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  • 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
  • Food for Thought

    No Peanuts for Your Peanut

    Peanuts are a protein-rich snack food packing plenty of vitamins and trace nutrients. However, these legumes can elicit potentially life-threatening immune reactions within the one in 100 American adults who are allergic to them. Rates of peanut allergy are even higher among children. And the really disturbing news: A new study finds that the age at which this common food allergy first shows...

    12/11/2007 - 08:49 Nutrition
  • News

    Biohazard: Smoking before or after pregnancy may harm daughters' fertility

    Exposing female mice to chemicals found in cigarette smoke before pregnancy or during the period in which they nurse their young impairs the reproductive capacity of their female offspring, a new study finds.

    Many women stop smoking when they discover they are pregnant, aware that this habit endangers the baby. The new data suggest that may not be enough to protect their daughters' long...

    11/20/2007 - 14:21 Biomedicine
  • Food for Thought

    Caffeine Aids Golden Girls' Mental Health

    Although wine may improve with age, the human body tends to falter during the so-called golden years. Among the most exasperating declines occur in memory and critical aspects of reasoning. However, downing plenty of caffeine-rich coffee—or tea—may offer one low-cost solution for keeping aging wits sharp, a French study finds. The rub: This strategy appears to benefit only women.

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    08/16/2007 - 18:39 Nutrition
  • Food for Thought

    Tea—Milking It

    I'm a serious tea drinker. I'll down it hot or cold, plain or with lemon. Like most Americans, however, I don't regularly add milk. But when my colleague David Lindley, an editor here at Science News, was growing up, his family certainly did.

    Being a Brit, David comes from a culture that holds considerable reverence for this brew and might be accused of being fussy about its preparation...

    05/31/2007 - 14:03 Nutrition
  • News

    Slimming on oolong

    Without skimping on portions, rats eating diets including oolong tea gain less weight than those dining teafree, a new study finds. The tea apparently impairs the body's ability to absorb fat.

    The finding supports a weight-control strategy—oolong consumption—advocated by practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, note Lauren E. Budd and her colleagues at the University of California...

    05/15/2007 - 15:09 Nutrition
  • News

    A smart pill for seniors?

    From Washington, D.C., at the Experimental Biology 2007 Conference

    Many people approaching retirement age find that memories fade and quick-wittedness flags. Scientists at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell have formulated what they call a "smart pill" to optimize brain health in such people. In pilot trials, its combination of dietary supplements boosted performance on simple...

    05/08/2007 - 14:49 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
  • Feature

    Counterintuitive Toxicity

    For decades, researchers largely assumed that a poison's effects increase as the dose rises and diminish as it falls. However, scientists are increasingly documenting unexpected effects—sometimes disproportionately adverse, sometimes beneficial—at extremely low doses of radiation and toxic chemicals.

    Consider the environmentally ubiquitous plastic-softening agent, di-2-ethylhexyl...

    01/16/2007 - 14:07 Earth & Environment
  • Food for Thought

    Trans Fats Are Bad, Aren't They?

    The media have been rife with reports on trans fats since New York City's Board of Health announced it would phase out these fats in restaurants and other food-service establishments. And that's good news for most consumers because trans fats can pose a double whammy for the heart. Not only can they hike a person's bad cholesterol even more than saturated fats can, but they also reduce...

    12/14/2006 - 15:47 Nutrition