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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...

    08/23/2013 - 12:00 Earth
  • News

    Networks reveal concentrated ownership of corporations

    Researchers have made the first maps of corporate stock ownership for the stock markets of a large number of countries, 48 in all. The new network analysis technique reveals “backbones” in these ownership networks: big players that together own a controlling stake in more than 80 percent of the companies in the markets.

    In these network diagrams, nodes represent either a company with...

    02/13/2009 - 18:37 Numbers
  • 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
  • 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...

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

    10/24/2006 - 10:09 Nutrition
  • Feature

    Venting Concerns

    Researchers cruising the South Pacific between Tonga and Fiji study huge snails that, aided by an abundance of bacteria housed in their gills, feed off plumes of metal-rich compounds at active hydrothermal vents. Scientists working off the California coast use chemical-sniffing probes, robotically driven subs, and seafloor-tethered temperature sensors to watch flows of lava pave over a once-...

    10/03/2006 - 10:43 Humans & Society
  • News

    Underage Spiders: Males show unexpected interest in young mates

    To the surprise of biologists, a male Australian redback spider will mate with a juvenile female before her reproductive tract has an external opening. The male bites through the immature female's outer covering and by doing so, protects his own life.

    This discovery adds a new twist to a textbook example of extreme mating practices. Until now, biologists had focused on these...

    08/23/2006 - 11:47 Animals
  • 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
  • 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
  • Feature

    Violent Developments

    Henry was headed for serious trouble. The 15-year-old provoked an endless series of fights at school and frequently bullied girls. Teachers regularly suspended him for his classroom disruptions. Older students taunted Henry in the hallways by calling him a sexual pervert or jeered him for having been held back in kindergarten. At home, his father browbeat and denigrated the boy, while his...

    05/23/2006 - 09:53