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Archive for September 2003

September 27, 2003

 

Sea Otter Sickness

Unfortunately, like many of today’s wildlife creatures, sea otters off the coast of California are dying off, and the problem may be felines.

September 27, 2003

 

Ride the Sperm Train

The female wood mouse has multiple mates, so the sperm of this wood mouse may be competing with sperm from other males.

September 27, 2003

 

Do Bugs Sleep?

Almost all mammals, in fact, have REM sleep; birds do too, although only in the early parts of their lives. It seems that sleep and REM are required by a particularly complex kind of brain.

September 27, 2003

 

Computer Personalities

Studies have been conducted that show that people attribute personalities to computers based on how fast and how loud they talk. And those studies show that people prefer computer-generated voices that sound like their own voices.

September 27, 2003

 

Amazing Sea Monkeys

If kept dry, these cysts will remain viable for many years. Placed in salt water, the cysts rehydrate and the shrimp resume development.

September 27, 2003

 

Monoamniotic Twins

Fraternal is when two different eggs are fertilized by two separate sperm. And even though fraternal twins can look very much alike, on average they only share fifty percent of their genes, the same as any other siblings.

September 27, 2003

 

The Sexiest Frog in Borneo

To us, it’s a relaxing sound. To female frogs, it’s downright sexy. The louder the chirp, the more interesting the male. So what’s a Romeo frog to do if his voice isn’t quite up to volume?

September 27, 2003

 

Salty Seas

Kimberly Sessions, of Atlanta, Georgia wrote to A Moment of Science with the following question: “I know why the ocean is still salty: evaporated water leaves the salt behind. But how did it get salty in the first place?”

September 27, 2003

 

Salmon and Riparian Vegetation

Learn about the love-relationship between salmon and riparian vegetation on this Moment of Science.

September 27, 2003

 

Vitamin C and Collagen

Vitamin C does a lot of good things for the body. It prevents diseases like scurvy, can lower the risk of certain forms of heart disease, and it is beneficial to people with anemia and iron deficiency.

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

 

Bedtime Blues

Never a happy topic, bed wetting is a very distressing problem for five to seven million American kids. If we can’t explain why some people like to pick on these kids, can we at least shed some light on what causes bed wetting? At one time, people punished bed-wetters for acting badly, but today scientists […]

September 27, 2003

 

Steering a Balloon

But a hot air balloon doesn’t have any way of pushing itself forward. It can only go up or down. So how can it move around?

September 27, 2003

 

The Nocebo Effect?

If the placebo effect means you feel better just because you believe a certain treatment is going to work, then the nocebo effect means that you feel worse just because you expect the worst.

September 27, 2003

 

The Miracle Water Diet

Water weight doesn’t mean that you’ve been drinking too much–it means that you haven’t been drinking enough and that your body has detected a water shortage and is retaining water.

September 27, 2003

 

Processing Moral Dilemmas

After all, as children we internalize the emotional reactions of those around us and store them in emotional brain circuits. Then, later, when we encounter a moral problem, these automatic gut feelings guide our decision- making.

September 27, 2003

 

Smoking and Women

Although tobacco companies advertise some cigarettes as “light,” this is just an advertising ploy to obscure the risks associated with smoking–smoking a light cigarette is just as risky as smoking a regular one.

September 27, 2003

 

The Mystery of the Backwards Balloon

The same thing happens to the air in the car. When the car stops the air keeps moving forward. This results in more air, or higher air pressure, in the front of the passenger compartment.

September 27, 2003

 

The Math of Predator and Prey

For decades, mathematical ecologists struggling to formulate equations that accurately describe the relationship between predator and prey have come up against the following paradox: if the predators are too successful, the prey population dies out, and then the predators end up starving.

September 27, 2003

 

Chili or Mint

At the University of California , David Julius and his research team have been making some interesting discoveries involving tongue receptors and a substance contained in chili peppers. They found that this substance activates the same receptors that senses heat.

September 27, 2003

 

A possum sits perched in a tree and eats a cracker.

Playing Possum

Playing dead doesn't seem like much of a strategy, but it works for the opossum, commonly known as the possum.

September 27, 2003

 

Frog Venom

Did you know that frog venoms are becoming more and more prevalent in some of today's most vital medications? Find out more on this Moment of Science.

September 27, 2003

 

SuperHero Vision

Although this surgery might soon be available to the public, it’s worth wondering why we would want such enhanced vision. Most of us, like Clark Kent, don’t really need it. Unless, that is, you’re considering a career in the superhero business.

September 27, 2003

 

eagle

Eagle Eyes

Did you know what the eyes of a bird are fixed immovably in its skull?

September 27, 2003

 

Get It?

Did you ever wonder what occurs inside your body when something funny happens? What is this thing we have in our brains that makes us say “ha-ha” when someone slips on a banana? One way to find out is to watch the brain laugh. That’s what Dartmouth neuroscientist William Kelley did. He and his team […]

September 27, 2003

 

A model of the uterus

Positions of the Uterus

Learn about all the various positions of the uterus on this Moment of Science.

September 27, 2003

 

Bouncing Balls

Air molecules are naturally elastic–they don’t stick together like water molecules, but rather bounce off each other in the open.

September 27, 2003

 

Sunrise, Sunset

Now, at sunset, the lowest mile or so of the atmosphere is filled with things like vehicle exhaust, dust, smoke, and water vapor, and all these pollutants scatter light.

September 27, 2003

 

Caterpillars That Fool Ants

Ants are the recipients of a lot of pranks in the insect world. The particular hoax I have in mind, though, involves caterpillar larvae that fool ants into feeding and caring for them.

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