The Advances section of Scientific American's September issue reports on a vaccine against nicotine addiction, a new x-ray technique inspired by large particle accelerators, how the brains of city folk may differ from their country cousins', and more. For those interested in learning more about the developments described in this section, a list of selected further reading follows.

"The Stress of Crowds"
In "City living and urban upbringing affect neural social stress processing in humans," Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg and colleagues report on the regional brain effects of living in—and growing up in—the city. The paper was published June 22 in Nature. (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group.)

Lisa Feldman Barrett and colleagues correlate amygdala volume and the size and complexity of a person's social network in "Amygdala volume and social network size in humans," published in the February issue of Nature Neuroscience.

"New Help for Smokers"
Read about NicVAX clinical trials—and sign up for any trails that are still recruiting—at

The results of one NicVAX clinical trial were published in March in Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics: "Immunogenicity and Smoking-Cessation Outcomes for a Novel Nicotine Immunotherapeutic."

"Her Summer Pastime? Cancer Research"
Read about Shree Bose's winning Google Science Fair project at her Web site, AMPK and Cisplatin Resistance.

And learn how all 15 Google finalists got interested in science at Scientific American's science education blog, Budding Scientist.

"Cooking That Sucks"
Modernist Cuisine vacuum pumps watermelon slices to make chips on their Web site.

"Can You See Me Now?"
Alessandro Olivo and colleagues describe their conventional x-ray phase-contrast imaging technique in "Noninterferometric phase-contrast images obtained with incoherent x-ray sources," published on April 20 in Applied Optics.

"The Shape of a Nose"
"Climate-related variation of the human nasal cavity" describes Marlijn Noback and colleagues' findings about different nasal passage shapes. The paper was published in August in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

"After Shock and Awe"
For an idea of how military exoskeletons might work, check out videos of products made by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum offers a Web page dedicated to six modern unmanned aerial vehicles.

"The Pitfalls of Positive Thinking"
In "Positive fantasies about idealized futures sap energy," published in July issue in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Heather Barry Kappes and her co-author found that college students who imagined overly positive outcomes for events, such as getting an A on a test, actually do worse when the scenario comes up in real life.

"Less Bang, More Bubbles"
In May Mark S. Wochner and colleagues presented an underwater sound barrier to protect marine life. Their abstract, "Mitigation of low-frequency underwater sound using large encapsulated bubbles and freely rising bubble clouds" (pdf), is available from the Web site of the 161st Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America.

At the same meeting, Peter Dahl and colleagues presented several papers (pdf) on the acoustic properties of underwater pile driving.

"Cocaine's Newest Risks"
Doctors reported cases of the effects of a cocaine contaminant in "Toxic Effects of Levamisole in a Cocaine User," published June 16 in The New England Journal of Medicine, and "Characteristic purpura of the ears, vasculitis and neutropenia—a potential public health epidemic associated with levamisole-adulterated cocaine," published online June 11 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

"Levamisole in the adjuvant treatment of colon cancer," published in Clinical Pharmacy in 1991, is an example of an older paper that hints that levamisole's effects may mimic cocaine's.