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  • News in Brief

    Color-changing polymer maps fingerprints

    Sweaty fingers make tidy prints. Beads of perspiration seeping from a person’s pores can leave detailed maps of the fingertips, and a new technique can detect the sweat.

    Human finger pores ooze salty drops of water about the size of pinpricks, says materials scientist Jong-Man Kim of Hanyang University in Seoul, South Korea.

    He and colleagues created color-changing polymers that...

    04/29/2014 - 11:00 Chemistry, Materials, Technology
  • Feature

    The Power of D

    A nutritional supplement that is free of charge, offers a wide range of health benefits and poses little risk sounds like fodder for a late-night TV commercial. But proponents of vitamin D are increasingly convinced that the sunshine vitamin delivers the goods, no strings attached.

    It offers a safe route to better health, these advocates say, by...

    07/01/2011 - 12:45 Body & Brain
  • Feature

    Big Fishing Yields Small Fish

    Sharks, billfish, cod, tuna and other fish-eating fish — the sea’s equivalents to lions on the Serengeti — dominated the marine world as recently as four decades ago. They culled sick, lame and old animals and kept populations of marine herbivores in check, preventing marine analogs of antelopes from overgrazing their environment.

    But the reign of large predators now...

    03/25/2011 - 11:51
  • Feature

    Lettuce Liability

    Little more than a year ago, supermarkets from coast to coast stripped fresh spinach from produce aisles as a food-poisoning outbreak swept the nation. From mid-August through September 2006, virulent bacterial infections sickened at least 204 spinach consumers. Five died and 30 others suffered acute kidney failure.

    Among more than 3,500 genetically unique...

    12/03/2007 - 19:41 Agriculture
  • News

    Congress upgrades fisheries protection

    On Dec. 9, 2006, Congress reauthorized the 30-year-old Magnuson-Stevens Act, a law that sets rules for fishing and ocean management. This is the law's first wholesale revision since 1996.

    Much has happened since then. Fisheries throughout the world are in trouble (SN: 11/4/06, p. 291: Available to subscribers at Worthless Waters: By midcentury, seas' value may be drained), and some...

    01/10/2007 - 09:01 Humans & Society
  • Food for Thought

    Now This Is Depressing . . .

    People who increased their fish consumption to brighten their outlook on life may want to consider alternative strategies. A new review of published studies on the effects of long-chain omega-3 fats—the type found in fish oils—finds "little support" that they "improve depressed mood." However, that's no reason to give up eating fish. Their fats have been linked to a host of health benefits,...

    12/20/2006 - 16:59 Nutrition
  • News

    Alaskan coral beds get new protection

    Huge tracts of delicate coral gardens and soft-coral forests off the coast of Alaska will be permanently protected from fishing gear that targets groundfish and shellfish by scraping the seafloor.

    Most of the affected sites have never been disturbed by this gear. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on June 28 announced its new rule to preserve that...

    07/19/2006 - 10:04 Earth & Environment
  • News

    Feminized cod on the high seas

    From Baltimore, at a meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

    Male cod in the open ocean are producing vitellogenin, an egg-yolk protein ordinarily made only by females.

    Vitellogenin "is a highly specific indicator of a fish's exposure to estrogens"—female sex hormones—as well as to pollutants that mimic them, notes Alexander P. Scott of the Centre for...

    12/04/2005 - 16:01 Ecology
  • Food for Thought

    Light Therapy for Tainted Fish

    Aquaculture—farming fish for our dinner tables—is a big and growing international industry. Because many of the tastiest and most-profitable farmed fish are carnivores, their prepared diets usually include flakes or powders made from low-value fish, from fish processed for their oil, or from scraps of fish prepared for restaurants and supermarkets. Fish farmers happily bulk up their products...

    10/20/2005 - 12:06 Nutrition
  • Feature

    Armor-Plated Puzzle

    A few years after Francis H. Crick and James D. Watson unveiled the structure of DNA in 1953, they rocked the fledgling field of molecular biology again with a bold notion: Viruses are, in part, structured as crystals are. That idea captivated Donald L.D. Caspar and Aaron Klug, who then systematically applied what they knew about crystal geometry to classify and predict the structures that...

    08/29/2005 - 10:49 Numbers