Food for Thought
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.
Rod-shaped molecules can organize themselves by, say, lining up like sardines or grouping
into distinct layers when they form orderly fluids known as liquid crystals. If exposed to ultraviolet
(UV) light or heat, the molecules of some liquid crystals self-organize in a second way:
They link into long chains called polymers.
Now, scientists investigating such materials...
Evolutionary biologists have found that the California sea hare, a mollusk that goes by the scientific name of Aplysia californica, has a protein similar to proteins in people that respond to estrogen and other steroid hormones. The surprising finding suggests that estrogen was the first such hormone to evolve and that the estrogen-signaling system dates back more than 600 million years....
It's anything but a Super Soaker.
According to computer simulations by physicists at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, a fantastically tiny squirt gun that can spit liquids a few hundred nanometers ought to work—if it can be built.
Michael F. Moseler and Uzi Landman developed the model of the miniature device to investigate a possible new...
Carbon-rich meteorites that crash to Earth carry a wealth of information from far-flung regions of outer space. Now, it seems that some extraterrestrial baggage survives the long journey intact. A new study shows that carbon molecules known as fullerenes can originate outside the solar system and ride in on meteors.
The researchers also isolated...
Long before sharks and salmon were even a twinkle in Mother Nature's eye, strange-looking fishes patrolled the ancient seas. They made their living in many ways, such as filtering through mud, but none bit into their food–these were the days before fish had jaws.
Innovation, however, was afoot 450 million years ago. Some of these animals made a leap...