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Science News: March 2005

Author: Nicolas Delerue, Issue: March 2005, Topic: Science

Love Beans

Japanese toy makers Tomy and Takara found an interesting way for usually shy Japanese people to express their feelings to their loved ones: love beans! When you place these beans in water, six different messages, such as "Good luck" and "I love you", show up in Japanese on one side and in French on the other. Since you can't predict which message a particular bean carries, it might be a good idea to prepare some words of your own!
More details at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4209571.stm

Reduce Cancer Risk with Beer?

Japanese researchers at Okayama University fed mice DNA-damaging chemicals (heterocyclic amines) that are usually found in cooked meat and fish and are known to cause cancer. Some of the mice drank water and others were given non-alcoholic beer. Damage to the liver, lungs, and kidneys in the mice that drank non-alcoholic beer was reduced by up to 85%. Researchers haven't determined if alcoholic beer has the same characteristics, although moderate consumption is known to reduce the rist of heart disease.
More details at: http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn6895

Rice Combats Hay Fever

Japanese scientists have genetically engineered a strain of rice to contain a gene that could help alleviate allergy symptoms. The gene produces an allergen that "...helps mute the reaction of the body's immune system". (Daily Yomiuri)

Don't Make Your Bed

Researchers at Kingston University in the United Kingdom say leaving your bed unmade allows the moisture in sheets and mattresses to dry thus making it more difficult for dust mites to survive.

A New Treatment for Tooth Decay

A new synthetic tood enamel developed by Japanese scientists can be used to repair early tooth decay without drilling out the decay. (Daily Yomiuri)

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