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  • News

    Obesity messes with the brain

    Obesity subtly diminishes memory and other features of thinking and reasoning even among seemingly healthy people, an international team of scientists reports. At least some of these impairments appear reversible through weight loss. Researchers also report one likely mechanism for those cognitive deficits: damage to the wiring that links the brain’s information-processing regions. A number of...
    03/25/2011 - 12:00 Nutrition, Body & Brain
  • News

    Floral Shocker: Blooms shake roots of flowering-plant family

    Imagine discovering a mammal without mammary glands or an insect with eight legs. Aquatic herbs in the genus Hydatella pose a similar paradox—they lack a defining developmental feature of flowering plants, raising questions about their evolution and rampant speciation during the past 135 million years.Evolutionary biologists group together organisms that share unique traits, such as...
    03/19/2008 - 13:25 Plants
  • Food for Thought

    It's Spud Time

    As 2007 winds down, thoughts naturally turn towards what might lie ahead. Meals rich in high-carb tubers, perhaps? That's what the United Nations would like everyone to contemplate throughout 2008, which it is designating the International Year of the Potato.Farmers now harvest more than 300 million tons of potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) worldwide. That makes it the fourth biggest food...
    12/18/2007 - 18:43 Nutrition
  • News

    Tea compound aids dying brain cells

    From Washington, D.C., at the Fourth International Scientific Symposium on Tea and Human Health A constituent of green tea can revive moribund brain cells, Israeli researchers report. The team experimented with animal neurons that had been chemically poisoned to model the death of dopamine-producing cells in Parkinson's disease.In a test-tube study, low doses of epigallocatechin gallate...
    09/26/2007 - 12:04 Biomedicine
  • News

    Laser printers can dirty the air

    The smaller an air-pollution particle is, the more likely it will be inhaled deep into the lungs, where it can trigger disease. A new study finds that office laser printers can spew especially small particles.Lidia Morawska of the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, says that her team stumbled onto the finding while attempting to evaluate the effectiveness of office...
    09/05/2007 - 14:01 Earth & Environment
  • News

    Role Change: Mast cells show an anti-inflammatory side

    As anyone who has reacted to poison ivy can attest, the plant can induce maddeningly itchy skin. Researchers have now found that a cell once thought to be one of the chief perpetrators of this immune overreaction may actually keep the reaction from getting out of hand.Mast cells make proteins that contribute to the inflammation that characterizes allergic reactions. The cells are part of the...
    09/05/2007 - 09:17 Other
  • News

    Cholesterol boosts diesel toxicity

    Cholesterol poses a cardiovascular risk once it becomes transformed into an inflammatory building block of artery-clogging plaque. That process, which happens all the time, is triggered by oxidation. A new study finds that breathing nanoscale particles spewed by diesel-fuel combustion—also a common occurrence—may turn on genes that multiply cholesterol's inflammatory and atherosclerotic risks....
    08/08/2007 - 09:53 Earth & Environment
  • News

    Universities seek armchair astronomers

    Nonscientists and researchers alike have a chance to see something no one else ever has—a few of the million far-off galaxies that the Sloan Digital Sky Survey has recently photographed. The price of admission: People viewing the new images online must do a little work for the astronomers in charge, classifying individual galaxies as either spiral armed or elliptical collections of stars.On July...
    07/23/2007 - 14:59 Humans & Society
  • News

    Slimming on oolong

    Without skimping on portions, rats eating diets including oolong tea gain less weight than those dining teafree, a new study finds. The tea apparently impairs the body's ability to absorb fat.The finding supports a weight-control strategy—oolong consumption—advocated by practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, note Lauren E. Budd and her colleagues at the University of California, Davis....
    05/15/2007 - 15:09 Nutrition
  • News

    Cells' Root: Adult stem cells have a master gene

    A person's body constantly sheds dead skin cells, and new cells well up to take their places. Stem cells in the skin generate this continuous stream of biological units. Now, researchers have identified a master gene that enables these stem cells to retain their regenerative capacity.The gene, called p63, is crucial for the maintenance of stem cell lines in epithelial tissues including...
    05/09/2007 - 12:22 Other