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Your search has returned 18 articles:
  • News

    Titanic Images, Groovy Shots: Cassini arrives at Saturn

    After a 7-year, 3.5-billion-mile journey, the Cassini spacecraft last week slipped through a gap between two of the icy rings circling Saturn and became the first spacecraft to orbit the distant planet. The probe, which will tour Saturn and many of its 31 known moons for at least 4 years, has already returned stunning images of the shimmering rings and recorded the sharpest images ever taken...

    07/07/2004 - 12:50 Planetary Science
  • News

    City Heat: Urban areas' warmth affects plant growth

    Satellite observations of eastern North America show that plants in and around urban areas bud earlier in the spring and retain their foliage later in the fall than do plants in nearby rural settings. Although that trend had been noted before, the new data suggest the differences are at least partially due to the phenomenon dubbed the "urban heat island." Cities retain enough heat to raise...

    07/07/2004 - 12:45 Earth
  • News

    Plastic vs. Plants: Mulch method changes tomato's gene activity

    A suite of at least 10 genes in a tomato plant behaves differently depending on the farmer's mulch-and-fertilizer routine, according to an unusual analysis.

    Earlier work showed that when researchers mulch with a layer of mown vetch instead of the conventional black plastic, tomato plants live longer and develop less fungal disease, says Autar Mattoo of a...

    07/07/2004 - 12:35 Agriculture
  • News

    Living Long in the Tooth: Grandparents may have rocked late Stone Age

    A memorable senior moment may have occurred toward the end of the Stone Age. Around 30,000 years ago, the number of people surviving long enough to become grandparents dramatically increased, altering the social landscape and provoking major cultural innovations, according to two anthropologists.

    Their analysis of fossil teeth from human ancestors indicates that Homo sapiens from the...

    07/07/2004 - 12:30 Anthropology
  • News

    Just a Tad Is Too Much: Less is worse for tadpoles exposed to chemicals

    The herbicide atrazine is more likely to kill developing amphibians when it is highly diluted than when it's much more concentrated in aquatic environments, a new study suggests. Although counterintuitive, the finding is consistent with some controversial past research on atrazine and studies showing that other hormonally active compounds are most damaging at trace concentrations.

    ...

    07/07/2004 - 12:24 Earth & Environment
  • News

    Grainy Geyser: Tall squirts reveal sand's liquid ways

    Loose sand can pack so strongly and densely that it can support a house, yet it can also flow easily, as in an hourglass. Physicists in the Netherlands have now accentuated the liquid behavior of granular materials by reducing the sizes of the particles and the forces between them. The result is a bizarre substance that ejects towering jets of grains when objects drop into it.

    ...

    07/07/2004 - 12:17 Physics
  • News

    Clearing Up Blurry Vision: Scientists gaze toward causes of myopia

    Next time you can't make out a distant highway sign, blame your parents. Scientists in the United Kingdom have found that myopia, or nearsightedness, is predominantly hereditary, and they're beginning to unravel the genetic mechanism that causes the vision problem.

    Roughly a third of people in the United States suffer from myopia—they clearly see close objects, such as...

    07/07/2004 - 12:13
  • News

    Mexican murals store magnetic data

    Tiny magnetic particles found in the pigments of some ancient Mexican murals record the direction of Earth's magnetic field when the paint dried, a phenomenon that could help archaeologists determine the age of frescoes throughout Mexico and Central America.

    The red pigments in murals painted by the artists of pre-Columbian civilizations in the New World often contain bits of magnetite...

    07/06/2004 - 13:13 Archaeology
  • News

    Protective enzyme has a downside: Asthma

    An enzyme whose natural job may be to ward off fungi and parasites contributes to the lung inflammation characteristic of asthma, a new study concludes.

    The enzyme is known as a chitinase because it breaks down the complex sugar chitin, a tough molecule found in the cell walls of fungi, the surface of parasitic worms, and the exoskeletons of insects and crustaceans. Mammals don't make...

    07/06/2004 - 13:02 Biomedicine
  • News

    Watching the biological clock

    Physicians can predict when a woman will start menopause by giving her ovaries an ultrasound examination, according to a new study.

    In the July Human Reproduction, W. Hamish Wallace of the University of Edinburgh and Thomas W. Kelsey of the University of St. Andrews, both in Scotland, report that ovarian volume correlates with the number of primordial follicles, the sites in ovaries...

    07/06/2004 - 13:00