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Your search has returned 13 articles:
  • 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
  • Feature

    Wings of Change

    Like a bird, the world's very first airplane had flexible wings. The lightweight wood, cloth, and wire flyer, built by Wilbur Wright and Orville Wright and first flown on Dec. 17, 1903, was steered and stabilized by pulleys and cables that twist the wingtips. Some aviation historians say that this bird-inspired control mechanism was the pivotal innovation that enabled the Wright brothers to...

    11/30/2003 - 16:50 Technology
  • Food for Thought

    Talking Turkey (with recipe)

    They can weigh in at 40 pounds or more. They prefer walking, but they can fly. And if Benjamin Franklin had had his way, they would be the U.S. national symbol. We're talking turkey–wild turkey, that is.

    This animal "is purely an American fowl and has no counterpart in other continents," noted Louis A. Stahmer in his 1923 review of the bird. In fact, the...

    11/26/2003 - 20:36 Nutrition
  • Feature

    On Shifting Ground

    Earthquakes now endanger more people than ever. The world population has more than doubled in the past 50 years and, by 2007, half of the planet's 6.6 billion people will be living in urban centers. Because more than 380 major cities lie on or near unstable seams in the Earth's crust, one seismologist has come to a grim conclusion: A catastrophic temblor sufficient to kill 1 million people...

    08/19/2003 - 11:18 Earth
  • Feature

    Herbal Lottery

    Echinacea is a commercial success. The dietary supplement–made from the flowers, stems, and leaves of the purple coneflower–has become a popular and lucrative over-the-counter cold remedy. It's also one of the few nutraceuticals–natural products with medicinal reputations–that have substantial scientific evidence to support its purported functions: Various studies suggest that echinacea...

    06/02/2003 - 18:34 Nutrition
  • Feature

    Mad Deer Disease?

    This autumn, the nation's big-game hunters are lifting their guns and bows in the service of science. They're collecting the biggest sample ever of deer and elk brains–predicted to total 200,000–to test for a once-obscure wildlife disease that's become the stuff of headlines and headaches coast-to-coast. So-called chronic wasting disease strikes mule deer, white-tailed deer, and elk. It

    11/26/2002 - 16:23 Animals
  • News

    Three Dog Eves: Canine diaspora from East Asia to Americas

    Two genetic studies have just rewritten the history of humanity's best friend. The new version has moved the origins of the domestic dog from the Middle East to East Asia and argues that the first people to venture into the Americas brought their dogs with them.

    Analysis of 654 dogs from around the world suggests that their earliest female ancestors originated from several...

    11/20/2002 - 14:41
  • Feature

    The Buck Starts Here

    Poor Susan B. Anthony. A pioneering 19th-century advocate of women's rights, she suffered the misfortune of having her stalwart visage stamped on a wildly unpopular U.S. coin. Because the Susan B. Anthony dollar looks confusingly like a quarter, it never won the public's acceptance.

    Now, 21 years after its introduction, the Susan B. Anthony is about to retire. On...

    09/24/2002 - 17:26 Materials
  • News

    Stopping batteries from starting fires

    A new flame-retardant substance can prevent rechargeable lithium-ion batteries from overheating and perhaps starting a fire, researchers say. With such an additive, the light-but-powerful batteries now used in small consumer electronics could be safely scaled up to power cars and other large, energy-hungry machines.

    Jai Prakash and his colleagues at the Illinois Institute of Technology...

    08/13/2002 - 11:24 Chemistry
  • Feature

    Cultures of Reason

    In July 1931, Russian psychologist Alexander R. Luria led a scientific expedition to central Asia to probe the minds of nomads who lived in that harsh, mountainous region. Luria wanted to explore whether members of what scholars at the time ranked as "primitive" communities could reason logically, like inhabitants of modern European and North American societies.

    He got a rude shock....

    06/21/2002 - 16:35 Anthropology