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  • News

    Tests hint bird tails are misunderstood

    In the hotly debated matter of bird-tail aerodynamics, the first wind tunnel measurements indicate that the prevailing theory may be wrong.

    The basic avian tail has the triangular shape of supersonic planes like the Concorde, explains Jeremy Rayner at the University of Leeds in England. Since the early 1990s, dozens of ornithology papers have therefore drawn on the...

    07/11/2001 - 12:24
  • News

    Radiation harms blood vessels before gut

    When physicians aim radiation at a tumor in the pancreas or irradiate the entire body of someone with leukemia, the therapy can devastate the stomach and abdomen. Nausea, diarrhea, infections, and even death may result.

    These responses occur because the radiation wipes out the linings of the stomach and intestines. But how? Most investigators argue that radiation directly kills...

    07/11/2001 - 12:06 Biomedicine
  • News

    Sticky platelets boost blood clots

    Platelets are tiny, cell-like components in the blood that aggregate to form clots. They're indispensable for closing wounds, but after injury caused by atherosclerosis in an artery, their automatic response can clog the vessel.

    Scientists now report that people with platelets that tend to stick together are more likely to suffer complications from a common heart procedure than are...

    07/11/2001 - 11:04 Biomedicine
  • Feature

    Sticky Situations

    Every night, a social transformation takes place right under your nose. As you sleep, millions of bacteria in your mouth switch from being free-living drifters to established community members. Those bacteria, which escaped the evening assault of your toothbrush, become part of a sticky coating on your teeth.

    What's simply annoying for you...

    07/11/2001 - 10:28
  • News

    Vitamin A calibrates a heart clock, 24-7

    Teenagers can make it seem as if hormones control the cycles of the heart. Now, scientists have proved it.

    Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia have shown that a molecular clock in the circulatory system oscillates in a 24-hour rhythm in step with cells in the brain. This heart cycle responds to a hormone derived from vitamin A.

    Scientists have known for...

    07/11/2001 - 10:13
  • News

    Titanium dioxide hogs the spotlight

    In their unending quest to improve day-to-day life, researchers have processed a common pigment into a form that could lead to new generations of self-sterilizing bathroom tiles and antifog mirrors.

    Each year, the United States produces some 1.5 million tons of titanium dioxide, a powder that's widely used as a sunscreen and a white pigment for paints. In the past few years, chemists...

    07/11/2001 - 09:46 Materials
  • News

    New type of hydrothermal vent looms large

    A newly found hydrothermal vent system, which its discoverers have dubbed the Lost City, rises on an undersea mountain in the Atlantic Ocean. The mineral deposits produced by these vents include, at 18 stories tall, the largest ever observed. The deposits rise like chimneys above the seafloor and are host to rich communities of microbial life.

    This scene...

    07/11/2001 - 09:08 Earth
  • News

    Antimatter mystery transcends new data

    Physicists have finally answered a decades-old question about the difference between matter and antimatter. Yet their finding only deepens the mystery of why the universe contains so much more matter than antimatter.

    Last week, researchers at the Stanford (Calif.) Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) announced they had proved that hefty subatomic particles, known as B mesons and anti-B...

    07/11/2001 - 08:56 Physics
  • News

    Earliest Ancestor Emerges in Africa

    Our ancient kin have taken a big step back in time. An international team working in Ethiopia has found bones and teeth of the earliest known hominid, a member in good standing of humanity's evolutionary family.

    The fragmentary remains come from at least five individuals–in the genus Ardipithecus–who lived between 5.2 million and 5.8 million years ago, says anthropology...

    07/11/2001 - 08:41 Anthropology
  • News

    Marijuana may boost heart attack risk

    Researchers have recorded several instances in which otherwise healthy people have suffered heart attacks shortly after smoking marijuana, the most commonly used illegal drug in the United States. Experiments have also linked marijuana use to elevated blood pressure and decreased oxygen supply to the heart muscle. A large study now suggests that marijuana indeed puts a person at increased...

    07/10/2001 - 15:37 Biomedicine