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  • News

    Dead pig brains bathed in artificial fluid showed signs of cellular life

    Scientists have restored cellular activity to pig brains hours after the animals’ death — an unprecedented feat. This revival, achieved with a sophisticated system of artificial fluid, took place four hours after the pigs’ demise at a slaughterhouse.

    “This is a huge breakthrough,” says ethicist and legal scholar Nita Farahany of Duke University, who wasn’t involved in the research. “It...

    04/17/2019 - 13:15 Neuroscience, Health
  • News in Brief

    ‘Added sugar’ food labels may prevent heart disease and diabetes

    Nutrition label changes aimed at curbing America’s sweet tooth could have a sizable payoff for public health.

    A new study projects that the updated labels, which detail the amount of sugar added to a food or drink, could help the average U.S. adult cut sugar consumption by around half a teaspoon a day. If that happens, the labeling change could prevent around 350,000 cases of...

    04/16/2019 - 14:00 Health
  • News

    People with stress disorders like PTSD are at higher risk of heart disease

    People coping with psychological trauma have a heightened risk of developing cardiovascular disease, a large-scale study finds.  

    Researchers used national health registers to identify 136,637 Swedish patients with no history of cardiovascular disease who were diagnosed with a stress-related disorder — a cluster of mental health conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder,...

    04/16/2019 - 07:00 Health, Mental Health
  • News

    U.S. measles outbreaks show no signs of slowing down

    The year has just started, but it’s already a bad one for measles. The viral disease has sickened at least 555 people in 20 states, according to numbers released April 15 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    That’s more than the 372 cases reported for all of 2018 — and it’s only April.

    If the outbreak doesn’t get under control, this year could surpass the 2014...

    04/15/2019 - 11:54 Health
  • News

    NASA’s Twins Study reveals effects of space on Scott Kelly’s health

    For nearly a year, U.S. astronauts and identical twins Scott and Mark Kelly lived lives that were as separate as Earth and space — literally. While Mark enjoyed retirement in Tucson, his brother floated in microgravity aboard the International Space Station orbiting about 400 kilometers above the planet.

    Ten science teams studied the twins’ physiology, memory abilities and genes before,...

    04/11/2019 - 15:23 Health, Physiology
  • News

    Ketamine cultivates new nerve cell connections in mice

    Ketamine banishes depression by slowly coaxing nerve cells to sprout new connections, a study of mice suggests. The finding, published in the April 12 Science, may help explain how the hallucinogenic anesthetic can ease some people’s severe depression.

    The results are timely, coming on the heels of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s March 5 approval of a nasal spray containing a...

    04/11/2019 - 14:00 Health, Neuroscience
  • The Science Life

    Chickens stand sentinel against mosquito-borne disease in Florida

    For 40 years, they’ve held the front line in Florida’s fight against mosquito-borne diseases. And it turns out that the chickens standing sentinel in cities, marshes, woodlands and residential backyards are clucking good at their job.

    Last year, chickens in 268 coops in over a third of Florida’s counties provided scientists weekly blood samples that revealed whether the birds had been...

    04/09/2019 - 15:00 Health
  • News in Brief

    A common food additive may make the flu vaccine less effective

    ORLANDO — A common food additive may make it more difficult to fight the flu.

    Vaccinated mice that got food containing the additive, tert-butylhydroquinone (tBHQ), took three days longer to recover from the flu than mice that ate tBHQ-free food. The unpublished result suggests the common additive may make flu vaccines less effective, toxicologist Robert Freeborn of Michigan State...

    04/08/2019 - 15:54 Health
  • News in Brief

    When an older person’s brain waves are in sync, memory is boosted

    Nudging an older person’s brain waves into sync temporarily boosts her recall powers. After about a half hour of precisely calibrated stimulation, people were better able to mentally juggle images seen on a screen, researchers report April 8 in Nature Neuroscience.The results are the latest example of technology that aims to improve thinking by reshaping brain waves, an approach that may...

    04/08/2019 - 11:40 Health, Neuroscience
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers seek answers to stories about shingles, Neandertal spears and more

    Life after shingles

    In “With its burning grip, shingles can do lasting damage” (SN: 3/2/19, p. 22), Aimee Cunningham described the experience of Nora Fox, a woman whose bout with shingles nearly 15 years ago left her with a painful condition called postherpetic neuralgia. Fox hadn’t found any reliable treatments, Cunningham reported.

    Fox praised Science News for our portrayal of...

    04/07/2019 - 07:00 Health, Anthropology, Earth