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Your search has returned 22 articles:
  • Feature

    Restoring Scents

    Betty (not her real name) remembers the day 9 years ago when she fully experienced an orange. As she split the fruit's skin, citrus scents sprayed into the air and the 51-year-old woman experienced a sensory epiphany: "Whoa! This is an orange. My God, this is what an orange smells like."

    Even now, she says, recalling that day "makes me tear up because that orange...

    07/02/2007 - 11:49 Biomedicine
  • Food for Thought

    New Estimates of the Shark-Fin Trade

    Immense numbers of sharks each year are slaughtered for their fins—not meat, just their fins. This harvest helps feed a growing appetite throughout Asia for a popular soup, one with snob appeal comparable to that of caviar. Indeed, a single bowl of shark-fin soup can cost $100 in a high-end Hong Kong restaurant.

    The key ingredient of shark-fin soup is...

    11/01/2006 - 13:22 Earth & Environment
  • News

    Underage Spiders: Males show unexpected interest in young mates

    To the surprise of biologists, a male Australian redback spider will mate with a juvenile female before her reproductive tract has an external opening. The male bites through the immature female's outer covering and by doing so, protects his own life.

    This discovery adds a new twist to a textbook example of extreme mating practices. Until now, biologists had focused on these...

    08/23/2006 - 11:47 Animals
  • News

    Fish as Farmers: Reef residents tend an algal crop

    A damselfish cultivates underwater gardens of an algal species that researchers haven't found growing on its own.

    The special alga could be the fishy version of people's domesticated crops, says Hiroki Hata of Kyoto University in Japan. Growth tests of the alga, surveys of its distribution, and genetic analyses support that idea, he and Makoto Kato say in an upcoming Biology...

    08/09/2006 - 12:05 Ecology
  • News

    Terrific Timekeeper: Optical atomic clock beats world standard

    Physicists in Colorado say that they've refined an innovative atomic clock to be more precise than the breed of clocks that's been the best for 50 years.

    The advance indicates that the reign of atomic clocks tuned to the element cesium is coming to an end, says physicist James C. Bergquist of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder, Colo., who led the...

    07/19/2006 - 11:23 Physics
  • News

    Wary male spiders woo lifelessly

    Certain male spiders confront the threat of a cannibalistic female with a novel tactic: They play dead while having sex.

    Nursery spiders (Pisaura mirabilis) belong to a family known for violent females that, on occasion, attack and eat males attempting courtship, notes Trine Bilde of Århus University in Denmark.

    Biologists already knew that males of this species have one method...

    03/28/2006 - 11:53 Animals
  • News

    Champion of strength is forged in mighty anvil

    A newly created form of carbon has captured the crown of world's strongest known material. A team of researchers in Germany and France made the new material using a specialized, multijawed anvil that simultaneously squeezed and heated a powder of all-carbon molecules known as buckyballs.

    At 200,000 times atmospheric pressure and a temperature of 2,500 kelvins, the powder...

    09/13/2005 - 12:18 Physics
  • Feature

    Extreme Impersonations

    Extreme physical conditions have a way of bringing out the strangest behaviors that nature can muster. Just ask physicist John E. Thomas. Two years ago, he and his colleagues at Duke University in Durham, N.C., were working with intense lasers in a high-vacuum chamber at temperatures next to absolute zero. They were manipulating tiny clouds of lithium gas. When the scientists turned off the...

    09/11/2004 - 17:58 Physics
  • News

    Super Portrait: X-ray telescope eyes supernova remnant

    When light from a massive star that exploded in the constellation Cassiopeia reached Earth some 340 years ago, few if any sky watchers recorded the event. But over the past several decades, the glowing remains of that explosion—a vast bubble of hot gas and dust called Cassiopeia A—has become one of the most studied supernova remnants in the heavens.

    Trained on Cassiopeia A for...

    08/25/2004 - 11:02 Astronomy
  • News

    Farmer ant species may have lost all its males

    From Oaxaca, Mexico, at a meeting of the Animal Behavior Society

    Minuscule gardeners that grow fungus for food may be the first ant species that scientists have discovered to have no power of sexual reproduction. Several lines of evidence suggest that the species Mycocepurus smithii consists only of females that produce daughters from unfertilized eggs, says Anna Himler of the...

    06/29/2004 - 10:14 Animals