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  • photograph of miniature crime scene by Frances Glessner Lee
Your search has returned 52 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

    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
  • News

    How reading may protect the brain

    Workers at lead-smelting plants can suffer substantial neural damage from exposure to the toxic heavy metal. Workers who read well, however, experience comparatively less mental impairment, a new study finds.

    It's not that the better readers were smarter, but that they have more "cognitive reserve," explains study leader Margit L. Bleecker, a neurologist at the Center for Occupational...

    08/14/2007 - 13:33 Earth & Environment
  • News

    Want that fiber regular or decaf?

    Researchers in Spain report that a cup of coffee can deliver a significant portion of daily dietary fiber. The drink hadn't been known to contain any fiber.

    Like the cholesterol-lowering substances found in oat bran, fiber in coffee consists of carbohydrates that the body can't digest, but which dissolve in digestive fluids. However, unlike oat bran's soluble fiber, the fibrous...

    02/20/2007 - 11:51 Nutrition
  • Feature

    Dashing Rogues

    In February 1933, the Navy tanker USS Ramapo was steaming its way from the Philippines to San Diego in the midst of an exceptionally strong storm. The 146-meter-long ship was buffeted by near-hurricane–force winds. Early on the morning of Feb. 7, a wave far larger than the others surrounding the ship overtook the Ramapo from behind.

    As the stern of the ship dropped...

    11/13/2006 - 09:18 Earth
  • News

    Easy Answers: Quantum computer gives results without running

    Physicists have long known that quantum computers have the potential to race through calculations trillions of times as fast as ordinary computers do. Now, it seems that those machines may not have to calculate at all to deliver answers.

    That seemingly absurd possibility, which was advanced as a theory several years ago, has now received experimental verification. What's more, although...

    02/22/2006 - 12:18 Physics
  • Food for Thought

    Fruits and Veggies Limit Inflammatory Protein (with recipe)

    Over the past few years, many studies have linked an increased risk of debilitating illness—such as heart disease or diabetes—with chronically elevated blood concentrations of a protein typically associated with inflammation. In many cases, people with the indicated illnesses didn't even have a particularly level of inflammation. The good news: A new trial finds that eating plenty of fruits...

    12/01/2005 - 14:38 Nutrition