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Stories by Karen Hopkin

Pack Rats Expand Diet with New Gut Bacteria

Pack Rats Expand Diet with New Gut Bacteria

Pack rats given the right gut bacteria via a fecal transplant from other pack rats can then digest foods that they formerly could not, but the donors could. Karen Hopkin reports 

 

July 31, 2014 — Karen Hopkin
Colorful Birds Can Also Belt Tunes

Colorful Birds Can Also Belt Tunes

A survey of the tanagers reveals that birds do not have to choose between colorful plumage and a melodious song. Karen Hopkin reports 

 

July 30, 2014 — Karen Hopkin
Salmonella's Favorite Food Could Be Its Achilles' Heel

Salmonella's Favorite Food Could Be Its Achilles' Heel

Salmonella's primary fuel source is the molecule fructose-asparagine. Starving it of that fuel in an infected person could kill it without harming beneficial gut bacteria. Karen Hopkin reports 

 

July 23, 2014 — Karen Hopkin
Education Level Linked to Nearsightedness

Education Level Linked to Nearsightedness

In a German study, half of those with a university degree were myopic compared with less than a quarter of folks who quit after high school or secondary school. Karen Hopkin reports 

 

July 21, 2014 — Karen Hopkin
Malarial Mice Smell Better to Mosquitoes

Malarial Mice Smell Better to Mosquitoes

Mice infected with the parasites that cause their type of malaria produce odorous compounds that attract mosquitoes, increasing the odds that the parasites will be spread to the next victims
 

July 1, 2014 — Karen Hopkin
21-Second Rule Governs Mammal Micturition

21-Second Rule Governs Mammal Micturition

All mammals that weigh more than about six-and-a-half pounds take about the same time to urinate, thanks to the structure of the urethra. Karen Hopkin reports 

 

June 25, 2014 — Karen Hopkin
2-Face Moon Tells How It Got That Way

2-Face Moon Tells How It Got That Way

A new analysis says that the asymmetry between the two faces of the moon is due to crust thickness differences that resulted from variable cooling rates after the molten formation of our companion. Karen Hopkin reports

 

June 13, 2014 — Karen Hopkin
Kid Scientist Finds Sweet Pest Control

Kid Scientist Finds Sweet Pest Control

Eleven-year-old Simon Kaschock-Marenda's science fair project led to a publication about the insecticidal effects of the sweetener Truvia. Karen Hopkin reports

 

June 10, 2014 — Karen Hopkin
Polar Bear Rapid Evolution Lets Them Be Fat Fit

Polar Bear Rapid Evolution Lets Them Be Fat Fit

Since diverging from a common ancestor with brown bears less than half a million years ago, polar bears have accumulated genetic changes that allow them to eat a superhigh-fat diet without suffering cardiovascular consequences. Karen Hopkin reports

 

May 22, 2014 — Karen Hopkin
Expert Violinists Bad at Picking Strads

Expert Violinists Bad at Picking Strads

Ten violin soloists who played different instruments blindfolded then picked a Stradivarius over a modern instrument as being the superior violin at rates no better than chance. Karen Hopkin reports

April 28, 2014 — Karen Hopkin
Help ID Moon Craters from Your Couch

Help ID Moon Craters from Your Couch

Citizen scientists have helped professional astronomers locate more than 500 million lunar craters by using an app called MoonMappers. Karen Hopkin reports 

 

April 22, 2014 — Karen Hopkin
Cereal Box Characters Look Down at Kids

Cereal Box Characters Look Down at Kids

Tony the Tiger and his kid-friendly cohort tend to gaze downward whereas the Quaker Oats guy stares straight ahead at thee. Karen Hopkin reports

 

April 15, 2014 — Karen Hopkin
Illustrated Story Teaches Young Kids Natural Selection

Illustrated Story Teaches Young Kids Natural Selection

Seven- and eight-year-olds successfully learned basic evolution concepts via a story illustrating differential reproduction rates of fictional animals due to selection pressures. Karen Hopkin reports

 

March 31, 2014 — Karen Hopkin

Saving Troubled Knees

Silk scaffolds, grafts from pigs and green tea extracts might someday help keep injured and vulnerable joints active

December 6, 2007 — Karen Hopkin
The Risks on the Table

The Risks on the Table

More than half the foods in U.S. supermarkets contain genetically modified ingredients. Have they been proved safe for human consumption?

December 1, 2006 — Karen Hopkin