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Biology12464 articles archived since 1845

A cure for the common cold? Culprit genome sequenced, but ...

Could the common cold become a thing of the past? Scientists have unraveled the genetic code for all 99 strains of the rhinovirus, but there may be a disconnect between excitement over the feat in the lab versus at pharmaceutical companies that would ordinarily develop a cure or vaccine against infection...

February 13, 2009 — Jordan Lite

Big win for a tiny endangered species, the American pika

The rabbit-like American pika ( Ochotona princeps ) got lucky this week. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, responding to a lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity and Earthjustice, has agreed to assess whether the increasingly rare animal qualifies for protection under the Endangered Species Act...

February 13, 2009 — John Platt

Darwin, Cuvier and Lamarck

The finches of the Galapagos Islands, Darwin was convinced, all had a common ancestor. Their variety was proof that species adapt themselves to their special living environment in the course of time...

February 12, 2009 — Christoph Marty

Charles Darwin's Travels on the HMS Beagle

When Darwin reached the Galapagos Islands in September 1835, he was certain that the archipelago had rather recently risen from the sea, and had become home to birds from the South American continent...

February 12, 2009 — Christoph Marty

"Digital hand" researchers score second round of NSF funding

A team of researchers developing "digital hand" technology (described in an article last year by Scientific American.com ) designed to help people with carpal tunnel syndrome and other disorders use computers has received nearly $473,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to build a commercial prototype device...

February 12, 2009 — Larry Greenemeier

Salamanders slipping away, global warming may be to blame

Biologists report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week that they were unable to find  a pair of previously common Guatemalan salamander species -- Pseudoeurycea brunnata and Pseudoeurycea goebeli -- and  say they are apparently extinct...

February 12, 2009 — John Platt

Darwin Day Special: Bicentennial of the Birth of Charles Darwin

In part 1 of this special Darwin Day podcast, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Darwin on February 12th, Richard Milner performs part of his one-man show about Darwin; Scientific American Editor in Chief John Rennie and Darwin descendant Matthew Chapman read from The Origin of Species ; and Chapman talks about his book 40 Days and 40 Nights, about the Dover intelligent design trial as well as about his efforts to get presidential candidates to discuss science--a project called ScienceDebate...

February 11, 2009 — Steve Mirsky

Coral reefs: Vital to the oceans, vital to humans

Coral reefs are dying off at record rates, thanks to pollution, disease and global warming. Scientists worldwide are trying to come up with new ideas to conserve and protect not just the coral reefs, but also the biodiversity and human economies that depend upon  them for their survival...

February 11, 2009 — John Platt

What will it take to get you to stop smoking? How about cold, hard cash?

Seventy percent of smokers in the U.S. say they want to quit, but studies show that only 2 percent to 3 percent manage to kick the habit each year. Incentives for quitting—avoiding potentially deadly lung cancer and premature wrinkling, saving thousands of dollars annually (in money spent on cigarettes and medical bills stemming from health-related ills), and perhaps even becoming president of the United States—are just not enough, it seems...

February 11, 2009 — Coco Ballantyne
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