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  • News in Brief

    Stroke victims with busy immune responses may also see mental declines

    How active a person’s immune system is soon after a stroke may be tied to later mental declines, a new study finds.

    Researchers took blood samples from 24 stroke patients up to nine times over the course of a year. Twelve of the patients also completed a mental-skills test at four points during that time. Patients who had highly active immune cells on the second day after a stroke were...

    03/12/2019 - 09:48 Health
  • 50 years ago, doctors lamented a dearth of organ donors

    Number of donors drops —

    Both laymen and surgeons have become faint-hearted about heart transplants.… The rejection and infection problems remain unsolved, and although Dr. [Denton A.] Cooley has performed the greatest number of transplants in the world, he has had to stop operating for lack of donors. — Science News, March 15, 1969

    Update

    Candidates for heart or other organ...

    03/12/2019 - 06:00 Biomedicine, Cells, Technology
  • Feature

    Nanosponges sop up toxins and help repair tissues

    To take his fledgling lab to new heights, Liangfang Zhang hatched a plan that he considered brilliant in its simplicity. It involved procedures that many of his peers found a little out there. But if he could make his idea work, it would clear a major hurdle to safely ferry therapies through the body on nanoparticles one-thousandth the width of a human hair.

    Yet back in 2010, the young...

    03/07/2019 - 07:00 Biomedicine, Technology
  • Editor's Note

    How newsy science becomes Science News

    Helping people stay up to speed on the latest advances in science is a big part of our mission at Science News. We’re aiming for sophisticated and succinct, in a way that works for readers’ busy lives. That means making tough decisions on which of the countless scientific papers being published are worthy of coverage and what breaking news has science that needs explanation and...
    03/07/2019 - 06:15 Science & Society, Health, Earth
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers have questions about Ultima Thule, thirsty plants and vitamin D

    Which way is up?

    Initial observations of the Kuiper Belt object MU69, nicknamed Ultima Thule, suggested it had a snowmanlike shape. Ultima Thule’s two lobes are connected by a narrow neck that appears brighter than the rest of the space rock’s surface, Lisa Grossman reported in “New Horizons shows Ultima Thule looks like a snowman, or maybe BB-8” (SN: 2/2/19, p. 7). 

    “The photo of...

    03/07/2019 - 06:00 Astronomy, Plants, Health
  • News in Brief

    FDA has approved the first ketamine-based antidepressant

    Doctors have a new weapon in the fight against particularly pernicious depression: a drug based on the powerful anesthetic ketamine.

    The drug — called Spravato and developed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. — was approved on March 5 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for severely depressed people who haven’t responded to two courses of other treatments. The first...

    03/06/2019 - 16:02 Health, Neuroscience
  • News

    A second HIV patient has gone into remission after a stem cell transplant

    For only the second time in recorded medical history, a man’s HIV infection has gone into remission.

    The patient — positive for the virus that causes AIDS since 2003 — had received a blood stem cell transplant in 2016 as treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system. The blood stem cells came from a donor with a mutation that makes cells resistant to an HIV infection...

    03/05/2019 - 11:37 Health
  • News

    Ripples race in the brain as memories are recalled

    Fast waves of activity ripple in the brain a half second before a person calls up a memory. The finding, published in the March 1 Science, hint that these brain waves might be a key part of a person’s ability to remember.

    The results come from a study of 14 people with epilepsy who had electrodes placed on their brains as part of their treatment. Those electrodes also allowed scientists...

    03/05/2019 - 07:00 Health, Neuroscience
  • News

    Eating a lot of fiber could improve some cancer treatments

    What you eat can affect how well immune therapies work against cancer. High-fiber diets may change gut microbes and make these therapies more effective, but taking probiotics could do the opposite.

    Researchers looked at people with melanoma skin cancer who were getting a kind of immune therapy called PD-1 blockade or checkpoint inhibition (SN: 10/27/18, p. 16). Those who ate a high-fiber...

    03/01/2019 - 12:32 Microbiology, Cancer, Immune Science
  • News

    Sleeping in on the weekend can’t make up for lost sleep

    If the weekend is your time to catch up on sleep, you may want to rethink your strategy.

    In young adults, using the weekend to make up for lost sleep during the workweek can lead to increased late-night munchies, weight gain and a lowered responsiveness to insulin, researchers report February 28 in Current Biology. 

    “The take-home message is basically that you can’t make up for...

    03/01/2019 - 07:54 Health