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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.

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    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
  • 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
  • News

    Flu vaccine seems to work for kids under 6 months of age

    From Toronto, at a meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America

    Babies younger than 6 months appear fully capable of responding to a flu shot, researchers find.

    Such infants aren't typically vaccinated when influenza season arrives each fall, even though they routinely receive other vaccinations beginning at age 2 months. In the United States, flu shots are recommended...

    10/25/2006 - 08:34 Biomedicine
  • Food for Thought

    Juice May Slow Prostate Cancer Growth (with recipe)

    Prostate cancer will claim the lives of an estimated 30,000 men in the United States this year. The second leading cause of cancer death in men, its incidence climbs with age. In Western countries, the disease is reaching nearly epidemic proportions among the elderly. However, the cancer can grow so slowly that many men with prostate cancer will die of something else first.

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    08/10/2006 - 13:46 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

    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

    Prions' dirty little secret

    Fifteen years ago, scientists at the National Institutes of Health reported that malformed prions—proteins that can trigger lethal illnesses including mad cow disease—remain on soil surfaces for at least 3 years. Now, scientists report why rain doesn't flush away the prions: The proteins bind almost irreversibly to clay.

    In fact, clay can "retain up to its own mass of ... prion proteins...

    02/07/2006 - 13:58 Earth & Environment
  • News

    Good for Something: Prion protein maintains stem cells

    The same protein that, in an altered shape, causes mad cow disease and other neurodegenerative disorders maintains the body's cache of blood-producing stem cells, a new study suggests.

    Called the prion protein, or PrP, it's scattered throughout the body in mammals. When, in rare occurrences, PrP becomes misshapen, it causes neurodegenerative diseases in cows (SN: 1/10/04, p. 19: Cow...

    02/01/2006 - 12:32 Other