• Rather than just an X-Y pair, the duck-billed platypus requires five chromosomal pairs to determine sex. One pair has avian similarity, suggesting that the sex-determining systems of birds and mammals may be linked.
    Nature online, October 24, 2004; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, November 16, 2004
  • Selling aspirin and acetaminophen in smaller doses reduced the suicide rate from these drugs by nearly 25 percent and the need for liver transplants from related damage by 30 percent in the U.K., where 1998 legislation cut the package sizes.
    BMJ, November 6, 2004
  • According to rat studies, alcoholics who lay off the hooch might restore their ability to grow new neurons, a process inhibited by alcohol dependency.
    Journal of Neuroscience, October 27, 2004
  • New evidence confirms not only the presence of methane on Mars but also larger quantities of it than previously inferred. The gas could have originated from biological processes.
    American Astronomical Society meeting, November 11; www.sciam.com/ontheweb