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  • photograph of miniature crime scene by Frances Glessner Lee
Your search has returned 107 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
  • 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

    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
  • 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
  • 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