Ask somebody about stress, and you're likely to hear an outpouring about all the bad things that cause it — and the bad things that result. But if you ask a biologist, you'll hear that stress can be good.
A gung-ho group of space enthusiasts has started the process of putting a vintage NASA spacecraft on a new flight path, so that this venerable piece of hardware will be able to do useful science once again.
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health made an unpleasant discovery last week as they cleaned out an old laboratory: The lab contained vials of the smallpox virus, previously unknown to authorities. The vials have since been transferred to a secure lab at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
According to new research, plants can actually hear the sounds of insects chewing. A University of Missouri study is the first work to report that plants can recognize the sound of a predator through the vibrations of their leaves. To learn more, Robert Siegel speaks with Heidi Appel, senior research scientist in the Bond Life Sciences Center at the University of Missouri.
Somewhere in Iowa, volunteers are earning $900 apiece by providing blood samples after eating bits of a banana kissed with a curious tinge of orange.
It's the first human trial of a banana that's been genetically engineered to contain higher levels of beta carotene, the nutrient that our body converts into vitamin A. Researchers want to confirm that eating the fruit does, in fact, lead to higher vitamin A levels in the volunteers' blood.
The volunteers in Iowa may not realize it, but they're playing a small part in a story that spans the globe.
The secret to more productive meetings? You might simply need to stand up.
This we know, to some degree. Just take as examples the growing popularity of standing desks, which took off after a flurry of reports found that sitting for long periods of time can significantly, negatively, impact employees' health.
The modern idea of stress began on a rooftop in Canada, with a handful of rats freezing in the winter wind.
This was 1936 and by that point the owner of the rats, an endocrinologist named Hans Selye, had become expert at making rats suffer for science.
"He would subject them to extreme temperatures, make them go hungry for long periods, or make them exercise a lot," the medical historian Mark Jackson says. "Then what he would do is kill the rats and look at their organs."