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  • photograph of miniature crime scene by Frances Glessner Lee
Your search has returned 191 articles:
  • Feature

    Wanted: Crime-solving bacteria and body odor

    Forensic biologist Silvana Tridico was puzzled by pubic hair.

    Specifically, pubic hair samples donated by two volunteers.

    She had just finished analyzing the bacteria stuck to the hair of seven people. If each hair sample carried unique mixes of bacteria, Tridico reasoned, investigators might have a new tool to help identify crime suspects. Hair bacteria, like fingerprints, could...

    08/26/2015 - 14:32 Chemistry, Microbiology, Technology
  • 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
  • News

    PCBs may impair fertility

    PCB exposure may interfere with a woman’s ability to get pregnant, a new study of women undergoing in vitro fertilization suggests. The study of 765 women found that those whose blood contained the highest levels of a particular form of polychlorinated biphenyl — one known as PCB 153 — were 41 percent less likely to give birth than women with the lowest levels.

    One contributing factor...

    02/28/2011 - 17:49 Earth & Environment, Body & Brain
  • Science & the Public

    PCBs hike blood pressure

    No one would choose to eat polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs — yet we unwittingly do. And a new study finds that the cost of their pervasive contamination of our food supply can be high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease.

    PCBs comprise a family of 209 related, colorless and oily compounds. Discovered more than a century ago, they quickly won widespread adoption as...

    11/17/2009 - 17:43 Biomedicine, Earth & Environment, Humans & Society
  • News

    Gene regulation makes the human

    Genes alone don’t make the man — after all, humans and chimps share roughly 98 percent of their DNA. But where, when and how much genes are turned on may be essential in setting people apart from other primates.

    A stretch of human DNA inserted into mice embryos revs the activity of genes in the developing thumb, toe, forelimb and hind limb. But the chimp and rhesus macaque...

    09/04/2008 - 13:02 Genes & Cells
  • News

    Strong support for a basic diet

    Body builders and grannies take note: To preserve muscle, eat salads.

    A new study by researchers at the federal Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, at Tufts University in Boston, finds that diets rich in potassium appear to protect muscle. And fruits and veggies are a primo source of dietary potassium.

    Bess Dawson-Hughes and her colleagues recruited nearly 400 men and women...

    03/25/2008 - 15:24 Nutrition
  • News

    Fabulon: Looking less fabulous

    Researchers have tentatively linked polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in people—and their dwellings—with Fabulon, a product used throughout the late 1950s and 1960s as a durable top coat for hardwood floors.

    During a survey of 120 homes on Cape Cod, Mass., researchers found two houses with unusually high PCB concentrations in air and house dust. Residents in both homes remembered a...

    01/30/2008 - 10:27 Earth & Environment
  • 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