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  • Feature

    Life under ice

    Even by Antarctic standards, the Lake Vostok research station is inhospitable. The outpost at the heart of the frozen continent holds the record for the lowest naturally occurring temperature ever observed on Earth. Scientists commonly describe the place as punishing, unforgiving, the most desolate place on the planet.

    That’s nothing. Nearly 4,000 meters below the...

    08/23/2013 - 12:00 Earth
  • 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
  • News

    Drug Overflow: Pharmaceutical factories foul waters in India

    Pharmaceuticals ranging from painkillers to synthetic estrogens can harm aquatic life when they enter waterways through human excreta, hospital and household waste, and agricultural runoff. Now, researchers have shown that there's another way for such drugs to get into the environment: A treatment plant in India that processes wastewater from pharmaceutical manufacturers discharges highly...

    08/08/2007 - 16:25 Earth & Environment
  • 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

    Orexin-blocking pill speeds sleep onset

    A new compound that inhibits the activity of alertness-promoting brain peptides called orexins shows promise as a sleeping pill, according to tests in people and animals.

    Men who took the drug fell asleep more quickly than did men who took a placebo, neurobiologist François Jenck of Actelion Pharmaceuticals in Allschwil, Switzerland, and his collaborators report in the February Nature...

    02/13/2007 - 10:59 Biomedicine
  • Food for Thought

    New Estimates of the Shark-Fin Trade

    Immense numbers of sharks each year are slaughtered for their fins—not meat, just their fins. This harvest helps feed a growing appetite throughout Asia for a popular soup, one with snob appeal comparable to that of caviar. Indeed, a single bowl of shark-fin soup can cost $100 in a high-end Hong Kong restaurant.

    The key ingredient of shark-fin soup is...

    11/01/2006 - 13:22 Earth & Environment
  • News

    First teleportation between light and matter

    Atoms tend to stay put, but light is always on the move. Physicists would like to exploit those qualities to make information-processing devices in which atoms store information and light shuttles it around (SN: 4/3/99, p. 220). In a step toward that goal, researchers have transmitted quantum states between atoms and light.

    Such a transfer of properties is called teleportation. "...

    10/31/2006 - 09:58 Physics
  • 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

    Pick Your Antipoison

    On a warm, sunny afternoon last June, emergency room physician Sean Bush got a call on his pager that made his blood run cold. The number was his wife's, followed by three digits: 9-1-1. Whatever the page concerned, Bush knew that it was a serious emergency—he and his wife don't take those numbers lightly.

    A quick call from the hospital where he was on duty to his home 22...

    09/12/2006 - 09:49 Biomedicine
  • News

    Virtual reality for earthquake fears

    From Munich, at the Euroscience Open Forum meeting

    A team of researchers is developing computer-generated, virtual reality technology to prepare 12-to-16-year-old Greek children, including those with special needs, for a terrifying event they're likely to encounter: an earthquake.

    The researchers created a computer model of a local school filled with virtual students. The model...

    08/01/2006 - 13:03 Other