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Your search has returned 14 articles:
  • Feature

    Light Impacts

    This is part two of a two-part series on lighting's environmental and human impacts. Part I: "Illuminating Changes," is available here.

    Erin Chesky was a sleep-troubled teen, typical of many. Despite going to bed early each night, this honor roll student struggled to doze off—sometimes lying awake until 3 a.m. Each morning, she fought equally hard to wake up at 5:30...

    05/23/2006 - 12:10 Other
  • Feature

    That's the Way the Spaghetti Crumbles

    Great scientists sometimes do silly experiments. The renowned physicist and Nobel prize winner Richard P. Feynman, for instance, once got it into his head to figure out why uncooked spaghetti doesn't snap neatly in two when you bend it far enough to break. Pay attention next time, and you'll notice that the pasta tends to shatter into three or more fragments of unequal lengths.

    ...
    11/08/2005 - 11:51 Physics
  • Food for Thought

    Omega-3's May Hit Food Labels

    The Food and Drug Administration has announced that it will allow food manufacturers to make health claims for two omega-3 fatty acids—oils typically found in coldwater fish. Food labels can now note that products containing these oils might provide some protection from heart disease.

    The oils carry unwieldy names and so go by their acronyms: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and...

    09/22/2004 - 18:36 Nutrition
  • News

    Spying a planet in star's dusty veil

    To examine the dust disk encircling a young star 330 light-years away, scientists at the University of Arizona in Tucson used an emerging technique called nulling interferometry to block out the star's light. When they looked further, they found clues suggesting that a large gaseous planet was forming near the star, designated HD 100546.

    Astronomers are eager to study the disruptions in...

    12/08/2003 - 10:01 Astronomy
  • Feature

    New PCBs?

    Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) is hardly a household phrase. Yet it probably should be. Household products ranging from kids' pajamas to computers release these brominated flame retardants. The chemicals have been turning up in house and yard dust, as well as in specimens collected from sewage sludge, streams, and even people's bodies. For 3 decades, manufacturers have been putting...

    10/21/2003 - 10:52 Earth & Environment
  • Feature

    In Search of a Scientific Revolution

    Plenty of people claim to have theories that will revolutionize science. What's rare is for other scientists to take one of these schemes seriously. Yet that's what's happened since May 2002 when theoretical physicist Stephen Wolfram self-published a book in which he alleged to have found a new way to address the most difficult problems of science. Tellingly, he named this treatise A New Kind...

    08/12/2003 - 12:48 Humans & Society
  • Feature

    Mastering the Mixer

    Part of the fun of experimenting with granular materials, says Stephen W. Morris, is the showmanship. In one stunt that he has demonstrated in settings ranging from high school classrooms to television studios, the University of Toronto physicist loads clear plastic tubes with white table salt and black sand and starts them rotating. What transpires in the tubes usually knocks the socks off...

    07/20/2003 - 13:13 Physics
  • Feature

    Microbial Materials

    Bone. Nerve. Muscle. Horn. Hide. Silk. With ingenious assemblages of atoms and molecules, biology produces fantastic substances that have long inspired scientists to develop the synthetic materials of the modern landscape. Lately, materials scientists have turned to biology's smallest individuals–viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Not only can these microbes be coaxed to produce high-tech...

    06/30/2003 - 13:08 Materials
  • Feature

    Herbal Lottery

    Echinacea is a commercial success. The dietary supplement–made from the flowers, stems, and leaves of the purple coneflower–has become a popular and lucrative over-the-counter cold remedy. It's also one of the few nutraceuticals–natural products with medicinal reputations–that have substantial scientific evidence to support its purported functions: Various studies suggest that echinacea...

    06/02/2003 - 18:34 Nutrition
  • Feature

    Hot Flashes, Cold Cuts

    Andrei V. Rode didn't flinch recently when enough power to run 2,000 homes blasted his fingertip. Although staccato bursts of laser light vaporized tiny dots of his flesh, he kept his finger in harm's way. Rode, a physicist at Australian National University in Canberra, was testing something he'd been told: That the lasers he works with blast materials in such a novel way that they can...

    11/12/2002 - 18:56 Technology