Tech & Science

Tech & Science

More Articles

  • Is Echinacea Effective?

    Maybe. Every couple of years, it seems, there's a new study of whether purple coneflower, or echinacea, prevents the common cold. The most recent assessment, reported in the British journal Lancet in July, concluded that one of America's favorite herbal remedies both prevents and shortens colds. When scientists at the University of Connecticut combined the results of 14 previous studies, (all clinical trials with human beings) they found that taking echinacea reduces the chances of getting a cold by 31 percent. And if you've already come down with one, the herb will make you feel better a day and a half earlier, they said. A caveat: more than 200 viruses are known to cause the symptoms of the common cold. So echinacea's effectiveness may depend on which virus you're exposed to. In most of the studies volunteers were exposed to colds naturally in their ordinary environment. When the data was limited to three studies in which volunteers were directly inoculated with a single virus,...
  • The Testosterone-Profit Link

    A new study links high testosterone levels in male financial traders to profits, but too much of the hormone can have the opposite effect.
  • New Pompeii Plan Draws Fire

    Authorities have come up with a new plan to control visitors and raise money for the ancient site. Italians don't like the idea because it's too … American.
  • 10 First Aid Mistakes

    From cut fingers to electrical burns—what you should and shouldn't do in a home health emergency.
  • Why I Had My Breasts Removed

    The author of a new memoir talks about her decision to have her breasts removed to lower her cancer risk, and her desire to be a mother.
  • A New Reason to Frown

    Does Botox get into the brain? Troubling research contradicts earlier findings about the treatment.
  • May We Scan Your Genome?

    As personal genetic testing takes off, some worry that marketing is getting ahead of science.
  • Therapists Time Good Sex

    Therapists rate how long satisfying sex lasts and find that the difference between 'adequate' sex and 'desirable' sex is a matter of minutes.
  • Is Flavored Milk Healthy?

    Some parents limit the amount of sweetened chocolate or strawberry milk they give their children because it doesn't seem all that healthy—especially compared to the plain stuff. But it turns out that kids who consumed regular or flavored milk had comparable or lower body-mass-index measures compared to nonmilk drinkers, according to a new study in the current issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. "The take-home message is that limiting children and teens' access to flavored milk due to its slightly higher sugar and calorie content may only lead to the undesirable effect of reducing intakes of important nutrients while having no impact on obesity," says study coauthor Rachel Johnson, professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont."Milk seems to be a marker for a better diet. Over and over again, children who are regular milk consumers have overall better diets," says Johnson. Nonmilk drinkers "chose high-sugar beverages that are devoid of nutrients, like...
  • New Green Jobs

    Even in a shaky economy, there are expanding opportunities in environmentally friendly industries.
  • Mind: Why Multitaskers Fail

    The physiological toll of multitasking and why we may not be making rational decisions even when we think we are.
  • Dieting for Dollars

    Can employers put you on a diet? No, but they can make it more expensive to be fat. New ways companies are monitoring employee health habits and rewarding those who shape up.
  • 10 Fixes For the Planet

    Scientists, inventors and entrepreneurs are focusing on ways to help the environment. Some of our favorite ideas.
  • Health: Phys. Ed. Is Not Dead

    As a kid, I hated P.E. class so much that the word "kick-ball" still gives me shudders. It was embarrassing (gym shorts) and, worse, it seemed useless, at least to my 12-year-old self. I was already in decent shape, and although some of my classmates didn't get much exercise outside P.E., the class was no remedy—they didn't get much inside it, either. They were always picked last for teams; theyslouched through the motions; on "fun" Fridays, when you could choose to play ball or sit out, they sat. The only kids who liked P.E. were the jocks, who didn't need it. Why, I wondered, didn't we just get rid of the class?Someone must have heard my adolescent prayers, because in the early '90s schools starting cutting back on P.E., and many now fail to offer their students any physical activity at all. Just 3.8 percent of elementary schools and 2.1 percent of high schools had daily gym class in 2006, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. By comparison, in 1991, 42 percent of kids...
  • The Campaign & the Environment

    Driven by public concern, all the candidates agree that action is needed to slow global warming. No matter who's elected, America's policy will be different a year from now.
  • Clothing: Eco-Fashion

    Clothes that are stylish and sustainable are hitting the fashion shows. Will they get to your closet?
  • Dean Kamen’s Water Purifier

    The inventor of the Segway scooter sets his sites on a new problem: delivering electricity and clean water to the world's poorest.
  • Specter’s Cancer Battle

    Sen. Arlen Specter discusses his battle with cancer, his theories on the best way to fight the disease and how it affected his work in Washington.
  • Genetic Snake Oil?

    A new report calls for increased FDA scrutiny of the genetic testing industry.
  • Kids' Violent Impulses

    A psychiatrist on why it's rare but not surprising that grammar-school kids might be capable of an elaborate plot to hurt a teacher.
  • Green Tea vs. Superbugs

    Green tea is thought to be a cancer-preventing superfood; now researchers say it may also be a weapon against deadly superbugs like MRSA.
  • Buckle Up Baby

    Pregnant women often wonder whether seatbelts do more harm than good, but a new study finds they are essential protection for mother and child.
  • Implants and Your Health

    What you need to know about getting breast implants: the pros, the cons and the long-term consequences.
  • How I Quit Smoking

    I started smoking to feel socially connected. Fortunately, I realized that I didn't need the crutch of a cigarette to keep my friendships.
  • The Worst Wrinkle Fighters

    From fruit masks to vitamins, anti-aging tricks abound, but most of them don't work. Which ones do, and which ones are useless.
  • Big Belly, Bad Memory

    Why that spare tire puts you at greater risk of dementia (along with a host of other diseases), and what you can do about it.
  • The Working-Class Smoker

    Increases in life expectancy in recent decades have left behind those who didn't go to college.
  • A Sleeping Sickness

    I attributed years of fatigue to severe allergies. A diagnosis of sleep apnea was the door to a completely new way of looking at the world. 
  • Are We Alone? The Odds Lengthen

    The Hubble Space Telescope didn’t quite spy little green men waving back at its camera, but it has taken the next step in the search for life beyond our solar system. As astronomers are reporting this afternoon in the journal Nature, the telescope detected an organic molecule in the atmosphere of a planet orbiting another star—the first such detection ever for any of the 277 known “extrasolar” (outside our own solar system) planets....
  • Autism: Fact and Fiction

    Autism is everywhere—once again. Separating fact from fear as the courts and Hollywood wade in.
  • Microwaves Zap Veggie Nutrients?

    It may seem hard to believe, but microwaving is one of the two best ways to cook veggies and retain the nutrients inside. (Steaming is the other.) Cooking methods like baking or grilling that expose foods to higher temperatures and more cooking time are much more destructive. For instance, in studies at Cornell University's division of nutritional sciences, Gertrude Armbruster and her colleagues have shown that on the whole, microwave cooking of vegetables and fruits was least destructive of vitamin C compared to other methods. (Because it is both water-soluble and heat-sensitive, vitamin C is considered a good marker for judging overall nutrient retention.) Microwave ovens radiate electromagnetic waves (of the same frequency on which many cordless telephones operate), a band of the energy spectrum that is absorbed by water molecules inside food, which heat up. The heat then spreads to other parts of the food. Because nutrients are scarce in water content, they are likely to survive...
  • Designing Light and Air

    How the new Bank of America building will save energy and let its occupants breathe easy.