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  • Feature

    Back from the Dead?

    In December 1938, Marjorie Courtney-Latimer, curator of a natural history museum in East London, South Africa, went to the docks to look for interesting specimens among the day's catch. What she found one day she later described as "the most beautiful fish I had ever seen ... a pale mauve blue with iridescent silver markings." The discovery sent scientists into a frenzy.The 54-kilogram creature...
    11/13/2007 - 11:15 Paleontology
  • News

    CT heart scans: Risk climbs as age at screening falls

    Use of computed tomography (CT) scans to investigate heart blockages is becoming common, especially for people entering emergency rooms with severe chest pain. A new study quantifies a downside to these rapid and relatively noninvasive scans: Their X rays can substantially increase an individual's cancer risk. Younger patients, especially women, incur the greatest increases.Andrew J. Einstein of...
    08/08/2007 - 10:45 Biomedicine
  • 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

    Gene dispensers

    From Chicago, at the American Chemical Society MeetingResearchers have developed a new means for transferring genes to treat diseases. The gene therapy method relies on a nanoscale architecture with many alternating layers of polyester and DNA. Once this material is inside the body, water degrades the polyester layer by layer, for a slow, controlled release of genetic material to nearby...
    04/10/2007 - 15:16 Chemistry
  • News

    Mafia Cowbirds: Do they muscle birds that don't play ball?

    Cowbirds in Illinois that sneak their eggs into other birds' nests retaliate violently if their scam gets foiled, researchers say.The brown-headed cowbirds of North America outsource nest building and chick raising. Female cowbirds dart into other birds' nests, quickly lay eggs, and rush away. The nest owners are left to care for big, demanding cowbird chicks.Why don't the dupes throw out the...
    03/07/2007 - 11:56 Animals
  • Food for Thought

    Red Heat Might Improve Green Tea

    Most tea drinkers don't give much thought to how tea leaves are processed prior to arriving in a tin or tea bag. However, a Korean team of food scientists has. Realizing that many people are trying to consume more of certain tea-derived antioxidants—especially compounds called catechins—the researchers wondered whether concentrations of those chemicals might be affected by tea-leaf handling....
    12/07/2006 - 01:21 Nutrition
  • News

    Lung Scan: CT may catch some treatable cancers

    A controversial study suggests that computed tomography (CT) scans catch lung cancer early in smokers and other high-risk people, enabling doctors to intervene when they still can improve a patient's chances of survival. However, some scientists criticize the study's design for leaving many questions unanswered.By the time lung cancer is typically discovered, it has spread to lymph nodes or...
    10/25/2006 - 13:37 Biomedicine
  • Feature

    Venting Concerns

    Researchers cruising the South Pacific between Tonga and Fiji study huge snails that, aided by an abundance of bacteria housed in their gills, feed off plumes of metal-rich compounds at active hydrothermal vents. Scientists working off the California coast use chemical-sniffing probes, robotically driven subs, and seafloor-tethered temperature sensors to watch flows of lava pave over a once-...
    10/03/2006 - 10:43 Humans & Society
  • Food for Thought

    Juice May Slow Prostate Cancer Growth (with recipe)

    Prostate cancer will claim the lives of an estimated 30,000 men in the United States this year. The second leading cause of cancer death in men, its incidence climbs with age. In Western countries, the disease is reaching nearly epidemic proportions among the elderly. However, the cancer can grow so slowly that many men with prostate cancer will die of something else first.A mystery has always...
    08/10/2006 - 13:46 Nutrition
  • News

    Social jet lag: Need a smoke?

    From Munich, at the Euroscience Open Forum meetingPeople who have a hard time waking in the morning because their bodies' internal clocks are out of sync with their sleep schedules are said to have "social jet lag." Researchers in Europe have determined that the phenomenon strongly correlates with smoking.Battling one's biological clock can leave people weary in the same way as...
    08/01/2006 - 12:19 Other