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E.g., 11/18/2018
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  • News

    Loneliness is bad for brains

    SAN DIEGO — Mice yanked out of their community and held in solitary isolation show signs of brain damage.

    After a month of being alone, the mice had smaller nerve cells in certain parts of the brain. Other brain changes followed, scientists reported at a news briefing November 4 at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

    It’s not known whether similar damage happens in...

    11/06/2018 - 06:00 Neuroscience
  • Feature

    Malaysia is ground zero for the next malaria menace

    Vinita Surukan knew the mosquitoes were trouble. They attacked her in swarms, biting through her clothes as she worked to collect rubber tree sap near her village in Sabah, the northern state of Malaysia. The 30-year-old woman described the situation as nearly unbearable. But she needed the job.

    There were few alternatives in her village surrounded by fragments of forest reserves and...

    11/04/2018 - 07:00 Health, Animals
  • Editor's Note

    Screen time to heal, and perhaps to harm

    In any given year, nearly 20 percent of U.S. adults, more than 40 million people, have to contend with a mental illness. Getting treatment is often a struggle; fewer than half of those affected get any sort of care, which can be especially hard to find in rural and underserved communities.

    Virtual reality may seem like the least likely technology to address the lack of mental health...

    11/04/2018 - 06:15 Science & Society, Technology, Neuroscience
  • Letters to the Editor

    Questions about toxic red tides, and more reader feedback

    Hot stuff

    A new material that converts sunlight into heat could someday melt ice off airplane wings, wind turbines and rooftops, Maria Temming reported in “A new material harnesses light to deice surfaces” (SN: 9/29/18, p. 17).

    “What happens when the object (such as an airplane wing) to which the material has been applied is subjected to the sun on a hot summer day?” asked online...

    11/04/2018 - 06:00 Materials, Health, Physics
  • News in Brief

    Neandertal teeth reveal the earliest known signs of lead exposure

    Traces of lead found in the molars of two young Neandertals found in southeast France provide the earliest recorded evidence of lead exposure in hominids.

    Like tiny time capsules, chemical signatures in the 250,000-year-old chompers chronicle specific times — mostly during the winter months — when the two individuals were exposed to the element as children, researchers report online...

    11/02/2018 - 10:56 Anthropology, Evolution, Health
  • Feature

    Virtual reality therapy has real-life benefits for some mental disorders

    Edwin adjusted his headset and gripped the game controller in both hands. He swallowed hard. The man had good reason to be nervous. He was about to enter a virtual environment tailor-made to get his heart pumping way more than any action-packed video game: a coffee shop full of people.

    Determined to overcome his persistent fear that other people want to hurt him, Edwin had enrolled in a...

    11/01/2018 - 08:24 Technology, Mental Health
  • News

    Stimulating the spinal cord helps 3 more paralyzed people walk

    Paralysis is becoming less permanent — at least for some.

    There’s now more evidence that stimulating the spinal cord can restore voluntary movement in paralyzed patients who haven’t recovered after other treatments. After five months of training coupled with targeted stimulation of nerve cells in the spinal cord, three people who had a severe spinal cord injury regained the ability to...

    10/31/2018 - 14:48 Neuroscience
  • News

    The appendix is implicated in Parkinson’s disease

    The appendix, a once-dismissed organ now known to play a role in the immune system, may contribute to a person’s chances of developing Parkinson’s disease.           

    An analysis of data from nearly 1.7 million Swedes found that those who’d had their appendix removed had a lower overall risk of Parkinson’s disease. Also, samples of appendix tissue from healthy individuals revealed...

    10/31/2018 - 14:00 Health
  • News

    Young people’s memories improved when they stopped using marijuana

    Taking a monthlong break from pot helps clear away young people’s memory fog, a small study suggests. The results show that not only does marijuana impair teenagers’ and young adults’ abilities to take in information, but that this memory muddling may be reversible.

    Scientists have struggled to find clear answers about how marijuana affects the developing brain, in part because it’s...

    10/30/2018 - 13:00 Neuroscience
  • News

    What the approval of the new flu drug Xofluza means for you

    There’s a new flu drug on the shelf, the first in 20 years to get a thumbs-up from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

    On October 24, the agency approved the use of the new antiviral drug, called baloxavir marboxil and sold under the brand name Xofluza. The drug, already available in Japan, works differently to kill the influenza virus from the other main class of flu antivirals,...

    10/26/2018 - 17:57 Health