Dinotopia

It was only discovered in the early 1990s, but China's Yixian formation has already transformed our knowledge of dinosaurs. Jeff Hecht uncovers the fossil bonanza When dinosaurs roamed Yixian 125 million years ago, it probably looked similar to New Jersey's pine forests MEIlong, the soundly sleeping dragon, is small enough to hold in your two hands. Its head is tucked under its forelimb, like a sleeping bird with its head under a wing. When I saw it in Xu Xing's office at the American Museum of...

Enigma

In the following statement digits have been consistently replaced by capital letters, different letters being used for different digits TWO is a prime number, THREE is a triangular number, FOUR is a perfect square none of them starts with a zero. Triangular numbers are those that fit the formula 2n n 1 , like 1,3,6,10. What are the numbers represented by a THREE, b FOUR 15 will be awarded to th e sender of thefirst correct answer opened on Thursday 23 June. The Editor's decision isfinal. Send...

Info

LOUD noise outside schools seems to damage children's performance in exams. The higher the noise levels, the lower the scores, says Bridget Shield of London South Bank University. Her team measured noise levels during lesson times outside 142 primary schools in London. Then they compared the levels against published results of the standard national exams taken by all pupils at ages 7 and 11. The noisier the environment, the worse the results, even when other possible causes of poor performance,...

Crisis In Midair

Most frequent medical reasons for diverting a plane Cardiac Neurological Respiratoiy Gastrointestinal Physicists gear up for torrent of data, page 10 Out of Africa via the beach, page New family of mammals discovered, page 18 able to land anywhere that a 747 can, says Joan Sullivan Garrett, the chief executive officer of Medaire in Phoenix, Arizona, which provides medical assistance to 80 of the world's leading airlines. But if you're asking whether it will, the answer is the chances of a...

Rechargeable Battery

An artery-squeezing plastic pump could help millions survive without a heart transplant THE first patient to be fitted with a device designed to turbocharge an ailing heart, without greatly increasing the risk of blood clots and other life-threatening complications, is recovering in a New Zealand hospital following surgery earlier this month. The device, called a C-Pulse, has yet to prove its mettle. But the heart specialists who invented it hope it will one day be used to treat thousands of...

Mick Hamer

WHEN the giant Airbus A380 made its maiden flight on 27 April, the airlines publicity focused on plans to install bars, beauty salons, gymnasiums and even double beds on board. But there was little mention of one less glamorous fact. The A38o s ability to carry twice the number of passengers as many of today s planes will almost double the chances that on any given flight someone will need urgent medical attention. Yet the air transport industry appears unprepared for this, New Scientist has...

Early Cretaceous

It is now dear that birds evolved from dinosaurs. But there are still plenty of puzzles about bird evolution. Mesozoic-era birds were very different from those alive today. Most belonged to a primitive group called the opposite birds, which appeared about 130 million years ago and went on to dominate the Cretaceous. Yet the opposite birds vanished with the dinosaurs, while the ancestors of modern birds survived. No one knows why. Another mystery iswhen modern birds appeared. Most of the 30 or...