What are some good science magazines

Top ten of the journal "Science"

The top of the list of top scientific achievements is computer circuits the size of a molecule. In January, US scientists presented nano-wires for information exchange that are a million times finer than a human hair. Electrons migrate through the contact wire with almost no resistance. In November, three research groups from the USA and the Netherlands succeeded in creating logic circuits from structures that were billions of a meter. Their results pave the way for tiny but extremely fast and powerful nano-computers that translate conversations in seconds or search people's bodies for diseases. Once assembled, the nano-elements can "achieve computer performance that will guarantee further breakthroughs in research for decades", say the editors of "Science".

As further milestones in research, the magazine lists nine scientific hits without ranking:

The race to decipher the human genome ended at the beginning of the year with the simultaneous publication of two work results in “Science” and “Nature”. The US company Celera Genomics and the international research consortium of the human genome project independently came to the conclusion that human genetic information consists of around 35,000 genes. A result that was surprising for many, since up to 100,000 genes were originally expected. According to this, humans only have about twice as many genes as the fruit fly. The researchers have now been able to decode the genome of 60 other organisms.

Biochemical defects in the human body are the cause of some types of cancer. In 2001, new drugs aimed at such damage were used in clinics for the first time. Gleevec was approved in the USA as a new drug for the treatment of previously incurable types of cancer. It turns off an enzyme that feeds cancer cells. This year, scientists were increasingly concerned with enzymes that influence the growth of cancer cells. Dozens of clinical tests are running around the world.

In 2001, scientists discovered that it is possible to switch off genes in a targeted manner using small RNA snippets. Surprisingly, they discovered that the messenger RNA can also act as an enzyme.

This year, scientists solved the mystery of the missing neutrinos. The number of particles hitting the earth from the sun only appears so small because they are converted into difficult-to-detect tau and muon neutrinos on the way to our planet. This was shown by researchers at Canada's Sudbury Neutrino Observatory.

The German physicist Wolfgang Ketterle and the US researchers Eric A. Cornell and Carl E. Wieman received the 2001 Nobel Prize in physics for creating a new state of matter, the so-called Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC). Research this year focused on building a BEC-based atomic laser and on ultra-precise measurements. The problem with the generation of a Bose-Einstein condensate is the very low temperatures. This year, scientists were able to successfully produce a BEC not only with rubidium, but also for the first time with helium and lithium. Another team of researchers investigated vortex phenomena in the condensate. Cornell and Wieman exposed a BEC to a magnetic field until it exploded in a small supernova called a Bose nova.

Japanese researchers discovered a new superconductor - magnesium diboride. In the inexpensive metal connection, electrical current flows at minus 234 degrees without resistance. Spherical carbon lattices or fullerenes, the so-called bucky balls, become superconducting at minus 156 degrees Celsius, instead of the previous 221 degrees Celsius. Scientists from Germany and the USA achieved the new record this year.

This year, scientists researched how the nerves develop in the embryo. The research results could help repair adult nerve cells. Further research showed how nerve signals interact with each other and how axons deal with contradicting signals.

The growing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is to blame for global warming over the past 50 years. This was shown in 2001 by better and better data and model calculations. They confirmed the human influence on the unnaturally warm 20th century. How much greenhouse gases our planet can handle is still unclear. US President George Bush used this as an excuse to reject the Kyoto Protocol.

The US produces the most greenhouse gases. After bitter discussions, scientists have agreed on counting forests and agricultural land in the USA as carbon sinks. The result: the sinks absorb around a third of the current greenhouse gas emissions in the USA, but this process will decrease over the next few decades, scientists believe.

After September 11th, a lot has changed for science and research, warn the "Science" editors: Researchers and engineers have to cope with shrinking budgets. Restrictions in the exchange of information and in international cooperation as well as changes in research priorities are the order of the day.

December 22, 2001

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