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Your search has returned 72 articles:
  • News

    Salty Old Cellulose: Tiny fibers found in ancient halite deposits

    Researchers have unearthed the planet's oldest-known intact biological macromolecules, microscopic bits of cellulose from 253-million-year-old salt deposits in the southwestern United States.

    The remarkable preservation of the material suggests that under the right conditions, cellulose could last more than 1 billion years. Such a long-lived molecule, a chain of simple sugars,...

    04/02/2008 - 14:40 Paleontology
  • 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
  • News

    Universities seek armchair astronomers

    Nonscientists and researchers alike have a chance to see something no one else ever has—a few of the million far-off galaxies that the Sloan Digital Sky Survey has recently photographed. The price of admission: People viewing the new images online must do a little work for the astronomers in charge, classifying individual galaxies as either spiral armed or elliptical collections of stars....

    07/23/2007 - 14:59 Humans & Society
  • 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

    A smart pill for seniors?

    From Washington, D.C., at the Experimental Biology 2007 Conference

    Many people approaching retirement age find that memories fade and quick-wittedness flags. Scientists at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell have formulated what they call a "smart pill" to optimize brain health in such people. In pilot trials, its combination of dietary supplements boosted performance on simple...

    05/08/2007 - 14:49 Nutrition
  • Feature

    Mysterious Migrations

    It was the most momentous immigration ever, a population realignment that marked a startling departure for our species, Homo sapiens. After emerging in eastern Africa close to 200,000 years ago, anatomically modern people stayed on one continent for roughly 140,000 years before spreading out in force around the world. Then, from 40,000 to 35,000 years ago, our forerunners advanced into areas...

    03/20/2007 - 13:26 Anthropology
  • Feature

    Herbal Herbicides

    Certain plants are picky about the company they keep. Once established, walnuts and some sandy shrubs, for instance, create a virtually barren border of ground around them. Many other plants aren't quite so antisocial. They permit numerous species into their neighborhoods, while barring a few plant types.

    Chemical defenses play a major role in...

    03/13/2007 - 10:44 Agriculture
  • News

    Social jet lag: Need a smoke?

    From Munich, at the Euroscience Open Forum meeting

    People who have a hard time waking in the morning because their bodies' internal clocks are out of sync with their sleep schedules are said to have "social jet lag." Researchers in Europe have determined that the phenomenon strongly correlates with smoking.

    Battling one's biological clock can leave people weary in the same way as...

    08/01/2006 - 12:19 Other
  • News

    Herbal therapy for beleaguered lawns

    Many people don't like the biting taste of mustard. Neither, it turns out, do sting nematodes—small, parasitic roundworms that siphon food from plant roots. That finding could prove good news for maintaining golf courses, sports fields, and other picture-perfect lawns.

    Some weeds and other plants naturally resist sting nematodes (Belonolaimus longicaudatus Rau). Suspecting that these...

    06/21/2006 - 09:33 Plants
  • News

    Building a Bladder: Patients for the first time benefit from lab-grown organs

    The humble bladder is now the world's first bioengineered internal organ to work in people. Several years after surgery, seven young patients who received lab-grown bladders are doing just fine, according to a new report.

    "Bladders are a complex organ," and bladder tissue is difficult to replace, says urologist Anthony Atala of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in...

    04/05/2006 - 11:26 Biomedicine