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  • 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
  • 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

    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 in Brief

    Messing with fruit flies’ gut bacteria turns them into speed walkers

    Researchers have found a new link between gut and brain.

    By signaling to nerve cells in the brain, certain microbes in the gut slow a fruit fly’s walking pace, scientists report. Fruit flies missing those microbes — and that signal — turn into hyperactive speed walkers.

    With the normal suite of gut microbes, Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies on foot cover an average of about 2.4...

    10/24/2018 - 13:00 Neuroscience
  • News

    To unravel autism’s mysteries, one neuroscientist looks at the developing brain

    WASHINGTON — As the number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder increases, so too has research on the complex and poorly understood disorder. With powerful genetic tools, advanced brain-imaging methods and large groups of children to study, the field is poised to make big contributions in understanding — and potentially treating — autism.

    Neuroscientist Kevin Pelphrey, who...

    10/16/2018 - 12:00 Neuroscience
  • News in Brief

    People who have a good sense of smell are also good navigators

    We may truly be led by our noses. A sense of smell and a sense of navigation are linked in our brains, scientists propose.

    Neuroscientist Louisa Dahmani and colleagues asked 57 young people to navigate through a virtual town on a computer screen before being tested on how well they could get from one spot to another. The same young people’s smelling abilities were also scrutinized. After...

    10/16/2018 - 10:59 Neuroscience
  • News

    How your brain is like a film editor

    The brain’s hippocampi may be the film editors of our lives, slicing our continuous experiences into discrete cuts that can be stored away as memories. That’s the idea raised by a new study that analyzed brain scan data from people watching films such as Forrest Gump.

    “Research like this helps us identify ‘What is an event, from the point of view of the brain?’ ” says memory psychologist...

    10/08/2018 - 13:00 Neuroscience
  • News

    Survey raises worries about how screen time affects kids’ brains

    Nearly two out of three U.S. kids spend more than two hours a day looking at screens, a new analysis of activity levels finds. And those children perform worse on memory, language and thinking tests than kids who spend less time in front of a device, the study of over 4,500 8- to 11-year-olds shows.

    The finding, published online September 26 in Lancet Child & Adolescent Health,...

    09/26/2018 - 18:40 Neuroscience
  • News

    A paralyzed man makes great strides with spinal stimulation and rehab

    With the help of a spine stimulator and intensive training, a formerly paralyzed man can command his legs to step again. This achievement, described online September 24 in Nature Medicine, inches researchers closer to restoring movement to paraplegic people.

    The therapy allows 29-year-old Jered Chinnock to control his leg movements with his thoughts. “This is highly significant,” study...

    09/24/2018 - 14:41 Neuroscience
  • News

    Over-the-hill cells may cause trouble in the aging brain

    Cells past their prime may have a role in dementia. Culling these cells protected the brains of mice that were otherwise destined for brain decline, a new study finds.

    Senescent cells, which accumulate with age, are still alive but in a state of suspended animation — they stop doing their jobs and they stop dividing. Getting rid of these cells in the body extends the life spans of mice...

    09/19/2018 - 13:00 Neuroscience