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Does Eating Turkey Really Make You Sleepy?

TRANSCRIPTAfter Thanksgiving dinner, many people start to feel a little drowsy. Turkey typically gets the blame. It supposedly contains high levels of tryptophan, an amino acid that is sold in a purified form to help people fall asleep.But turkey contains about the same amount of tryptophan as chicken, beef and other meats.If Thanksgiving drowsiness is not about the main course, what is responsible?...

STAFFNovember 20, 2012 — Ferris Jabr

Quantum Cryptography At The End Of Your Road

In April of this year I wrote about how quantum cryptography (more properly called Quantum Key Distribution or QKD) was leaving the laboratory bench and is balanced on the cusp of entering into real-world use...

November 20, 2012 — Alan Woodward

What Should Teachers Say to Religious Students Who Doubt Evolution?

I'm teaching Darwin again this semester, in two separate courses, and I'm confronted with a familiar dilemma: How should I respond to students who reject evolutionary theory on religious grounds?One course is a freshman survey of the humanities and social sciences, and the other reviews the history of science and technology...

November 20, 2012 — John Horgan

Sleep on It

“One hundred repetitions three nights a week for four years - sixty-two thousand four hundred repetitions make one truth.” These are the thoughts of Bernard Maxwell as he reflects on The World State’s sleep-teaching technique, hypnopaedia, in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World , before concluding: “Idiots!”Learn While You Sleep?...

November 20, 2012 — Simon J. Makin

Frontonia: dissecting a ciliate appetite

(I'm pretty sure every non-strictly-autotrophic thing has some form of appetite. Some ciliates and amoebae just tend to display it more prominently -- as in this cool video of a Climacostomum devouring a flatworm!) Frontonia is a genus of predatory ciliates who feed on anything from algae and bacteria to fellow ciliates (and anything else that can fit through the cytostome, or its "throat")...

November 20, 2012 — Psi Wavefunction

Quantum Dots of Many Colors

Earlier this month, Technology Review reported that scientists from the University of Rochester have figured out how to use nanoscale crystals called quantum dots to enhance the longevity of artificial photosynthesis...

November 20, 2012 — Jennifer Ouellette

#SciAmBlogs Monday - World Toilet Day, Zaltrap Deal, Presidential Pythagorean Proof, Tycho Brahe Poison, Nematocin, and more.

As usual on Mondays, we have a new Image of the Week.- Laura Newman - Why Sanofi’s Zaltrap Deal Won’t Help Patients - Bob Grumman - M@h*(pOet)?ica—of Pi and the Circle, Part 1 - Jennifer Ouellette - Cold Case Files: Tycho Brahe Not Poisoned After All - Scicurious - Nematode Lovin’: Nematocin - Scott Huler - Inspiration on World Toilet Day - Caleb A...

STAFFNovember 19, 2012 — Bora Zivkovic

Pharmacies Dispense Meds Even after Docs Stop Prescription

When doctors take patients off of a prescription medicine, it is often for a good reason. But pharmacists don't always get the memo. A new study finds that more than 1 in 100 discontinued prescriptions were filled by the pharmacy anyway, putting some patients at serious risk.In the U.S., pharmacists filled more than 3.7 billion prescriptions in 2011...

November 19, 2012 — Katherine Harmon

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