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  • 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
  • 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

    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
  • 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

    Fruits and Veggies Limit Inflammatory Protein (with recipe)

    Over the past few years, many studies have linked an increased risk of debilitating illness—such as heart disease or diabetes—with chronically elevated blood concentrations of a protein typically associated with inflammation. In many cases, people with the indicated illnesses didn't even have a particularly level of inflammation. The good news: A new trial finds that eating plenty of fruits...

    12/01/2005 - 14:38 Nutrition
  • News

    Brain Power: Stem cells put a check on nerve disorders

    Famous for their capacity to turn into any type of nerve cell, adult neural stem cells can also serve as anti-inflammation police in the brain, researchers have found. When injected into mice with an inflammatory brain disorder similar to multiple sclerosis, these versatile cells home in on and destroy certain bloodborne inflammatory immune cells.

    In addition to serving as a source of...

    07/13/2005 - 11:30 Biomedicine
  • Food for Thought

    Trimming with Tea

    Here's a new diet drink to help people shed pounds: oolong tea enriched with some of the antioxidant compounds that naturally occur in green tea. Men who drank this hybrid brew during a 3-month study in Japan lost 1.1 more kilograms in weight than did men drinking conventional oolong tea—with no other difference in their respective diets or exercise.

    The hybrid tea also...

    02/09/2005 - 13:29 Nutrition
  • Feature

    Food Colorings

    Crop geneticist Charles R. Brown has spent a decade working to make a better potato. In the beginning, he focused on beefing up the familiar white-fleshed tuber. His strategy was to recapture healthful traits from old-style spuds from the plant's native range in South America. He examined many yellow, red, and purple potatoes, none of which grows well in a U.S. climate. While cross breeding...

    01/03/2005 - 13:56 Nutrition
  • Feature

    Extreme Impersonations

    Extreme physical conditions have a way of bringing out the strangest behaviors that nature can muster. Just ask physicist John E. Thomas. Two years ago, he and his colleagues at Duke University in Durham, N.C., were working with intense lasers in a high-vacuum chamber at temperatures next to absolute zero. They were manipulating tiny clouds of lithium gas. When the scientists turned off the...

    09/11/2004 - 17:58 Physics