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A Moment of Science

Archive for September 2003

September 27, 2003


The Dirt about Desert Soil

In the desert, the absence of water means little or no chemical weathering can take place. Instead, erosion, frost, sedimentation, and the huge temperature fluctuations between day and night break down the rocky surface into sand or gravel.

September 27, 2003


The Battle over Iron

We all know we need iron to live. How else would our blood carry oxygen to our lungs? And cells need iron in order to multiply. The problem is that our cells aren’t the only ones who need iron in order to thrive. Cancer cells and microorganisms like E. Coli and staph need iron too.

September 27, 2003


Wanted: Nightcrawlers Take the Bait

For some people, the word "worm" means "money".

September 27, 2003



What do IQ tests really measure? Find out what psychologists think, on this Moment of Science.

September 27, 2003


A gain lightening bolt in the distance.

Struck by Lightning

How is it that sometimes people survive multiple lightening strikes, while others die instantly?

September 27, 2003



Soggy Salads

Have you ever wondered why dressing makes lettuce wilt so quickly?

September 27, 2003



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


Getting Fatter All the Time

For the most part fat is stored in the fat cells that compose fatty tissue. Think of a fat cell as a tiny plastic bag filled with a drop of fat. Interestingly, fat cells do not multiply.

September 27, 2003


Babies ‘n Honey

Since botulism bacteria cannot survive in oxygen, they form spores that lie dormant until they’re in an oxygen-free environment. For example, the oxygen-free insides of canned goods are prime breeding grounds for botulism.

September 27, 2003


A man's chest

Male Nipples–Why?

This Moment of Science will answer a question that must have been gnawing at you since you first noticed that human males have nipples.

September 27, 2003


Battle of the Bugs

The ultraviolet light is supposed to attract mosquitoes against an electrified grid, which then zaps them. Well, it’s true that plenty of mosquitoes are attracted into your backyard by the light, but once the mosquitoes catch a whiff of you, they ignore the light completely.

September 27, 2003


Yucca Flowers and Yucca Moths

The relationships between plants and insects are often intricate and complex. One such relationship is that between the yucca plant and the yucca moth.

September 27, 2003


Down the Wrong Tube

A few things happen as you swallow. The back section of the roof of your mouth, also called the soft pallet, closes off the nasal passages so that food doesn’t go up into the nose.

September 27, 2003


What Are the Odds?

On this Moment of Science, learn how statisticians figure the odds.

September 27, 2003


Seeing in the Dark

Ever wonder how night vision goggles work? Seeing in the Dark, on today's Moment of Science.

September 27, 2003


A skateboarder jumping over (ollie) a stack of skateboards.

The Ollie

Though they make it look easy, skateboarders spend a tremendous amount of time practicing when it comes to perfecting the ollie.

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


Small Talk

Although ants usually communicate through smell, they also use sound to send distress calls and warnings about danger. Since they don’t have ears, scientists believe that they sense sound vibrations in their knees.

September 27, 2003


Honeybees and Cavities

Honeybees make propolis by collecting the secretions of trees and other plants where they live; thus the make-up of propolis varies depending on the plant life around. Researchers have found the propolis of Brazilian honeybees to be particularly potent when it comes to protecting teeth.

September 27, 2003


Side Effects of Love

When you first happen upon that special someone, you start to feel romantic, passionate, giddy and euphoric. These feelings aren’t purely psychological. If we were to take a blood sample, we’d discover high levels of certain chemicals in your blood.

September 27, 2003


Star Light, Star White

The back of your eye, called the retina, has two kinds of cells: rods and cones. In bright light the cones are what we use, while in dim light the cones are less active and the rods take over.

September 27, 2003


Deciphering Seals

Killer whales communicate in a variety of dialects. There are discernible differences, however, between the chatter of killer whales that eat only fish and those that eat both fish and seals.

September 27, 2003


The Leatherback Turtle, Part 2

The Leatherback turtle is special because of its ability, unlike other sea turtles, to survive in cold waters.

September 27, 2003


A Static Fly Trap

The hope is that as the fly walks across the surface, its little body charges up, allowing poisonous spores to stick to its body like metal shavings to a magnet. If this happens, then soon enough, the fly will walk no more.

September 27, 2003


Vertical Chips

You may not realize it now, but current computers are going to be obsolete in a few years. Find out how on this 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.

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