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E.g., 10/21/2017
E.g., 10/21/2017
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  • News in Brief

    Pollution killed 9 million people in 2015

    About one in every six premature deaths worldwide is linked to dirty air, water and soil.

    Most of those deaths are concentrated among the world’s poorest populations, according to a study published online October 19 in the Lancet that documents the health and economic toll of pollution in 2015. In the most severely polluted countries, 25 percent of premature deaths could be attributed to...

    10/20/2017 - 17:50 Pollution, Health
  • Science Ticker

    Dawn spacecraft will keep orbiting the dwarf planet Ceres indefinitely

    It’s a new day for the Dawn spacecraft. The NASA spacecraft, which has been orbiting the dwarf planet Ceres since 2015, just got its final marching orders: Keep orbiting Ceres indefinitely.

    The extension, which NASA announced October 19, will be the second time Dawn’s mission at Ceres has been renewed. It means Dawn will still be in orbit when Ceres makes its closest approach to the sun...

    10/20/2017 - 15:15 Astronomy, Planetary Science
  • News

    Scientists battle over whether violence has declined over time

    Contrary to a popular idea among researchers, modern states haven’t dulled people’s long-standing taste for killing each other in battle, a controversial new study concludes. But living in a heavily populated society may up one’s odds of surviving a war, two anthropologists propose.

    As a population grows, larger numbers of combatants die in wars, but those slain represent a smaller...

    10/20/2017 - 09:00 Anthropology, Human Evolution
  • Reviews & Previews

    Resurrecting extinct species raises ethical questions

    Rise of the NecrofaunaBritt WrayGreystone Books, $26.95

    A theme park populated with re-created dinosaurs is fiction. But if a handful of dedicated scientists have their way, a park with woolly mammoths, passenger pigeons and other “de-extincted” animals could become reality.

    In Rise of the Necrofauna, writer and radio broadcaster Britt Wray presents a comprehensive look at...

    10/20/2017 - 07:00 Genetics, Animals, Science & Society
  • News

    Doubling up on ‘junk DNA’ helps make us human

    ORLANDO — Doubling up on some DNA may have helped make humans human — including giving us uniquely human diseases.

    DNA that doesn’t produce proteins may be especially important for creating differences between humans and other primates, biochemist Paulina Carmona-Mora reported October 18 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics.

    Carmona-Mora and colleagues in...

    10/19/2017 - 18:18 Genetics
  • News in Brief

    Laws to protect athletes’ brains do reduce concussions — eventually

    To guard against the dangers of concussions, by 2014, all 50 states and the District of Columbia had enacted laws to protect young athletes. More than 2½ years after these laws went on the books, repeat concussions began to decline among high school athletes, researchers report online October 19 in the American Journal of Public Health.

    Researchers reviewed concussion data from 2005 to...

    10/19/2017 - 17:11 Health, Mental Health
  • News

    The next wave of bird flu could be worse than ever

    A new version of the H7N9 avian influenza virus might be able to cause widespread infection and should be closely monitored, scientists say, although it currently doesn’t spread easily between people.

    Researchers isolated the virus from a fatal human case and tested it and two genetically modified versions in ferrets, which are susceptible to both human and bird flu viruses. The tested...

    10/19/2017 - 14:33 Immune Science, Health
  • 50 years ago, engineers tried catching commercial planes in nets

    Net to halt runaway airliners

    A gigantic emergency arresting gear system, capable of stopping the largest four-engined jet aircraft without discomfort to passengers, is being developed for the French Ministry of Transportation. The system consists of a nylon net … which engages the aircraft for the full width of its wingspan. Net and airplane are brought to a slow stop by energy...

    10/19/2017 - 07:00 Technology
  • News

    The physics of mosquito takeoffs shows why you don’t feel a thing

    View the video

    Discovering an itchy welt is often a sign you have been duped by one of Earth’s sneakiest creatures — the mosquito.

    Scientists have puzzled over how the insects, often laden with two or three times their weight in blood, manage to flee undetected. At least one species of mosquito — Anopheles coluzzii — does so by relying more on lift from its wings than push from its...

    10/18/2017 - 18:00 Biophysics, Animals
  • News

    Animal study reveals how a fever early in pregnancy can cause birth defects

    Certain birth defects of the face and heart can occur when babies’ mothers have a fever during the first trimester of pregnancy, a crucial time in an embryo’s development. Now scientists have figured out the molecular players that make it so.  

    In an experiment with chicken embryos, a temporary rise in incubation temperature — meant to mimic feverlike conditions — was enough to produce...

    10/18/2017 - 14:00 Health, Human Development