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Your search has returned 20 articles:
  • 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
  • Feature

    Nurturing Our Microbes

    Each of us is a metropolis. Bustling about in everyone's body are tens of trillions of microbes. Some are descended from starter populations provided by mom during birth. Additional bacteria, yeasts, and other life forms hitchhike in with foods. By age 3, everyone's gut hosts a fairly stable, yet diverse, ecosystem.

    Most of the tiny stowaways hide out in the...

    02/26/2008 - 12:45 Biomedicine
  • Feature

    What Goes Up

    Jeffrey S. Gaffney, a sunburn-prone atmospheric scientist, set off one morning in March 2006 for a day of field work in Mexico City—without his hat and sunscreen. At Mexico City's altitude, 2,240 meters above sea level, sunlight beating down through the thin air delivers as much as 30 percent more ultraviolet radiation than reaches coastal regions. "I thought I'd be fried at the end of the...

    09/05/2007 - 10:13 Earth & Environment
  • News

    Too Few Jaws: Shark declines let rays overgraze scallops

    A shortage of big sharks along the U.S. East Coast is letting their prey flourish, and that prey is going hog wild, demolishing bay scallop populations.

    That's the conclusion of researchers led by the late Ransom Myers of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, who died this week. Combining census surveys from the past 35 years, Myers' team found shrinking...

    03/28/2007 - 11:47 Animals
  • Feature

    Squirt Alert

    As scientific adviser to a group of Maine watermen, ecologist Larry Harris had heard his share of stories. But one tale, told to him 2 years ago, proved unforgettable. A fisherman related how he had been hauling up a dredge used to scout for scallops in nearby Cobscook Bay when he snagged something novel: a life form resembling blobs of pancake batter.

    In all his...

    12/18/2005 - 18:25 Ecology
  • News

    Instant Nano Blocks: One-step process makes trillions of DNA pyramids

    As if carrying life's genetic code weren't enough, DNA molecules are in demand these days as raw material for microscopic constructions. For instance, nanotechnologists have fashioned cubic and octahedral cages from the molecules (SN: 2/14/04, p. 99: Available to subscribers at Snappy DNA: Long strand folds into octahedron). Processes for crafting those frameworks, however, have been arduous...

    12/07/2005 - 11:57 Physics
  • Feature

    Empty Nets

    In the 1850s, 43 schooners from a single port, Beverly, Mass., plied the North Atlantic's Scotian shelf, which is prime cod territory in Canadian waters. Over the sides of the ships, crews dropped lines with single hooks and doggedly jigged their bait along the seafloor to entice the big predatory fish. Although the combined fleet used fewer than 1,200 hooks, the ships' logs indicate that...

    05/31/2005 - 18:30 Ecology
  • Food for Thought

    Carcinogens in the Diet

    It's official. The federal government now has added agents commonly found in overcooked meat to the list of potential cancer causers.

    On Jan. 31, the National Toxicology Program (NTP), part of the National Institutes of Health, published its latest update of materials known to cause cancer in people and others that are "reasonably anticipated" to do so. Among the 246 agents on...

    02/14/2005 - 17:21 Nutrition
  • News

    Lithium increases gray matter in the brain

    Able to stabilize the mood swings of many people with manic depression, lithium revolutionized psychiatric therapy when the drug came on the scene several decades ago. Yet neuroscientists remain perplexed at how this potent medication works.

    Scientists in Detroit have now provided a clue that could help resolve that mystery. They find that about a month of treatment with the drug...

    06/18/2004 - 16:13 Biomedicine
  • News

    Slowing Puberty? Pesticide may hinder development in boys

    Chronic exposure to a widely used pesticide may delay sexual maturity in boys, according to a new study in India.

    Endosulfan is an organochlorine used around the world to protect squash, melons, strawberries, and other produce. A 2001 report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated that 1.4 million pounds of the pesticide are used annually on U.S. crops. It's also the third...

    12/10/2003 - 11:11 Earth & Environment