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E.g., 10/21/2017
E.g., 10/21/2017
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  • Feature

    KC Huang probes basic questions of bacterial life

    KC Huang, 38PhysicistStanford University

    Physicists often ponder small things, but probably not the ones on Kerwyn Casey “KC” Huang’s mind. He wants to know what it’s like to be a bacterium.

    “My motivating questions are about understanding the physical challenges bacterial cells face,” he says. Bacteria are the dominant life-forms on Earth. They affect the health of plants and animals,...

    10/04/2017 - 13:50 Microbiology, Biophysics
  • Feature

    Lena Pernas sees parasitic infection as a kind of Hunger Games

    Lena Pernas, 30ParasitologistUniversity of Padova

    Lena Pernas’ love of parasites began in childhood, when she was plagued with many virtual infections. One of her favorite pastimes as a 9-year-old was playing The Amazon Trail, an educational computer game set near the South American river. One of the dangers players could encounter was malaria, “and I got malaria a lot,” Pernas says. This...

    10/04/2017 - 13:47 Microbiology, Microbes
  • Feature

    Christina Warinner uncovers ancient tales in dental plaque

    Christina Warinner, 37Molecular anthropologistUniversity of OklahomaMax Planck Institute for theScience of Human History

    In a pitch-black rainforest with fluttering moths and crawling centipedes, Christina Warinner dug up her first skeleton. Well, technically it was a full skeleton plus two headless ones, all seated and draped in ornate jewelry. To deter looters, she excavated through the night...

    10/04/2017 - 13:45 Anthropology, Genetics, Archaeology
  • Feature

    Luhan Yang strives to make pig organs safe for human transplants

    Luhan Yang, 31BiologisteGenesis

    Biologist Luhan Yang dreams of pig organs that will one day fly — into people. If she has her way, animal farms will raise herds of bioengineered pigs, designed to produce kidneys, livers and other organs that could be transplanted into humans. Animal parts would slip seamlessly into people, easing their suffering.

    “There are millions of patients worldwide...

    10/04/2017 - 13:44 Biomedicine, Cells, Genetics
  • News

    Cracking the body clock code wins trio a Nobel Prize

    Discoveries about the molecular ups and downs of fruit flies’ daily lives have won Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine.

    These three Americans were honored October 2 by the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm for their work in discovering important gears in the circadian clocks of animals. The trio will...

    10/02/2017 - 17:22 Physiology, Genetics, Cells
  • Science Ticker

    Body clock mechanics wins U.S. trio the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine

    Discoveries about the clocklike ups and downs of daily life have won Jeffery C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine.

    Circadian rhythms are daily cycles of hormones, gene activity and other biological processes that govern sleep, body temperature and metabolism. When thrown out of whack, there can be serious health consequences, including...

    10/02/2017 - 06:41 Physiology, Biomedicine
  • News

    A mutation may explain the sudden rise in birth defects from Zika

    A single genetic mutation made the Zika virus far more dangerous by enhancing its ability to kill nerve cells in developing brains, a new study suggests.

    The small change — which tweaks just one amino acid in a protein that helps Zika exit cells — may cause microcephaly, researchers report September 28 in Science. The mutation arose around May 2013, shortly before a Zika outbreak in...

    09/28/2017 - 14:00 Genetics, Microbiology, Health
  • News

    Ancient boy’s DNA pushes back date of earliest humans

    A boy who lived in what’s now South Africa nearly 2,000 years ago has lent a helping genome to science. Using the long-gone youngster’s genetic instruction book, scientists have estimated that humans emerged as a distinct population earlier than typically thought, between 350,000 and 260,000 years ago.

    The trick was retrieving a complete version of the ancient boy’s DNA from his skeleton...

    09/28/2017 - 14:00 Genetics, Anthropology, Human Evolution
  • News

    Gene variant linked to Alzheimer’s disease is a triple threat

    A genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease is a double, make that triple, whammy.

    In addition to speeding up the development of brain plaques associated with Alzheimer’s, a gene variant known as APOE4 also makes tau tangles — another signature of the disease — worse, researchers report online September 20 in Nature. APOE4 protein also ramps up brain inflammation that kills brain cells...

    09/22/2017 - 09:00 Neuroscience, Genetics, Cells
  • News

    By ganging up, HIV antibodies may defeat the virus

    For certain HIV antibodies, having a buddy or two makes a big difference in the fight against the virus.

    Combining the antibodies, called broadly neutralizing antibodies, may stop more strains of HIV than any single one can do alone, two new studies suggest. A “triple-threat” antibody molecule can bind to three different spots on the virus, researchers report online September 20 in...

    09/20/2017 - 14:30 Biomedicine, Immune Science