If you teach a group of monkeys that blue corn tastes yucky, they switch to pink corn. What happens when a monkey raised to detest pink corn enters the group? You might be surprised!
Heart muscle is never replaced if it dies in a heart attack. Muscle cells grown from stem cells can briefly help broken hearts. Could new approaches make the healing long-term?
Bad feet? Aching back? Impacted wisdom teeth? Blame balky designs inherited from your relatives. How has evolution equipped — or mal-equipped — us for modern life? How do big brains support culture that supports big brains?
We lie for many reasons: Glory. Money. Both. Something else. Is there a science of detecting lies? Does the digital realm make lying harder? Easier? Both?
Drafts of two hefty food-safety regulations are released. What are the fundamentals of ensuring safety in the giant American food system? Where is the room for improvement? Who will (and maybe should) escape regulation?
We spend ever-more hours with TV, cellphones, tablets and computers, is it rude or necessary to always answer your phone? Does distraction make you dumb? What about multitasking?
At the moment of loss or victory, an athlete’s face shows intense … what? Without seeing the body, you can’t tell whether an important point was won or lost. Adding the body language makes all the difference — and can even overwhelm the message of the face!
With the $6-billion slugfest thankfully in our rear-view mirror, we ponder the attachment to “my” team. How do we deal with the inevitable disappointment? Are we fair-weather fans or die-hards, and how does that affect our response to the big game? Could sports affiliation even protect against suicide?
Think you can get away with an occasional high-fat junk food chow-down? A new study confirms that a single meal can harm your arteries. Eating the same number of calories in a Mediterranean-diet meal is benign or beneficial to the arteries.
Cheesemaking is older than Homer’s Odyssey, but questions remain. Which bacteria make the best cheese? Must low-fat cheese taste like cardboard? Why is small-producer, “artisan” cheese becoming so popular? Why does one cheese taste different than another.
Viruses can act like “intelligent agents” against cancer. Some viruses home in on cancer cells; others can only reproduce in them. While making more virus, the tumor cell dies. Then the new virus infects more cells. Is this real progress in the war on cancer?
Mosquitoes spread a lot of disease, but they are not just “flying hypodermic needles.” As we rush to protect ourselves against a virus that can cause permanent brain damage, how can we understand and control the mosquitoes that spread West Nile?
Are we affecting the character of future generations by the way we choose mates? If choosing attractive mates tends to make the grandchildren more attractive, what about choosing mates who like to laugh or have fun?
As a new conversion of soy protein into a meat-like material reaches the market, we also look into meat grown, cell by cell, in lab dishes. Could in vitro meat be in your future, and would that solve ethical, health and environmental problems?
Native agriculture could be a sophisticated response to a challenging environment. What were the secrets of permaculture, companion cropping and corn farming? Could these techniques contribute to modern farming?