Rhitu Chatterjee

Rhitu Chatterjee appears in the following:

Can Quinoa Take Root On The 'Roof Of The World'?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

For thousands of years, quinoa barely budged from its home in the Andes. Other crops — corn, potatoes, rice, wheat and sorghum — traveled and colonized the world. But quinoa stayed home.

All of a sudden, quinoa is a trendy, jet-setting "superfood." And as we've reported, some American farmers ...

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In India's Sultry Summer, Bucket Bathing Beats Indoor Showers

Friday, July 25, 2014

Two items that are essential to most Indian households are a bucket and a pitcher. They are to Indians what showers are to Americans, an integral part of the daily ritual of bathing. In a country where you can't count on running water, the vast majority of people bathe using ...

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Ear Wax From Whales Keeps Record Of Ocean Contaminants

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Layers of wax in the marine mammals' ears can be read like tree rings, scientists say, recording a whale's age and also information about pollutants in the water the whale swam throug...

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Meet The Olinguito, The Newest Member Of The Raccoon Family

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Scientists have just solved a case of mistaken identity. It involves a creature that looks like a cross between a house cat and a teddy bear, and it lives high up in the cloud forests of the Amazon.

For over 100 years, scientists thought this animal was a well-known member ...

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Dolphins Recognize The Calls Of Long-Lost Friends

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Scientists have known for years that dolphins recognize each other by the sound of each animal's signature whistle. But it wasn't known for just how long dolphins could remember these whistle calls.

The individually specific whistle that each dolphin generates before its first birthday "for them functions like a name," ...

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Don't Blame Your Lousy Night's Sleep On The Moon — Yet

Friday, July 26, 2013

From madness to seizures, to crime and lack of sleep, people have long blamed the full moon for a range of problems. Research, on the other hand, has found little evidence over the years to support these anecdotal accounts of the moon's powers over the human body and ...

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We Call Him Flipper. But What Do The Dolphins Call Him?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Dolphins are like humans in many ways: They're part of complex social networks and, just as in people, a dolphin's brain is big, relative to the size of its body. But there's something else, too — a study published Monday shows these acrobats of the sea use name-like whistles to ...

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Sickle Cell Anemia Is On The Rise Worldwide

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sickle cell anemia may not be as well-known as, say, malaria, tuberculosis or AIDS. But every year, hundreds of thousands of babies around the world are born with this inherited blood disorder. And the numbers are expected to climb.

The number of sickle cell anemia cases is expected to increase ...

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Barking Up The Family Tree: American Dogs Have Surprising Genetic Roots

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

America is as much of a melting pot for dogs as it is for their human friends. Walk through any dog park and you'll find a range of breeds from Europe, Asia, even Australia and mutts and mixes of every kind.

But a few indigenous breeds in North America have ...

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Farming Got Hip In Iran Some 12,000 Years Ago, Ancient Seeds Reveal

Monday, July 08, 2013

Archaeologists digging in the foothills of Iran's Zagros Mountains have discovered the remains of a Stone Age farming community. It turns out that people living there were growing plants like barley, peas and lentils as early as 12,000 years ago.

The findings offer a rare snapshot of a time when ...

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Pitch Perfect: Why Our Shoulders Are Key To Throwing

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The ability to throw a baseball or any object with speed and precision is unique to us humans. And that ability depends on certain features of our anatomy that arose in our ancestors over 2 million years ago, according to a study published in this week's issue of the ...

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WHO Finds Violence Against Women Is 'Shockingly' Common

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thirty-five percent of women around the world have been raped or physically abused, according to statistics the World Health Organization released Thursday. About 80 percent of the time this violence occurs in the home, at the hands of a partner or spouse.

"For me personally, this is a shockingly ...

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Animal CSI: Inside The Smithsonian's Feather Forensics Lab

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Carla Dove smiles as she tears open a small, flat cardboard box. She is sitting at a lab bench in her office at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

"It's kind of like Christmas for me because I never know what's going to be in the packages," she says.

Inside ...

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Rule Would List All Chimps As Endangered, Even Lab Animals

Friday, June 14, 2013

This week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed a new rule that would extend "endangered species" protections to chimpanzees held in captivity. Nearly half of all the chimps in the U.S. live in research facilities, and the regulation changes would make it more difficult to use these animals ...

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Fancy Feet: Wild Cheetahs Excel At Acceleration

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Nature documentaries always go on and on about how fast a cheetah can run. Cats in captivity have been clocked at 65 miles an hour, the highest speed recorded for any land animal.

And yet, scientists know very little about how the animal runs in the wild, especially when on ...

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Why You Have To Scratch That Itch

Friday, May 24, 2013

Everybody itches. Sometimes itch serves as a useful warning signal — there's a bug on your back! But sometimes itch arises for no apparent reason, and can be a torment.

Think of the itchy skin disorder eczema, or the constant itching caused by some cancers. "A very high percentage of ...

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Why Humans Took Up Farming: They Like To Own Stuff

Monday, May 13, 2013

For decades, scientists have believed our ancestors took up farming some 12,000 years ago because it was a more efficient way of getting food. But a growing body of research suggests that wasn't the case at all.

"We know that the first farmers were shorter, they were more prone to ...

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This Bat Knows How To Drink

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Imagine it's a hot day, and you're craving some cold lemonade. Someone offers you a glass, but with one condition: You can drink it only using your tongue, with no lips touching the glass. No straw.

You might have a problem.

But many animals — bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and ...

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