The chemical that puts the heat in hot chili peppers is capsaicin (kap-SAY-ih-sin). Yet scientists have known for some time that when applied to the skin, this same compound can diminish pain. Indeed, some over-the-counter pain relievers already rely on capsaicin to tackle sore muscles and joints. But how that chili chemical chilled sore nerves has remained somewhat of a mystery. Until now.Tibor...
07:00 AM, March 4, 2015
Body & Health
In their “tuxedo suits,” penguins may appear dapper. Yet these birds have little taste, a new study finds.Penguins can’t taste bitter, sweet or the meaty flavor known as umami. That’s what researchers in China and Michigan reported February 16 in Current Biology. Still unclear, they say, is whether the birds might sense salty and sour flavors. So while these birds can down big meals of fish, they...
07:00 AM, March 3, 2015
Cosmetics commercials extoll the virtues of long, luxurious eyelashes. They even sell products to make them longer. But, new research indicates, in terms of eye health, long isn’t always better.There’s a so-called “sweet spot” in the range of lash lengths. It is about one-third the width of the eye. And it’s here that lash length appears most helpful. Eyelashes much longer than that will funnel...
07:00 AM, March 2, 2015
For the first time, scientists have shown a direct link between rising levels of carbon dioxide — or CO2 — in Earth’s atmosphere and an increase in how much solar energy warms the ground. The finding supports a key theory about what’s behind the recent worldwide warming of Earth’s climate. It links a measurable share of that warming to human activities that release CO2. These include the burning...
07:00 AM, March 1, 2015
Weather & Climate, Light & Radiation
Zorana Berberovic gently lifts a small black mouse by its tail. As its hind legs rise up off the floor of its cage, the research technician slips a tiny vial under the mouse’s bottom. Berberovic lightly strokes her gloved finger against its belly. Within seconds, she is rewarded. A dribble of pee enters the vial."They have small bladders so there's not much," Berberovic says. Luckily, she adds, "...
07:01 AM, February 27, 2015
Body & Health
SCIENCEBefore reading1. What easily recognizable traits did you inherit from your parents?2. You might have heard someone say, “I don’t want to be a guinea pig.” What does the expression mean?During reading1. What does phenogenomics mean?2. Using a mouse as an example, explain its basic phenotype.3. What percentage of our genes do we share with mice?4...
07:00 AM, February 27, 2015
Ocean animals have been getter bigger over the last half-billion years. Not a little bigger. Not even a lot bigger. They have mushroomed gigantically, scientists now conclude.Their new finding lends support for something known as “Cope’s rule.” It holds that animals tend to evolve into species that are much larger than their distant ancestors. This hypothesis takes its name from the 19thcentury...
07:00 AM, February 26, 2015
HOUSTON, Texas — Infants eating small but regular doses of peanut butter are less likely to develop an allergy to peanuts than are babies eating no peanuts. That’s the surprising finding of a new study.Many people, starting in childhood, develop a serious allergy to peanuts. Eventually, even the briefest exposure — such as a kiss from someone who recently ate peanuts — may cause a serious...
09:10 AM, February 25, 2015
Body & Health, Food & Nutrition
People first settled Australia some 40,000 to 50,000 years ago. Then, in 1788, England established a colony there. These European settlers spread widely. In time, they created the nation of Australia. The European immigration also led to a little-noticed wave in extinctions of Australian mammals. That’s the finding of a new study. One main cause of those extinctions appears to be the introduction...
07:00 AM, February 24, 2015
Animals, Environment & Pollution
Light-sensitive sunglasses can shield your eyes from bright glare. But the glasses take minutes to darken — and later lighten up again. If you’re suddenly thrust into shadows, do you want to wait? Soon, you may not have to.Chemists have made sunglasses that can switch from dark to clear and back with the tap of a button. Each changes takes only about a second.Special plastics let the sunglasses...
07:00 AM, February 23, 2015
Technology & Engineering, Chemistry