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Your search has returned 83 articles:
  • Feature

    Big Fishing Yields Small Fish

    Sharks, billfish, cod, tuna and other fish-eating fish — the sea’s equivalents to lions on the Serengeti — dominated the marine world as recently as four decades ago. They culled sick, lame and old animals and kept populations of marine herbivores in check, preventing marine analogs of antelopes from overgrazing their environment.

    But the reign of large predators now...

    03/25/2011 - 11:51
  • Feature

    Nurturing Our Microbes

    Each of us is a metropolis. Bustling about in everyone's body are tens of trillions of microbes. Some are descended from starter populations provided by mom during birth. Additional bacteria, yeasts, and other life forms hitchhike in with foods. By age 3, everyone's gut hosts a fairly stable, yet diverse, ecosystem.

    Most of the tiny stowaways hide out in the...

    02/26/2008 - 12:45 Biomedicine
  • Feature

    Lettuce Liability

    Little more than a year ago, supermarkets from coast to coast stripped fresh spinach from produce aisles as a food-poisoning outbreak swept the nation. From mid-August through September 2006, virulent bacterial infections sickened at least 204 spinach consumers. Five died and 30 others suffered acute kidney failure.

    Among more than 3,500 genetically unique...

    12/03/2007 - 19:41 Agriculture
  • News

    Tadpole Slayer: Mystery epidemic imperils frogs

    From Alaska to Florida, a novel and yet-unnamed protozoan is knocking off tadpoles. Species vulnerable to "the beast" belong to the genus Rana, which includes leopard frogs, green frogs, and bullfrogs, says ecologist John C. Maerz.

    His team at the University of Georgia in Athens stumbled across mass die-offs of southern leopard frog tadpoles in nearby ponds last year. Dissection...

    11/19/2007 - 10:53 Other
  • Feature

    Shadow World

    In a school of thought that teaches the existence of extra dimensions, Juan Maldacena may at first sound a little out of place. String theory is physicists' still-tentative strategy for reconciling Einstein's theory of gravitation with quantum physics. Its premise is that the subatomic particles that roam our three-dimensional world are really infinitesimally thin strings vibrating in nine...

    11/13/2007 - 13:43 Physics
  • 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

    Cholesterol boosts diesel toxicity

    Cholesterol poses a cardiovascular risk once it becomes transformed into an inflammatory building block of artery-clogging plaque. That process, which happens all the time, is triggered by oxidation. A new study finds that breathing nanoscale particles spewed by diesel-fuel combustion—also a common occurrence—may turn on genes that multiply cholesterol's inflammatory and atherosclerotic risks...

    08/08/2007 - 09:53 Earth & Environment
  • News

    Vaccine Harvest: Cholera fighter could be easy to swallow

    By genetically modifying rice plants, scientists have created an edible vaccine that triggers an immune reaction capable of neutralizing cholera toxin, tests in mice show. But the researchers stress that the altered rice wouldn't be sold in stores, grown openly, or be eaten as food. Rather, they envision rice-powder capsules or pills that would deliver the vaccine.

    The bacterium...

    06/13/2007 - 11:47 Biomedicine
  • Feature

    Slime Dwellers

    Put on your snorkel gear and get close to coral—really close—and you can spy a thin layer of surface slime. Produced continually, and often in prodigious amounts, this mucus can be anything from a thick, soupy liquid to gummy gel. Corals expend significant energy making and replenishing these water-soluble jackets, but scientists have struggled to understand the payoff for this effort.

    ...
    05/25/2007 - 09:49 Ecology