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  • News

    Climate not really what doomed large North American mammals

    Evidently, my dear Watson, the climate didn’t do it. Scientists weighing in on a cold case open since the end of the most recent ice age — the massive die-offs of North America’s largest mammals — arrived at that conclusion courtesy of some very tiny clues. The spores of a fungus that thrived in and on those creatures’ dung suggest changes in habitat didn’t cause the extinctions. As a result...

    11/19/2009 - 14:24 Life & Evolution
  • 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

    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

    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

    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

    Fruity Relief for Weekend Warriors

    After 2 years of planning, you're finally able to afford a long weekend off for that ski trip to Aspen. The first day out, you put in 5 or 6 hours working your way down the slopes. You had planned to do the same thing each of the next 2 days—until you awake feeling sore from head to toe. The next day you feel even worse, so you settle for spending the rest of your trip in the lodge, sipping...

    06/29/2006 - 12:26 Nutrition
  • Food for Thought

    Be Good to Your Gums, Bite Into Whole Grains (with recipe)

    After years of whole grains being relegated to niche markets and vegetarian recipes, these fiber-based foods have enjoyed a surge in popularity. Propelling this move has been the publication of study after study showing the benefits of whole-grain foods such as oatmeal, brown rice, muesli, and millet. These benefits range from heart health and weight loss to better blood-sugar control.

    ...
    06/21/2006 - 16:22 Nutrition
  • News

    Dementia off the Menu: Mediterranean diet tied to low Alzheimer's risk

    People who eat a Mediterranean-style diet are less likely than their peers to develop Alzheimer's disease, according to new research on elderly Manhattan residents. The study is the first to link brain benefits to a comprehensive dietary pattern rather than to individual foods or nutrients, say the scientists who performed the research.

    Traditional Mediterranean menus are rich in...

    04/18/2006 - 22:06 Biomedicine