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Archive for September 2003

September 27, 2003

 

handwash

Dirty Hands

Does regularly washing your hands get rid of germs?

September 27, 2003

 

Smoking and Cancer in Cats

But did you know that it causes cancer in cats? If you smoke and have a cat, then your cat smokes second-hand.

September 27, 2003

 

Wisconsin Jellyfish

Researchers who study jellyfish were delighted when a whole bunch of them turned up in Wisconsin. They were found in a sandstone quarry.

September 27, 2003

 

The Magnificent Pompeii Worm

While in the tube, the worm’s tail end might be immersed in temperatures as hot as 178 degrees Fahrenheit, while its head rests in cooler water, as moderate as 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

September 27, 2003

 

Dyslexia

Over the past twenty years, however, researchers have made significant strides. Many agree that the disorder can be best explained by understanding the mechanics of reading.

September 27, 2003

 

Cold Feet and Hot Wings

Most birds you see standing on only one leg are doing an impressive balancing act while tucking the second leg into their feathers. This is much easier to recognize in large birds, such as flamingos, but the behavior itself is common to most birds.

September 27, 2003

 

A Well Full of Stars

The theory behind this legend goes like this: Daytime is bright, due to the sun. If you view a sunless piece of sky through a long tunnel, there should be no way for the sunlight to get into your eyes. Therefore, you should see stars.

September 27, 2003

 

Sextant Pie

A sextant is a hand-held gadget that looks like the outline of a large piece of pizza. It is essential for navigation since it helps determine degrees of latitude, telling sailors how far to the north or south of the equator they are located.

September 27, 2003

 

Nicotine Patch

If used properly, over time the patch imparts increasingly smaller doses of nicotine to help the addict gradually break the habit without experiencing the worst symptoms of withdrawal. It’s important to stop smoking while wearing the patch.

September 27, 2003

 

Echinacea

In this Moment of Science, we discuss Echinacea–one of the most popular herbal medicines. Echinacea is a flowering plant native to North America. Native Americans have used Echinacea for thousands of years as medicine. According to those who swear by it, Echinacea boosts the immune system by increasing white blood cell counts and other disease […]

September 27, 2003

 

Is There a Placebo Effect?

Is there really a placebo effect? Find out on this Moment of Science.

September 27, 2003

 

Are You Chemically Dependent?

We need water, or H2O, to maintain our bodies in a fluid state. Water even gets involved in chemical reactions that occur in our stomachs, which break down foods containing sugars, starches, and proteins.

September 27, 2003

 

The Parts of Metabolism

Today’s Moment of Science unravels the parts of metabolism. But first, what is metabolism really? Statements like “he can eat a lot because he has a fast metabolism” are somewhat misleading. Metabolism isn’t about the digestion of food in your stomach; it’s the name given to all of the chemical changes that occur in an […]

September 27, 2003

 

West Nile Trouble

In the last few years, a scourge from the Middle East has posed a biological threat to North American well-being–mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus.

September 27, 2003

 

Ways We Date

Interestingly, in a study of over eight thousand people between the ages of fifteen and fifty-four, more “anxious attachment” was found in young people than older people.

September 27, 2003

 

Stomache Growls

When our brain tells us its time to eat, a reflex kicks in that makes the stomach walls contract. The contractions cause the digested food in the intestine to move down towards the rectum.

September 27, 2003

 

Why Nuclear Waste Is Like a Birthday Party

Both kids and radioactive material need supervision. Like a child, an energetic radioactive molecule will become less energetic as it ages. Certain materials, like those used in radioactive medicines, have only low-level radioactivity and will decay in only a few days or months.

September 27, 2003

 

Fighting Off Bug Diseases

Here’s how innate immunity works. In your bug body there is a fluid called hemolymph, which is equivalent to human blood. If you’re injured, components in the hemolymph interact with specialized cells in your immune system to clot and form a scab that seals off your wound and prevents infection.

September 27, 2003

 

Don’t Kiss that Frog

Frogs also aren’t fussy eaters: any live prey will do. Some large species of frogs can gulp up a mouse, bat, or small snake in one mouthful, which is fortunate, because frogs can’t chew. If they have any teeth at all, they’re usually only good for holding onto the prey.

September 27, 2003

 

The Space Elevator

Visionaries began to seriously consider space elevator fantasies in the 1960s. But it was only in the past decade that scientists discovered material strong enough to construct an elevator cable capable of surviving the rigors of supporting a large chamber as it climbs into space.

September 27, 2003

 

There Is No Gene for That

We seem to hear about new discoveries in genetics almost every day. So why aren’t new gene therapies flooding the market? What do these breakthroughs really mean?

September 27, 2003

 

Battling Baldness

Are you fighting baldness? "Battling Baldness" on today's Moment of Science.

September 27, 2003

 

Setting the Pace (Heart pacemakers)

Pacemakers are electrical devices that monitor the heart rate and helps get it up to speed when it starts pumping too slowly. The small battery powered disk is inserted just beneath the skin above the heart. A couple of attached wires monitor the heart and carry signals and impulses to and from the heart.

September 27, 2003

 

Sleeping in Stages

Sleep is divided into distinct cycles that contain four different types, or stages, of sleep. You experience stage one when you doze off at the office in the late afternoon, but you’re still aware that you’re sitting in front of your computer.

September 27, 2003

 

Runny Nose

As anyone who’s had a toddler knows, they’re incredibly demanding creatures. Armed with an insatiable desire to eat and/or destroy just about everything in their path, these walking embodiments of unchecked ego can be a handful. Especially when they have colds. There’s nothing quite as trying as a toddler with a head cold, stuffed up […]

September 27, 2003

 

Baby Teeth

The reigning theory is that infant jaws are too small to accommodate adult-sized teeth. Therefore smaller teeth are necessary until the jaw grows to its mature size.

September 27, 2003

 

Mood and Cognition

Cognitive neuroscientists at Washington University in St. Louis have investigated the relationship between mood and cognitive performance by showing subjects ten-minute clips from both classic horror films and prime-time television comedies.

September 27, 2003

 

Butterflies and Their Magnetic Compasses

Millions of monarch butterflies fly southwest from eastern Canada and the United States down to Mexico each autumn; then millions more fly back to the northeast in the spring.The one-way trip is as long as 2500 miles for some of these creatures.

September 27, 2003

 

Hot Flash

During a hot flash, the skin flushes bright red and breaks out in a heavy sweat. Other symptoms can include a pounding heart, a churning stomach, and a spinning head.

September 27, 2003

 

Anatomy of a Fever

When immune cells detect an infectious organism, they produce fever-making chemicals. These chemicals prompt the body to produce prostaglandins, which turn up the thermostat in the brain.

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