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Your search has returned 135 articles:
  • News

    Power from heat

    The thermoelectric effect can produce small amounts of electricity from almost any source of heat, but its low efficiency has so far limited its uses. A team has now found a simple way to make one thermoelectric alloy more efficient.

    When two ends of a stick of a thermoelectric material are exposed to different temperatures, a voltage appears. The electrons in the stick act like the...

    03/26/2008 - 11:25 Technology
  • News

    Fabulon: Looking less fabulous

    Researchers have tentatively linked polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in people—and their dwellings—with Fabulon, a product used throughout the late 1950s and 1960s as a durable top coat for hardwood floors.

    During a survey of 120 homes on Cape Cod, Mass., researchers found two houses with unusually high PCB concentrations in air and house dust. Residents in both homes remembered a...

    01/30/2008 - 10:27 Earth & Environment
  • Food for Thought

    No Peanuts for Your Peanut

    Peanuts are a protein-rich snack food packing plenty of vitamins and trace nutrients. However, these legumes can elicit potentially life-threatening immune reactions within the one in 100 American adults who are allergic to them. Rates of peanut allergy are even higher among children. And the really disturbing news: A new study finds that the age at which this common food allergy first shows...

    12/11/2007 - 08:49 Nutrition
  • News

    Biohazard: Smoking before or after pregnancy may harm daughters' fertility

    Exposing female mice to chemicals found in cigarette smoke before pregnancy or during the period in which they nurse their young impairs the reproductive capacity of their female offspring, a new study finds.

    Many women stop smoking when they discover they are pregnant, aware that this habit endangers the baby. The new data suggest that may not be enough to protect their daughters' long...

    11/20/2007 - 14:21 Biomedicine
  • 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
  • Food for Thought

    A Melon for Dieters and Diabetics

    Mention watermelon and people immediately think of sweet, juicy, crimson-colored fruit. But watermelons didn't start that way, notes Angela R. Davis of the U.S. Agricultural Research Service. Wild watermelons in their native Africa are white fleshed, the size of softballs, and "hard like softballs," she notes. Bitter and anything but sweet, watermelons hardly started as dessert.

    ...
    08/01/2007 - 02:03 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
  • Food for Thought

    Sour Genes, Yes—Salty Genes, No

    Some people abhor broccoli, complaining about its intensely bitter taste. Others (myself included) find broccoli's flavor interesting and pleasing—decidedly, not bitter. What leads to our differing culinary opinions is the possession of, or lack of, (in my case, evidently) genes conferring a super sensitivity to bitter taste. Science has recognized such genetic differences for at least a...

    07/18/2007 - 09:52 Science & Society
  • Food for Thought

    Infectious Foie Gras?

    Amyloid, a term for a misfolded form of an otherwise normal protein, is most often associated with amyloid-beta, the waxy protein that builds up in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease. But at least 20 other kinds of amyloid, each derived from a different protein, can crop up in various parts of the body. What such malformed proteins have in common is their hairlike shape and...

    06/28/2007 - 11:27 Nutrition
  • Food for Thought

    Chocolate Constituent Bests Fluoride

    "Chocolate Toothpaste? Extract of Tasty Treat Could Fight Tooth Decay."

    That's how Tulane University's news office provocatively titled a press release it issued last week. Sound sweet? Unfortunately, it's anything but. The extract, theobromine, is a bitter constituent of a number of plants, including the beans used to make chocolate. A chemical cousin to caffeine, this...

    05/22/2007 - 17:14 Nutrition