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Your search has returned 11 articles:
  • Feature

    Light Impacts

    This is part two of a two-part series on lighting's environmental and human impacts. Part I: "Illuminating Changes," is available here.

    Erin Chesky was a sleep-troubled teen, typical of many. Despite going to bed early each night, this honor roll student struggled to doze off—sometimes lying awake until 3 a.m. Each morning, she fought equally hard to wake up at 5:30...

    05/23/2006 - 12:10 Other
  • Feature

    Bright Lights, Big Cancer

    In late 1987, Richard G. Stevens, then at Pacific Northwest Laboratories in Richland, Wash., typed up a short letter and mailed it to Walter Willett at Harvard Medical School in Boston. The two epidemiologists had met just once, and Stevens wasn't confident that his 209-word note, or the suggestion that it contained about a possible contributor to breast cancer, would inspire any action.

    ...
    01/04/2006 - 14:23 Biomedicine
  • Feature

    New PCBs?

    Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) is hardly a household phrase. Yet it probably should be. Household products ranging from kids' pajamas to computers release these brominated flame retardants. The chemicals have been turning up in house and yard dust, as well as in specimens collected from sewage sludge, streams, and even people's bodies. For 3 decades, manufacturers have been putting...

    10/21/2003 - 10:52 Earth & Environment
  • Feature

    Hot Crystal

    There's a gleam in electrical engineer Shawn Yu Lin's eyes these days. It's a reflection of yellowish light given off by a brightly glowing metallic flake inside a vacuum chamber. Heated to incandescence by an electric current, the metal sliver in Lin's lab at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque is made of tungsten, as is an ordinary light-bulb filament. But this experimental filament...

    09/29/2003 - 15:34 Physics
  • Feature

    Microbial Materials

    Bone. Nerve. Muscle. Horn. Hide. Silk. With ingenious assemblages of atoms and molecules, biology produces fantastic substances that have long inspired scientists to develop the synthetic materials of the modern landscape. Lately, materials scientists have turned to biology's smallest individuals–viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Not only can these microbes be coaxed to produce high-tech...

    06/30/2003 - 13:08 Materials
  • News

    Super Fibers: Nanotubes make tough threads

    The superior mechanical and electrical properties of carbon nanotubes have intrigued materials scientists for a decade. But they've struggled to take advantage of the hollow tubes, just nanometers wide, for macroscopic projects.

    Now, researchers have spun the tubes into composite fibers that are tougher than steel, Kevlar, or spider silk. The new fibers appear to be...

    06/11/2003 - 10:23 Materials
  • Feature

    Herbal Lottery

    Echinacea is a commercial success. The dietary supplement–made from the flowers, stems, and leaves of the purple coneflower–has become a popular and lucrative over-the-counter cold remedy. It's also one of the few nutraceuticals–natural products with medicinal reputations–that have substantial scientific evidence to support its purported functions: Various studies suggest that echinacea...

    06/02/2003 - 18:34 Nutrition
  • Feature

    Tsunami! At Lake Tahoe?

    Postcards from Lake Tahoe all flaunt a peaceful, brilliant-blue stretch of mountain water. But geologists have been snapping a very different picture of the lake lately. Far beneath Lake Tahoe's gentle surface, they say, several hidden earthquake faults snake across the lake's flat bottom. These faults put the lake at a bizarre risk for an inland body of water.

    If...

    12/06/2002 - 17:40 Earth
  • News

    Writing with warm atoms

    The ultrasharp tip of a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) can interact with individual atoms on a surface. Scientists have used this capability to position atoms in microscopic patterns—such as letters of the alphabet—but only at temperatures near absolute zero. Now, John B. Pethica and his coworkers at the University of Oxford in England have demonstrated that they can do the same sort of...

    10/11/2002 - 18:13 Physics
  • Feature

    Less Massive than Saturn?

    Planet hunters Geoffrey W. Marcy and R. Paul Butler have become frequent visitors to a telescope atop Hawaii's Mauna Kea. They come to search for alien worlds but often feel like they've landed on one. Rising 14,000 feet above the palm trees and lush vegetation, the windswept summit of this extinct volcano is nearly as pockmarked as the moon and as strewn with reddish rocks as Mars.

    ...

    09/24/2002 - 18:14 Astronomy