- Paleontologists discovered in western Patagonia what may be one of the largest carnivorous dinosaurs ever. The new species, Mapusaurus roseae, is bigger than Tyrannosaurus rex, slightly more immense than its cousin, Gigantosaurus, and appears to have hunted in packs.
Announcement by Museo Carmen Funes, Plaza Huincul, Argentina, and University of Alberta, April 17
- Pass the hummus: Americans who consumed a Mediterranean diet—meals with vegetables, fruits, legumes, some fish and alcohol, along with low amounts of dairy and meat products—experienced a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease as they grew older. The study was the first that examined the relation between Alzheimer's and general dietary patterns.
Annals of Neurology, published online April 18
- Deforming the crystal structure of silicon, the workhorse of electronics, changes its properties so that the material becomes capable of carrying a light-based signal. The invention raises the possibility of replacing electronic components with much faster optical ones.
Nature, May 11
- Jellyfish produce some of the fastest movements in the animal kingdom. A camera that captures 1.4 million frames per second determined that jellyfish stinging cells discharged in 700 nanoseconds and struck with the force of some bullets.
Current Biology, May 9
This article was originally published with the title "Brief Points" in Scientific American 295, 1, 33 (July 2006)