Letters from the March 19, 2005, issue of Science News | Science News

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Letters to the Editor

Letters from the March 19, 2005, issue of Science News

By
12:50pm, March 16, 2005

Chew on this

As an occasional betel nut chewer, I note that the report "Palm-Nut Problem" (SN: 1/15/05, p. 43) doesn't touch on possible positive aspects of the habit. Chewing sapari (coarsely powdered, sweetened, and clove-flavored areca nut) at the end of a meal leads to a sense of satisfaction and well-being, induces salivation, and freshens the mouth. Areca nut also contains lots of phenolics that could act as antioxidants and capturers of free radicals. Hence, the nut pieces could be anticancer agents!

S.N. Balasubramanian
Bangalore, India

What's going on in there?

"Same brain region handles whistles and words" (SN: 1/22/05, p. 61) reports that left brain areas normally associated with language comprehension are activated in shepherds who communicate in a whistled language. I wonder if the same brain regions would respond similarly in people wh

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