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  • News

    Antioxidants may encourage the spread of lung cancer rather than prevent it

    Antioxidants, once touted as a cancer preventive, may actually spur the disease’s spread. Now scientists have figured out how.

    Whether taken as a dietary supplement or produced by the body, antioxidants appear to help lung cancer cells invade tissues beyond the chest cavity, two studies report online June 27 in Cell. Experiments in mice and human tissue revealed that antioxidants both...

    06/27/2019 - 11:02 Cancer, Health, Genetics
  • Rethink

    Thick calluses don’t make feet any less sensitive

    The tender feet of the shoe-clad are no better at sensing the ground than the callused soles of the barefoot.

    Calluses, skin thickened by rubbing against other surfaces, would seem to offer protection at the expense of sensitivity. But that isn’t what Harvard University human evolutionary biologist Daniel Lieberman has experienced when he runs barefoot in summer.

    As Lieberman’s...

    06/26/2019 - 13:00 Health
  • News

    3-D mammograms are popular, but are they better than 2-D?

    In recent years, women getting a mammogram have had a new decision to make: 2-D or 3-D?

    Some breast-care centers have touted the newer 3-D mammography technology as more accurate. But while initial research suggests that it may be a more sensitive diagnostic test, evidence that the technology actually reduces the number of deaths from breast cancer better than 2-D imaging is lacking....

    06/24/2019 - 12:09 Health
  • News

    Gut microbes might help elite athletes boost their physical performance

    One difference between elite athletes and the rest of us might be in what hangs out in their guts.

    Microbes that flourished in the guts of some runners after a marathon boosted the time that lab mice ran on a treadmill, researchers report June 24 in Nature Medicine. These particular microbes seem to take lactate, pumped out by muscles during exercise, and turn it into a compound that may...

    06/24/2019 - 11:00 Microbes, Biomedicine, Microbiology
  • Feature

    New approaches may help solve the Lyme disease diagnosis dilemma

    In 2005, Rachel Straub was a college student returning home from a three-week medical service mission in Central America. Soon after, she suffered a brutal case of the flu. Or so she thought.

     “We were staying in orphanages,” she says of her trip to Costa Rica and Nicaragua. “There were bugs everywhere. I remember going to the bathroom and the sinks would be solid bugs.” She plucked at...

    06/23/2019 - 07:00 Biomedicine, Microbes, Immune Science
  • News in Brief

    Mice and bats’ brains sync up as they interact with their own kind

    When animals are together, their brain activity aligns. These simpatico signals, described in bats and mice, bring scientists closer to understanding brains as they normally exist — enmeshed in complex social situations.

    Researchers know that neural synchrony emerges in people who are talking, taking a class together and even watching the same movie. But scientists tend to study human...

    06/20/2019 - 11:00 Neuroscience
  • News in Brief

    Rotavirus vaccines may lower kids’ chances of getting type 1 diabetes

    The rotavirus vaccine may have an unexpected benefit: a reduced likelihood of developing type 1 diabetes.

    The vaccine is highly effective at protecting against intestinal infections caused by the virus (SN: 8/8/15, p. 5). Past work in mice prone to diabetes suggests infection with rotavirus can hasten damage to beta cells in the pancreas, the cells that are destroyed in a person with...

    06/18/2019 - 10:45 Health
  • News

    Female rats face sex bias too

    When researchers release a new finding about the brain, it’s often mice or rats who have run the mazes and taken the tests for science. People might wonder: Are rodents good substitutes for humans? Maybe for men, but what about women?

    That’s less likely, because most neuroscience experiments don’t use female rodents — a fact one scientist says comes from outdated ideas that should go...

    06/18/2019 - 08:00 Neuroscience
  • News

    Norovirus close-ups might help fight stomach flu

    Knowing your enemy is an important principle of competition, and scientists may just have become more familiar with one nasty stomach virus.

    Closeup looks at several strains of norovirus reveal that the vomit- and diarrhea-inducing virus can come in a variety of sizes, researchers report online June 10 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Knobs studding the virus’s...

    06/17/2019 - 10:00 Microbiology, Microbes, Health
  • Editor's Note

    Science hasn’t managed to span the diagnosis gap

    Star Trek’s Dr. McCoy had no problem finding out what ailed his patients. He simply waved a handheld scanner over them, and the tricorder spat out a diagnosis — even if the patient was a Romulan.

    Earthbound diagnostics haven’t yet measured up to the extragalactic version, alas. Go to the doctor, and it’s likely to take a variety of tests to come up with a diagnosis. And even then,...

    06/17/2019 - 07:00 Science & Society, Biomedicine, Immune Science