Diseases sneak up on us. They begin triggering changes in the body long before we feel sick. But a new method has the potential to spot telltale signs early, before a disease gains a foothold. That could help doctors diagnose — and treat — disorders before they do too much damage.
The new technique detects antibodies. These are substances made by the immune system. They stick to foreign...Readability Score: 7.3
Scientists suspected that if a meteorite smashed into Earth hard enough, it could change a type of soft, pure carbon — the graphite in pencil lead — into a mineral harder than diamond. Now, scientists say they have confirmed that can happen. They witnessed it from front-row seats.
No, they didn’t have to dodge an incoming space rock. Standing in for the meteorite was a high-energy laser...Readability Score: 7.8
Moldy food, dirty toilet water and bags of garbage. What do these disgusting things have in common? Tiny, one-celled microbes called bacteria love them. These germs are too small to see with your eyes, but they live all around you. Bacteria set up camp in sewage pipes, ponds and dirt. They also live in your house, on your food, in your mouth and in your gut. Some of these germs make you sick....Readability Score: 7.4
Some dietary supplements are made in a lab, like drugs. Others are derived from plants. But there’s another big difference between these supplements than just where they came from. Those plant-based ones may sound healthier, because they have a natural source. But there’s no guarantee that plant-based supplements contain the chemicals that are supposed to make them healthful.
If a drug...Readability Score: 7.9
NEW ORLEANS, La. — In April 2010, an explosion at the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform caused a huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Leftover oil from that spill still pollutes the Gulf. And that oil could be speeding up the destruction of old shipwrecks there, data now suggest.
Corrosion is a type of chemical reaction that can weaken — and ultimately destroy — metal structures....Readability Score: 7.9
Every day, people visit the toilet. Or, in developing nations, the field, pit or other location where they can relieve themselves. With more than 7 billion people on the planet, that’s a lot of waste. Mixed with water, these wastes are known as sewage. Because they host germs, they can’t just be left lying around. If they taint the water people use for eating, drinking and bathing...Readability Score: 7.9
Chefs often add olive oil to spaghetti to aid the cooking process and improve flavor. Now a study finds that olive oil and other vegetable oils can also help make one type of plastic into super-strong fibers. Those fibers are ideal for making products such as bulletproof fabrics or ropes that anchor offshore oil rigs.
All plastics are made of long, spaghetti-like chains of molecules...Readability Score: 6.8
People on a busy sidewalk use lots of energy to get from one place to another. But some of that energy gets wasted. Shoes and the pavement absorb this mechanical energy. What if that energy instead could be put to better use?
“Harvesting mechanical energy is vitally important for wearable and portable electronics,” says Zhong Lin Wang. He’s a materials scientist at the Georgia Institute...Readability Score: 7.6
All of the known elements in the universe are represented by boxes on what is known as the Periodic Table. The seventh row of that table is now officially full.
On December 30, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry announced that it had received enough evidence to confirm the existence of four new elements. They are those with the atomic numbers 113, 115, 117 and 118. The...Readability Score: 8.7
Deep within the Earth are two huge, mysterious blobs. They are about 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) below the planet’s surface. One sits beneath Africa. The other lies under the Pacific Ocean. Now, a team of mineralogists has found new clues to what makes up the blobs — and possibly what caused them.
Each blob is the size of a continent, towering 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) high. They are...Readability Score: 7.0