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Science, technology, and life.
Oct. 24 2005 8:34 AM

Equal-Opportunity Sodomy

And other news from science and technology.

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The rate of fatal drug overdose among people 40 or older has doubled in California since 1990, while the rate among younger people has declined. Nationally, the percentage of drug abusers who are older than 35 has nearly tripled since 1979. Theories: 1) Boomers keep doing drugs till it kills them. 2) Boomers stop doing drugs, thus losing their tolerance, so when they start up again, it kills them. 3) Boomers learn the hard way that a 45-year-old body can't take the same abuse as a 25-year-old body. 4) Older abusers do their drugs alone, so when they overdose, nobody's around to call 911.

Scientists claim new dope tests can help distinguish natural from artificial steroids. The new technique improves carbon analysis. Rosy spin: High-tech cops are outwitting high-tech cheats. Cynical spin: The cops are bluffing.

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Fossils indicate that a miniature near-human species may have shared the Earth with us until 12,000 years ago. Bones found on an island suggest the creatures were 3 feet tall with chimp-sized brains. Theories: 1) They're a separate genus of primates. 2) They're deformed humans. 3) They're humans who evolved to be smaller because they were isolated on the island.

Latest Human Nature columns: 1) Two breakthroughs in the stem-cell war. 2) Who's right in the bioethics debate. 3) Bill Bennett's racial determinism.4) "Intelligent design"  chickens out. 5) The mainstreaming of anal sex. 6) The political use of fetal pain. 7) The emerging technology of artificial wombs. 8) The case for  growing embryos for their parts.

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