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Archive for September 2003

September 27, 2003

 

Electrolysis

As in electrolysis, that is–the hair removal process involving mild doses of electrical current used to kill hair follicles.

September 27, 2003

 

Whole Grains

In this Moment of Science we discuss the importance of whole grains, as well as what they are in the first place.

September 27, 2003

 

Drugs in Our Waters

Household drugs like painkillers, antibiotics and hormones enter the water system in many ways. For example, some animal feeds contain antibiotics and might flood into rivers with run-off, while other antibiotics are flushed or dumped down sinks and toilets in homes.

September 27, 2003

 

The Moving Thumb

This shows that our brains aren’t just open windows through which the world pours. They are always interpreting the information they receive. In this case, your brain knew your eyes were moving, and it interpreted the change in visual images as coming from inside your head.

September 27, 2003

 

Hit Me with Your Best Shot

It works kind of like a soccer net. When you kick the ball into the net, it absorbs the energy of the ball and eventually stops its forward motion.

September 27, 2003

 

Motion Sickness

During voyage of the Beagle, Charles Darwin was often overcome by seasickness and discovered that “nothing but lying in [his] hammock did any good.”This remedy–lying down with eyes shut–is one of the most effective for treating motion sickness.

September 27, 2003

 

Dogs of the Orient

Until recently, scientists believed that domestic dogs originated in the Middle East. But reports suggest that almost all domestic dogs began in East Asia as the offspring of three lineages. Virtually all domesticated dogs in the United States descend from dogs brought over by ancient people that crossed the Bering land bridge from Asia to North America.

September 27, 2003

 

Sleeping Alone

There was indeed a connection. Everyone slept for about the same amount of time, but the volunteers who rated themselves as the loneliest were also the ones who were most likely to wake up during the night.

September 27, 2003

 

Tracing Our Ancestors

Of course, using DNA to identify race raises many difficult ethical questions. After all, in the past, pseudo-scientific racial divisions provided justification for atrocities like slavery and the Holocaust.

September 27, 2003

 

Why Your Voice Gets Lower When You Have a Cold

Ever wonder why your voice gets lower when you have a cold. Find out on today's Moment of Science.

September 27, 2003

 

Sex, Violence, and Garden Snails

If you think dating is tough, just be glad you aren’t a garden snail. When you live life at a snail’s pace, you’d better be able to mate with the next snail you meet without worrying if it’s male or female. That’s why garden snails are hermaphrodites and can take on both the male and female roles in reproduction.

September 27, 2003

 

Fish Sense

This classic Jaws moment raises a question: how was the shark always able to know when a victim was in the water? Was it able to see the body, or perhaps hear splashing near the water’s surface?

September 27, 2003

 

Buckminster Fuller and His Geodesic Dome

R. Buckminster Fuller was a twentieth century scientist, philosopher, inventor, and was also named a great architect.

September 27, 2003

 

HPV

In particular, the cervix seems to be at risk, one reason why an annual Pap smear is important.

September 27, 2003

 

How Humans Are Like Rats

More importantly, rats and humans often suffer from the same diseases. That’s because humans and rats have the same basic physiology, similar organs, and similar body plans.

September 27, 2003

 

Gas Masks

Since the charcoal filter can’t absorb all chemicals, the last filter uses chemical reactions to clean the air. Say I’m breathing in chlorine-saturated air, like soldiers during World War I.

September 27, 2003

 

Lanugo Hairs

Some babies are born with a full head of thick, colorful hair, while other babies are born with very thin, hard-to-see hair.

September 27, 2003

 

Oy Vein!

Varicose veins in the legs occur when the valves in a vein near the surface of the skin malfunction. Valves usually keep blood from flowing backwards in the vein once it’s been pumped towards the heart.

September 27, 2003

 

Rocket Roach

There are few insects more reviled than the cockroach. Maybe we’re just jealous: cockroaches were around long before humans, and will continue to do their thing long after our species has gone the way of the woolly mammoth.

September 27, 2003

 

Bacteria that Fight Tooth Decay

Most tooth decay is caused by a strain of bacteria called Streptococcus mutans. It consumes sugar on the surface of the teeth and converts it into lactic acid, which is what eats away tooth enamel, causing decay.

September 27, 2003

 

Killer Chlorine

If you’ve ever seen movies about World War I, you know that the soldiers in the trenches often wore bulbous gas masks that made them look like human insects. The masks were necessary to protect them from chemical weapons such as chlorine gas, a noxious substance that could almost instantly suffocate unprotected victims.

September 27, 2003

 

In the Can

What's really inside a can of hairspray? Find out on this Moment of Science.

September 27, 2003

 

Driving Around with Dogs

Compared to the measly five million aroma receptors embedded in human nasal tissue, which is about the size of postage stamp, some dogs have over 200 million receptors that are embedded in a sheet of tissue that, unfolded, would be big enough to cover one-third of the dog’s surface area.

September 27, 2003

 

Light Pollution

To really behold the stars these days, you have to travel far from cities and towns to escape urban glow. The magnificent sight of the Milky Way, for example, can now only be seen in rural areas. But why do we shine light up into the sky in the first place? We need light shining down on streets and walkways–not up into the sky!

September 27, 2003

 

How Eggs Get Their Color

Depending on the species, bird eggs can be any color ranging from chicken’s plain white to a robin’s blue, streaked, spotted, bright, pale, and anything in between. Today, on a Moment of Science, we take a look at some of the reasons this might be the case. But first, how do eggs get their color? […]

September 27, 2003

 

Yogurt

Today’s word is Lactobacillus bulgaricus; or, if you’d like an easier word of the day: yogurt.

September 27, 2003

 

Hoofing It

In the wild, unshod hooves grow downwards approximately two-tenths of an inch per month. A wild horse’s natural daily activities, however, wear away the hoof at roughly the same rate, maintaining the proper balance between hoof wall and sole.

September 27, 2003

 

Estrogen and Breathing

First, sleep apnea is a disorder in which air is obstructed to some degree from entering a person’s body while he or she sleeps. Usually, this is because the tongue or other muscles relax and block the air passage.

September 27, 2003

 

Cyanide Bombs

There is a war going on between a certain tropical butterfly, Heliconius sara, and its only food source, the passion vine. This war involves chemical warfare. More precisely, the plant arms itself with cyanide bombs that are rather useful in getting rid of most insect pests.

September 27, 2003

 

How Now, Mad Cow

This strange disease was first noticed in the UK when British cows were infected by feed containing tainted sheep material. How could you spot a mad cow?

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