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Your search has returned 58 articles:
  • Science & the Public

    Coffee perks up memory and balance in geriatric animals

    CHICAGO Millions of Americans start their day with a cup of coffee and then reach for refills when their energy or attention flags. But new research in rats suggests that for the aging brain, coffee may serve as more than a mere stimulant. It can boost memory and the signaling essential to motor coordination.

    But here's the rub: If the same effects hold for humans, downing a morning...

    07/22/2010 - 16:11 Body & Brain, Chemistry, Nutrition, Humans & Society
  • Food for Thought

    How Plastic We've Become

    In the 1967 film classic The Graduate, a businessman corners Benjamin Braddock at a cocktail party and gives him a bit of career advice. "Just one word…plastics."

    Although Benjamin didn't heed that recommendation, plenty of other young graduates did. Today, the planet is awash in products spawned by the plastics industry. Residues of plastics have become ubiquitous in the environment—and...

    01/17/2008 - 17:32 Sustainability
  • News

    Smells Funny: Fish schools break up over body odor

    Just an hour's swim in water lightly contaminated with a common pollutant can turn fish into rejects with an odor that causes their untainted schoolmates to shun them, researchers say.

    In a lab test, brief exposure to 4-nonylphenol (4-NP), a surfactant used in many soaps, detergents, and other products, disrupted the normal tendency of banded killifish (Fundulus diaphanus) to...

    10/24/2007 - 10:35 Animals
  • Food for Thought

    Troubling Meaty 'Estrogen'

    Women take note. Researchers find that a chemical that forms in overcooked meat, especially charred portions, is a potent mimic of estrogen, the primary female sex hormone. That's anything but appetizing, since studies have linked a higher lifetime cumulative exposure to estrogen in women with an elevated risk of breast cancer.

    Indeed, the new finding offers a "biologically...

    10/17/2007 - 01:38 Nutrition
  • Food for Thought

    Sour Genes, Yes—Salty Genes, No

    Some people abhor broccoli, complaining about its intensely bitter taste. Others (myself included) find broccoli's flavor interesting and pleasing—decidedly, not bitter. What leads to our differing culinary opinions is the possession of, or lack of, (in my case, evidently) genes conferring a super sensitivity to bitter taste. Science has recognized such genetic differences for at least a...

    07/18/2007 - 09:52 Science & Society
  • News

    Mafia Cowbirds: Do they muscle birds that don't play ball?

    Cowbirds in Illinois that sneak their eggs into other birds' nests retaliate violently if their scam gets foiled, researchers say.

    The brown-headed cowbirds of North America outsource nest building and chick raising. Female cowbirds dart into other birds' nests, quickly lay eggs, and rush away. The nest owners are left to care for big, demanding cowbird chicks.

    ...
    03/07/2007 - 11:56 Animals
  • Food for Thought

    Red Heat Might Improve Green Tea

    Most tea drinkers don't give much thought to how tea leaves are processed prior to arriving in a tin or tea bag. However, a Korean team of food scientists has. Realizing that many people are trying to consume more of certain tea-derived antioxidants—especially compounds called catechins—the researchers wondered whether concentrations of those chemicals might be affected by tea-leaf handling....

    12/07/2006 - 01:21 Nutrition
  • Food for Thought

    Cola May Weaken Women's Bones

    Middle age and older women may want to limit their consumption of cola-flavored soft drinks. A new study links regular consumption of these beverages with reduced mineral density of hip bones in women past menopause. No similar hip vulnerability to cola showed up in men of the same age.

    The gender-specific finding was quite strong, notes Katherine L. Tucker of the Jean Mayer USDA...

    10/24/2006 - 10:09 Nutrition
  • Food for Thought

    Sea Turtles—What Not To Eat

    At dozens of beaches around the world, huge female sea turtles come back each year at about the same time. They slowly haul themselves out of the water near the places they themselves hatched, dig shallow holes in the sand, and lay clutches of eggs. The predictability of the turtles' return has made capture of the endangered reptiles and their eggs a reliable bonanza for poachers.

    ...
    09/14/2006 - 12:22 Earth & Environment
  • Feature

    Bad-News Beauties

    With striking red, black, and white stripes decorating its body, fins, and some dozen spines along its head, back, and sides, the red lionfish is at once beautiful and frightening. The football-shaped fish can grow up to 18 inches long and is poisonous to the touch. At smaller sizes, this subtropical fish from Asia is extremely popular for hobbyists with saltwater aquariums, but the red...

    09/05/2006 - 14:56 Ecology