For nearly a year, U.S. astronauts and identical twins Scott and Mark Kelly lived lives that were as separate as Earth and space — literally. While Mark enjoyed retirement in Tucson, his brother floated in microgravity aboard the International Space Station orbiting about 400 kilometers above the planet.
Ten science teams studied the twins’ physiology, memory abilities and genes before,...
Ketamine banishes depression by slowly coaxing nerve cells to sprout new connections, a study of mice suggests. The finding, published in the April 12 Science, may help explain how the hallucinogenic anesthetic can ease some people’s severe depression.
The results are timely, coming on the heels of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s March 5 approval of a nasal spray containing a...
The Science Life
For 40 years, they’ve held the front line in Florida’s fight against mosquito-borne diseases. And it turns out that the chickens standing sentinel in cities, marshes, woodlands and residential backyards are clucking good at their job.
Last year, chickens in 268 coops in over a third of Florida’s counties provided scientists weekly blood samples that revealed whether the birds had been...
News in Brief
ORLANDO — A common food additive may make it more difficult to fight the flu.
Vaccinated mice that got food containing the additive, tert-butylhydroquinone (tBHQ), took three days longer to recover from the flu than mice that ate tBHQ-free food. The unpublished result suggests the common additive may make flu vaccines less effective, toxicologist Robert Freeborn of Michigan State...
News in Brief
Nudging an older person’s brain waves into sync temporarily boosts her recall powers. After about a half hour of precisely calibrated stimulation, people were better able to mentally juggle images seen on a screen, researchers report April 8 in Nature Neuroscience.The results are the latest example of technology that aims to improve thinking by reshaping brain waves, an approach that may...
Letters to the Editor
Life after shingles04/07/2019 - 07:00 Health, Anthropology, Earth
In “With its burning grip, shingles can do lasting damage” (SN: 3/2/19, p. 22), Aimee Cunningham described the experience of Nora Fox, a woman whose bout with shingles nearly 15 years ago left her with a painful condition called postherpetic neuralgia. Fox hadn’t found any reliable treatments, Cunningham reported.
Fox praised Science News for our portrayal of...
News in Brief
There are no teensy cups. But a urine test for wild mosquitoes has for the first time proved it can give an early warning that local pests are spreading diseases.
Mosquito traps remodeled with a pee-collecting card picked up telltale genetic traces of West Nile and two other worrisome viruses circulating in the wild, researchers in Australia report April 4 in the Journal of Medical...
Reviews & Previews
The Perfect PredatorSteffanie Strathdee and Thomas PattersonHachette Books, $28
Epidemiologist Steffanie Strathdee and her husband, Thomas Patterson, went to Egypt in 2015 expecting to come home with some photos and souvenirs. Instead, Patterson was hit with his own version of the 10 plagues.
At first, doctors in Egypt thought Patterson had pancreatitis. But his health...
Synthetic opioids outlast current antidotes. A nanoparticle-based alternative could fix that.
A newly developed single-dose opioid antidote lasts several days, a study in mice shows. If the results can be duplicated in humans, the treatment may one day help prevent overdoses from deadly drugs like fentanyl.
Normally, a dose of the opioid antidote naloxone passes through a person’s...
The physician as addict —03/28/2019 - 07:00 Health, Mental Health
The rate of drug abuse or addiction among physicians is from 30 to 100 times that of the general public.... The American Medical Association estimates that some 60,000 of the country’s 316,000 doctors misuse drugs of various kinds. The drug abuser among physicians has a predisposing personality for addiction, and suffers from overwork and fatigue. Since...