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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
  • 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.

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

    Want that fiber regular or decaf?

    Researchers in Spain report that a cup of coffee can deliver a significant portion of daily dietary fiber. The drink hadn't been known to contain any fiber.

    Like the cholesterol-lowering substances found in oat bran, fiber in coffee consists of carbohydrates that the body can't digest, but which dissolve in digestive fluids. However, unlike oat bran's soluble fiber, the fibrous...

    02/20/2007 - 11:51 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
  • News

    Herbal therapy for beleaguered lawns

    Many people don't like the biting taste of mustard. Neither, it turns out, do sting nematodes—small, parasitic roundworms that siphon food from plant roots. That finding could prove good news for maintaining golf courses, sports fields, and other picture-perfect lawns.

    Some weeds and other plants naturally resist sting nematodes (Belonolaimus longicaudatus Rau). Suspecting that these...

    06/21/2006 - 09:33 Plants
  • 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
  • News

    Novel Approach: Cancer drug might ease scleroderma

    The chemotherapy drug paclitaxel, when given to mice, shows signs of impeding the skin disease scleroderma, researchers report. By slowing skin thickening, paclitaxel might offer a treatment for a disease that has defied cure.

    Scleroderma results when excess collagen protein accumulates in the skin, rendering it fibrous and inflexible. This toughening can cause pain and disfigurement....

    11/16/2005 - 13:47 Biomedicine
  • News

    Sow what? Climate reviews help farmers choose

    African subsistence farmers are far likelier to leverage rainfall forecasts into better crop yields after attending workshops explaining the basis for the rain predictions, some of which include climatic events half a world away.

    Anthony Patt of Boston University and his colleagues organized short workshops for a randomly chosen cross-section of subsistence growers—those who plant crops...

    09/19/2005 - 12:48 Earth & Environment