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  • Food for Thought

    Caffeine Aids Golden Girls' Mental Health

    Although wine may improve with age, the human body tends to falter during the so-called golden years. Among the most exasperating declines occur in memory and critical aspects of reasoning. However, downing plenty of caffeine-rich coffee—or tea—may offer one low-cost solution for keeping aging wits sharp, a French study finds. The rub: This strategy appears to benefit only women.

    ...
    08/16/2007 - 18:39 Nutrition
  • News

    Persistent Prions: Soilbound agents are more potent

    Deformed proteins called prions cause fatal brain-destroying disorders, such as chronic wasting disease in deer and elk and mad cow disease, which can infect people. Evidence suggests that prions make their way into animals' nervous systems through ingestion, but scientists aren't sure.

    A new study shows that prions become more infectious when they latch on to soil particles that...

    07/18/2007 - 13:58 Biomedicine
  • News

    A smart pill for seniors?

    From Washington, D.C., at the Experimental Biology 2007 Conference

    Many people approaching retirement age find that memories fade and quick-wittedness flags. Scientists at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell have formulated what they call a "smart pill" to optimize brain health in such people. In pilot trials, its combination of dietary supplements boosted performance on simple...

    05/08/2007 - 14:49 Nutrition
  • Feature

    Counterintuitive Toxicity

    For decades, researchers largely assumed that a poison's effects increase as the dose rises and diminish as it falls. However, scientists are increasingly documenting unexpected effects—sometimes disproportionately adverse, sometimes beneficial—at extremely low doses of radiation and toxic chemicals.

    Consider the environmentally ubiquitous plastic-softening agent, di-2-ethylhexyl...

    01/16/2007 - 14:07 Earth & Environment
  • Food for Thought

    Trans Fats Are Bad, Aren't They?

    The media have been rife with reports on trans fats since New York City's Board of Health announced it would phase out these fats in restaurants and other food-service establishments. And that's good news for most consumers because trans fats can pose a double whammy for the heart. Not only can they hike a person's bad cholesterol even more than saturated fats can, but they also reduce...

    12/14/2006 - 15:47 Nutrition
  • Food for Thought

    Organic Dairying Is on Upswing, But No Panacea

    This is part two of a two-part series on the economics of dairy farming. Part I: "Cow Power," is available at Cow Power.

    For 20 years, Steve Getz worked in the computer industry. Because he traveled a lot, "I came to hate airports and sitting on planes," he says. To ground himself on days off, Steve and his wife, Karen Getz, began dabbling in farming.

    ...

    11/28/2006 - 13:52 Agriculture
  • Food for Thought

    Fruity Relief for Weekend Warriors

    After 2 years of planning, you're finally able to afford a long weekend off for that ski trip to Aspen. The first day out, you put in 5 or 6 hours working your way down the slopes. You had planned to do the same thing each of the next 2 days—until you awake feeling sore from head to toe. The next day you feel even worse, so you settle for spending the rest of your trip in the lodge, sipping...

    06/29/2006 - 12:26 Nutrition
  • Food for Thought

    Do People Know When They're Overweight?

    A new study finds that most people can estimate their height-weight combinations fairly accurately. However, overweight and obese people miss the mark when they're asked to characterize the healthiness of their weight-to-height status.

    Indeed, among adults who met the National Institutes of Health criteria for being obese, only 15 percent realized they were obese, notes Kimberly P....

    04/21/2006 - 01:24 Other
  • News

    Easy Answers: Quantum computer gives results without running

    Physicists have long known that quantum computers have the potential to race through calculations trillions of times as fast as ordinary computers do. Now, it seems that those machines may not have to calculate at all to deliver answers.

    That seemingly absurd possibility, which was advanced as a theory several years ago, has now received experimental verification. What's more, although...

    02/22/2006 - 12:18 Physics
  • Food for Thought

    Fooling the Satiety Meter (with recipe)

    Want to lose weight without counting calories? A new study finds that the easiest strategy might be reducing a meal's energy density—calories per ounce of food. When volunteers were offered such density-diminished meals, they rated the fare as filling—and as palatable—as they had full-calorie versions of the same foods.

    Smaller portions also curbed how much someone...

    02/16/2006 - 15:33 Nutrition