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  • News

    E. coli evade detection by going dormant

    Researchers think they now know why a particularly virulent form of E. coli that swept through northern Germany last May was so hard to trace: The germs responsible eluded detection by going into a self-induced deep sleep.

    Two new studies show that when stressed, E. coli can turn off most signs of life. That’s a problem for food-safety officials because their germ-screening...

    12/06/2011 - 11:04 Nutrition, Earth & Environment
  • Feature

    Back from the Dead?

    In December 1938, Marjorie Courtney-Latimer, curator of a natural history museum in East London, South Africa, went to the docks to look for interesting specimens among the day's catch. What she found one day she later described as "the most beautiful fish I had ever seen ... a pale mauve blue with iridescent silver markings." The discovery sent scientists into a frenzy.

    ...

    11/13/2007 - 11:15 Paleontology
  • Feature

    What Goes Up

    Jeffrey S. Gaffney, a sunburn-prone atmospheric scientist, set off one morning in March 2006 for a day of field work in Mexico City—without his hat and sunscreen. At Mexico City's altitude, 2,240 meters above sea level, sunlight beating down through the thin air delivers as much as 30 percent more ultraviolet radiation than reaches coastal regions. "I thought I'd be fried at the end of the...

    09/05/2007 - 10:13 Earth & Environment
  • News

    Gene dispensers

    From Chicago, at the American Chemical Society Meeting

    Researchers have developed a new means for transferring genes to treat diseases. The gene therapy method relies on a nanoscale architecture with many alternating layers of polyester and DNA. Once this material is inside the body, water degrades the polyester layer by layer, for a slow, controlled release of genetic material to...

    04/10/2007 - 15:16 Chemistry
  • News

    New solutions for unused drugs

    A dilute stream of prescription drugs flows through the nation's rivers. To help cut that flow, representatives of the federal government and a pharmacists' trade group want consumers to stop flushing most old drugs down the toilet.

    Some 3 to 7 percent of dispensed medicines go unused, according to estimates by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America in...

    04/03/2007 - 18:21 Earth & Environment
  • News

    Too Few Jaws: Shark declines let rays overgraze scallops

    A shortage of big sharks along the U.S. East Coast is letting their prey flourish, and that prey is going hog wild, demolishing bay scallop populations.

    That's the conclusion of researchers led by the late Ransom Myers of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, who died this week. Combining census surveys from the past 35 years, Myers' team found shrinking...

    03/28/2007 - 11:47 Animals
  • Food for Thought

    Birds Don't Have to Be So Hot

    Last week, Iowa State University issued a news release about how long it takes to cook a turkey if you place it into the oven frozen. The answer: 5.5 hours for a 13- to 15-pound bird cooked in a 325°F oven.

    However, what really caught my attention was something a little lower in the release—that the U.S. Department of Agriculture had issued a statement earlier this year...

    11/20/2006 - 14:15 Nutrition
  • News

    Smoke Out: Bartenders' lungs appreciate ban

    Pub workers in Scotland breathed easier and showed better respiratory health shortly after a nationwide ban on smoking inside public places went into effect earlier this year, scientists report.

    Other research had suggested that worker health improves after a smoking ban, but this is the most comprehensive study to date, says pulmonologist Daniel Menzies of the University of...

    10/11/2006 - 08:51 Humans & Society
  • Feature

    Battle of the Hermaphrodites

    Anybody who's ever mused that the world would be better if men got pregnant needs to talk to Nico Michiels. And so does anybody who's asked—or sung—"Why can't a woman be more like a man?" Michiels has seen that world, or at least a version of it, and he's even got pictures to show. It's not pretty, he says.

    Many snails, slugs, and worms are so-called internally...

    09/12/2006 - 13:06 Animals
  • News

    Are pollutants shrinking polar bear gonads?

    The more polluted a polar bear's fat, the more likely its reproductive organs will be undersize, scientists find.

    They collected gonads from 55 male and 44 female bears killed legally by subsistence hunters in east Greenland. The scientists then tested the bears' fat for pollutants that might affect sex hormones.

    Especially in immature males, testis length diminished with...

    09/05/2006 - 00:59 Earth & Environment