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  • Feature

    How to make organ transplants last

    Trent Jackson’s life changed abruptly in early 2015. The computer engineer thought he had the flu. His then-wife, Donna Sylvia, thought differently. His skin was turning a dark golden yellow, almost brown, “like he was getting some kind of weird tan,” she says. On Wednesday, January 28, Sylvia and Jackson’s brother Todd finally persuaded Jackson to see a doctor.

    Sylvia’s suspicions were...

    10/21/2018 - 05:00 Immune Science, Cells, Clinical Trials
  • News

    DNA differences are linked to having same-sex sexual partners

    SAN DIEGO — For some people, choosing a same-sex partner may be in their DNA.

    In a large study of more than 490,000 men and women in the United States, United Kingdom and Sweden, researchers discovered four genetic variants that occur more often in people who indicated on questionnaires that they had had same-sex sexual partners. Andrea Ganna, a geneticist at the Broad Institute of MIT...

    10/20/2018 - 10:32 Genetics
  • News

    New therapies pack a triple-drug punch to treat cystic fibrosis

    For years, scientists have struggled to find a therapy that works for most cystic fibrosis sufferers. Now, two new triple-drug approaches, still undergoing testing, are offering hope.

    Cystic fibrosis is caused by mutations in a gene called CFTR. These mutations mean the body either makes defective versions of a protein, also called CFTR, or none of the protein at all. The new therapies...

    10/19/2018 - 12:39 Health, Clinical Trials
  • News

    In a first, scientists spot what may be lungs in an ancient bird fossil

    ALBUQUERQUE — Fossilized lungs found preserved along with an ancient bird may breathe new life into studies of early avian respiration. If confirmed as lungs, the find marks the first time that researchers have spotted the respiratory organs in a bird fossil.

    Scientists have previously described four fossils of Archaeorhynchus spathula, an early beaked and feathered bird that lived about...

    10/19/2018 - 12:13 Paleontology
  • 50 years ago, the safety of artificial sweeteners was fiercely debated

    Safety challenged —

    Americans consume 8,000 tons of artificial sweeteners every year …confident that the chemical sweeteners are safe. Manufacturers insist that they are; the sugar industry … insists they are not.… [B]oth camps swamped FDA with detailed evidence pro and con. — Science News, October 26, 1968

    Update

    Let’s not sugarcoat it: The debate isn’t over. Fifty years ago,...

    10/19/2018 - 06:00 Nutrition, Health, Microbiology
  • News

    Artificial intelligence crowdsources data to speed up drug discovery

    A new cryptographic system could allow pharmaceutical companies and academic labs to work together to develop new medications more quickly — without revealing any confidential data to their competitors.

    The centerpiece of this computing system is an artificial intelligence program known as a neural network. The AI studies information about which drugs interact with various proteins in...

    10/18/2018 - 14:00 Artificial Intelligence, Biomedicine, Technology
  • News in Brief

    More tornadoes are popping up east of the Mississippi

    Twisters are twirling away from Tornado Alley.

    From 1979 to 2017, annual tornado frequency slightly decreased over the region, which stretches across the central and southern Great Plains of the United States, a study finds. Conversely, a higher number of storms touched down in areas east of the Mississippi River over the same period, researchers report October 17 in npj Climate and...

    10/18/2018 - 10:56 Climate
  • News

    The water system that helped Angkor rise may have also brought its fall

    At the medieval city of Angkor, flooding after decades of scant rainfall triggered a devastating breakdown of the largest water system in the preindustrial world, new evidence suggests.

    Intense monsoon rains bracketed by decades of drought in the 1400s set off a chain reaction of failures in Angkor’s interconnected water network, computer simulations indicate. The climate-induced...

    10/17/2018 - 14:00 Archaeology, Climate, Sustainability
  • News

    These ancient mounds may not be the earliest fossils on Earth after all

    Tiny mounds touted as the earliest fossilized evidence of life on Earth may just be twisted rock.

    Found in 3.7-billion-year-old rocks in Greenland, the mounds strongly resemble cone-shaped microbial mats called stromatolites, researchers reported in 2016. But a new analysis of the shape, internal layers and chemistry of the structures suggests that the mounds weren’t shaped by microbes...

    10/17/2018 - 13:00 Earth, Paleontology, Microbes
  • News

    What the electron’s near-perfect roundness means for new physics

    Electrons are still almost perfectly round, a new measurement shows. A more squished shape could hint at the presence of never-before-seen subatomic particles, so the result stymies the search for new physics.

    The electron gets its shape from the way that positive and negative charges are distributed inside the particle. The best theory for how particles behave, called the standard model...

    10/17/2018 - 13:00 Particle Physics