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Sidelines

On the Record

“This was the only time the United States has beaten Brazil in anything soccer-related.”

An observer at this year's RoboGames, in San Francisco, comments on the US triumph in a football match played by humanoids.

“In the showers afterward, they pretty much knew which pill they had been given.”

Physiologist Anne Friedlander describes a study in which some competitive cyclists took sugar pills, as a control group for high-altitude cycling studies. The others got Viagra.

Sources: Wired News, Chicago Tribune

Scorecard

Colourful sport

Football uniforms aren't just pretty: psychologists say they help spectators track more than three players at a time.

Clowns

In vitro fertilization works better if women are entertained by trained clowns after their treatment, according to an Israeli study.

Future of energy

The International Energy Agency suggests that the world's energy needs will more than double between 2003 and 2050 — and coal will still be the top power source.

Number Crunch

Twenty-eight years have passed since the first child was born through assisted reproduction. Now, women around the world are lining up to try for test-tube babies.

3 million babies have been born through assisted reproduction since 1978.

200,000 babies were born through it in 2002 alone.

3.9% of all Danish babies are born using assisted reproduction techniques — the highest proportion in the world.

Source: 2002 World Report of the International Committee for Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies.

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Sidelines. Nature 441, 1034 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1038/4411034a

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