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  • photograph of miniature crime scene by Frances Glessner Lee
Your search has returned 148 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • News

    Salmonella seeks sweets

    Salmonella enterica, a major food-poisoning germ, can enter the tissues of fresh lettuce where no amount of surface washing will evict it. The scientists who reported that finding earlier this year now think that they've gotten to the root of the issue.

    To model salmonella soil contamination from livestock wastes, the researchers seeded sterile manure with one of three toxic strains of...

    11/07/2007 - 10:28 Nutrition
  • News

    Crystal matchmaker

    Having evolved from mathematical playthings to curiosities of physics, the structures known as quasicrystals could become great tools for the electronics industry.

    Like crystals, quasicrystals are built from units of atoms arranged in an orderly fashion. But, unlike crystals, quasicrystals have building blocks that interlock in a pattern that doesn't repeat at regular intervals (SN: 10/...

    07/18/2007 - 12:34 Materials
  • Food for Thought

    Chocolate Constituent Bests Fluoride

    "Chocolate Toothpaste? Extract of Tasty Treat Could Fight Tooth Decay."

    That's how Tulane University's news office provocatively titled a press release it issued last week. Sound sweet? Unfortunately, it's anything but. The extract, theobromine, is a bitter constituent of a number of plants, including the beans used to make chocolate. A chemical cousin to caffeine, this...

    05/22/2007 - 17:14 Nutrition