engineering (3/8/75, p. 148;
3/22/75, p. 194; 6/7/75,
p. 366; 12/13/75, p. 372).
clockwise from top left: volker Zinser; peter chadwick/getty images; ap photo/gorilla foundation
1975 | Lucy found
Donald C. Johanson and
his team report finding the
partial skeleton of a human
ancestor more than 3 million
years old, nicknamed Lucy
(1/4/75, p. 4).
1977 | Bottom quark
Leon Lederman and col
leagues report evidence of
a new quark, the bottom
quark, in experiments at
Fermilab (8/13/77, p. 100;
8/6/78, p. 87).
1978 | In vitro baby
The world’s first testtube
baby is born in England
(7/22/78, p. 51; 9/23/78,
p. 212; 12/9/78, p. 407).
1978 | Primate talk
Two chimps exhibit “the
first instance of symbolic
(8/19/78, p. 117). Koko
(left), a “talking” gorilla,
is reported to have a sign
language vocabulary of 375
words (10/14/78, p. 265).
1979 | Nuclear meltdown
The Three Mile Island
nuclear power plant experi
ences a catastrophic accident
(4/7/79, p. 227; 5/5/79, p.
292; 7/21/79, p. 45; 11/3/79,
p. 309; 12/15/79, p. 405).
Science News has reliably covered most of the biggest
science stories of the last 90 years. But also tucked
away in the magazine’s pages have been many signs
that SN reporters were on to something before it was
s 1936 women may one day borrow an egg from
another woman, have the egg fertilized in a test
tube and then incubate the egg in their own
wombs (4/11/36, p. 228).
s 1943 water hyacinth (below) is becoming a
serious river pest in the united states (2/13/43,
p. 102). in 1968, SN writes that the plant “now
clogs waterways of southern states and costs mil-
lions a year in dredging bills” (10/26/68, p. 423).
s 1943 a dream refrigerator is envisioned that will
open its doors at the touch of a switch, dispense
cool water, make ice cubes automatically and have
a separate freezer—one that even defrosts itself
(3/27/43, p. 198).
s 1956 weather forecasts may soon start coming
with probability estimates for the predictions,
such as “a 60 percent chance of rain” (5/19/56,
s 1957 a new field called gnotobiotics, “the study
of animals in a germ-free or germ-controlled envi-
ronment,” is described (1/26/57, p. 62). today,
gnotobiotic animals are used in labs around the
world (6/18/11, p. 26). — Erika Engelhaupt