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  • Science & the Public

    Walnuts slow prostate cancer growth

    SAN FRANCISCO A new study suggests that mice with prostate tumors should say “nuts to cancer.” Paul Davis of the University of California, Davis, hopes follow-up data by his team and others will one day justify men saying the same.

    For years, this nutritionist had been studying heart benefits of walnuts. Most nuts – in sensible quantities – can benefit the heart. But among...

    03/27/2010 - 22:02 Nutrition, Chemistry, Numbers, Biomedicine, Humans & Society
  • 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

    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

    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

    Tea—Milking It

    I'm a serious tea drinker. I'll down it hot or cold, plain or with lemon. Like most Americans, however, I don't regularly add milk. But when my colleague David Lindley, an editor here at Science News, was growing up, his family certainly did.

    Being a Brit, David comes from a culture that holds considerable reverence for this brew and might be accused of being fussy about its preparation...

    05/31/2007 - 14:03 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
  • News

    Slimming on oolong

    Without skimping on portions, rats eating diets including oolong tea gain less weight than those dining teafree, a new study finds. The tea apparently impairs the body's ability to absorb fat.

    The finding supports a weight-control strategy—oolong consumption—advocated by practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, note Lauren E. Budd and her colleagues at the University of California...

    05/15/2007 - 15:09 Nutrition
  • 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
  • Food for Thought

    A Trans Fat Substitute Might Have Health Risks Too

    A controversial nutritional test of a chemically modified fat suggests that the substance may be more harmful, at least in its potential to cause diabetes, than is a trans fat–rich, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.

    Many food producers are phasing out partially hydrogenated oils, which contain harmful trans fats. For certain products such as baker's shortening and margarine, some...

    02/08/2007 - 09:51 Nutrition