2-MdmX E3 Ligase Inhibitors Using a Cell-Based Ubiquitination Assay," in the July 28 issue of Cancer Discovery.
"Gig.U Is Now in Session"
Visit the Gig.U Web site to learn more about The University Community Next Generation Innovation Project's efforts to bring to universities internet that is 1,000 faster than what is commonly available.
Akamai Technologies publishes a quarterly report on worldwide internet use, "The State of the Internet."
"Putting Diabetes on Autopilot"
Stuart Weinzimer and colleagues describe their test of an under-the-skin glucose monitor in "Glucose Control Using Closed Loop Insulin Delivery during Nights with or without Antecedent Afternoon Exercise," an abstract presented June 26 at the American Diabetes Association's annual meeting.
Abstracts for similar technologies are available on the meeting's Web site.