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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
  • 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
  • Feature

    Restoring Scents

    Betty (not her real name) remembers the day 9 years ago when she fully experienced an orange. As she split the fruit's skin, citrus scents sprayed into the air and the 51-year-old woman experienced a sensory epiphany: "Whoa! This is an orange. My God, this is what an orange smells like."

    Even now, she says, recalling that day "makes me tear up because that orange...

    07/02/2007 - 11:49 Biomedicine
  • News

    Longer work hours may warm climate

    U.S. employees work an average of 16 percent more hours per year than most of their European counterparts do—often with no increased productivity—a new study notes. A longer workday requires more energy for heat, light, and power, and the atmospheric emissions from that extra energy use contribute substantially to U.S. releases of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide.

    U.S. workers...

    12/31/2006 - 11:35 Humans & Society
  • 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
  • News

    Terrific Timekeeper: Optical atomic clock beats world standard

    Physicists in Colorado say that they've refined an innovative atomic clock to be more precise than the breed of clocks that's been the best for 50 years.

    The advance indicates that the reign of atomic clocks tuned to the element cesium is coming to an end, says physicist James C. Bergquist of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder, Colo., who led the...

    07/19/2006 - 11:23 Physics
  • 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

    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