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  • News

    Power from heat

    The thermoelectric effect can produce small amounts of electricity from almost any source of heat, but its low efficiency has so far limited its uses. A team has now found a simple way to make one thermoelectric alloy more efficient.

    When two ends of a stick of a thermoelectric material are exposed to different temperatures, a voltage appears. The electrons in the stick act like the...

    03/26/2008 - 11:25 Technology
  • 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
  • Food for Thought

    Sour Genes, Yes—Salty Genes, No

    Some people abhor broccoli, complaining about its intensely bitter taste. Others (myself included) find broccoli's flavor interesting and pleasing—decidedly, not bitter. What leads to our differing culinary opinions is the possession of, or lack of, (in my case, evidently) genes conferring a super sensitivity to bitter taste. Science has recognized such genetic differences for at least a...

    07/18/2007 - 09:52 Science & Society
  • News

    Fish Killer Caught? Ephemeral Pfiesteria compound surfaces

    A team of researchers claims to have found an elusive algal toxin implicated in massive fish kills along the Mid-Atlantic coast in the 1990s. They say that the compound's characteristics explain why it has been so difficult to track down. Other researchers, however, remain skeptical.

    The hunt for a toxic product of the single-celled alga Pfiesteria piscicida dates to the early...

    01/17/2007 - 08:43 Chemistry
  • Food for Thought

    Organic Dairying Is on Upswing, But No Panacea

    This is part two of a two-part series on the economics of dairy farming. Part I: "Cow Power," is available at Cow Power.

    For 20 years, Steve Getz worked in the computer industry. Because he traveled a lot, "I came to hate airports and sitting on planes," he says. To ground himself on days off, Steve and his wife, Karen Getz, began dabbling in farming.

    ...

    11/28/2006 - 13:52 Agriculture
  • Food for Thought

    Fruity Relief for Weekend Warriors

    After 2 years of planning, you're finally able to afford a long weekend off for that ski trip to Aspen. The first day out, you put in 5 or 6 hours working your way down the slopes. You had planned to do the same thing each of the next 2 days—until you awake feeling sore from head to toe. The next day you feel even worse, so you settle for spending the rest of your trip in the lodge, sipping...

    06/29/2006 - 12:26 Nutrition
  • News

    Herbal therapy for beleaguered lawns

    Many people don't like the biting taste of mustard. Neither, it turns out, do sting nematodes—small, parasitic roundworms that siphon food from plant roots. That finding could prove good news for maintaining golf courses, sports fields, and other picture-perfect lawns.

    Some weeds and other plants naturally resist sting nematodes (Belonolaimus longicaudatus Rau). Suspecting that these...

    06/21/2006 - 09:33 Plants
  • 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

    When Kids Eat Out

    Adolescents are increasingly dining out on fried foods, a new study finds, and the older they are the more frequently they do so. Those trends may portend hefty risks down the line, the authors argue, because the youngsters who ate out most often were generally the heaviest kids and they gained the most weight over the course of a year.

    These are worrisome prospects in this...

    10/05/2005 - 15:31 Nutrition
  • News

    Ultrasound solution to toxin pollution

    Blooms of algae that produce life-threatening toxins regularly plague water supplies around the world. In many cases, the algae's toxins can survive standard treatments for purifying water. Researchers at Florida International University in Miami think they have a sound solution: ultrasound.

    Blasting water with 640-kilohertz ultrasound waves briefly creates high-pressure...

    07/20/2005 - 09:44 Earth & Environment