“Science Times” synthesis

Whether it’s “Law & Order,” “Criminal Minds” or “CSI,” many of us have a favorite crime scene show. Suspense, drama, and intrigue offer thought-provoking entertainment and a basic understanding of forensic investigation techniques, such as fingerprinting. But what if this form of identification remained unavailable to detectives? Read this week’s Science Times to learn more about a rare gene mutation that disables the development of fingerprints and footprints.

Just for fun, can you guess whose fingerprint appears below?

Week of August 1

No Prints? Evidence Points to Mutated Gene: Take a look at some research on adermatoglyphia, a rare disease that prevents the development of handprints and footprints.

Who Falls to Addiction, and Who Is Unscathed?: New studies indicate that drug abuse may be caused by a developmental brain disorder.

Study Says Dyslexia May Have Auditory Tie: Learn how deficiencies in auditory processing play a role in dyslexia, and why researchers believe an accurate diagnosis should begin with voice recognition testing among children.

Europe: Increase in Tropical Diseases is Aided by Migration and Weak Economies: Tropical diseases more prevalent in Africa and Asia are becoming increasingly common in Europe.

New HIV Cases Steady Despite Better Treatment: The unwavering rate of 50,000 AIDS infections per year over the last decade challenges the effectiveness of government prevention policy.

Week of August 7

Groups Call for Scientists to Engage the Body Politic: As scientific issues remain at the forefront of politics, many groups are encouraging scientists to become directly involved in policy making.

Chimpanzees Clear Some Doubt After Generosity Is Questioned: Through a study, researchers show how chimpanzees participate in prosocial behavior.

A Colorful Way to Watch Evolution in Nebraska’s Sand Dunes: A Harvard research group travels to the sandhills of Nebraska to study the genetic mechanism that causes pigmentation in deer mice, and the way in which it affects the animals’ fitness.

An Economist for Nature Calculates the Need for More Protection: Read about the innovative technology and policy that is inspiring environmental conservation around the globe.

Test Can Tell Fetal Sex at 7 Weeks, Study Says: Take a moment to consider the implications of these tests, and why doctors may be reluctant to prescribe them for patients.

10 Years and a Diagnosis Later, 9/11 Demons Haunt Thousands: Learn what experts are saying about post traumatic stress disorder, and how the horrors of 9/11 have left their mark on at least 10,000 New Yorkers.