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  • Growth Curve

    Drugs for reflux disease in infants may come with unintended consequences

    When my girls were newborns, I spent a lot of time damp. Fluids were everywhere, some worse than others. One of the main contributors was milk, which, in various stages of digestion, came back to haunt me in a sloppy trail down my back.

    I was sometimes alarmed at the volume of fluid that came flying out of my tiny babies. And I remember asking our pediatrician if it was a problem. We...

    05/24/2017 - 07:00 Health, Child Development
  • Growth Curve

    Toddlers’ screen time linked to speech delays and lost sleep, but questions remain

    One of the most pressing and perplexing questions parents have to answer is what to do about screen time for little ones. Even scientists and doctors are stumped. That’s because no one knows how digital media such as smartphones, iPads and other screens affect children.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recently put out guidelines, but that advice was based on a frustratingly slim body of...

    05/12/2017 - 09:00 Child Development, Guidelines
  • News

    Epigenetic marks may help assess toxic exposure risk — someday

    Nearly everything people do, eat or come into contact with can change them in little ways — sometimes with big consequences. Exposure to some chemicals can damage DNA, leading to cancer and other problems. Other molecular changes—chemical tags added to DNA or to proteins called histones — may affect health without injuring DNA.

    There are more than 100 varieties of these chemical tags,...

    12/09/2016 - 06:00 Epigenetics, Toxicology
  • News

    Wanted: New ways to chill air conditioners, fridges

    The hunt is on for chemicals to keep both you and the planet cool.

    A new agreement will soon begin phasing out the powerful greenhouse gases currently used in air conditioners, refrigerators and insulating foams. These gases, called hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, can cause hundreds of times more global warming per molecule than carbon dioxide. The phaseout, announced by world leaders on...

    10/25/2016 - 09:00 Climate, Chemistry, Science & Society
  • Feature

    Reef rehab could help threatened corals make a comeback

    Coral reefs are bustling cities beneath tropical, sunlit waves. Thousands of colorful creatures click, dash and dart, as loud and fast-paced as citizens of any metropolis.

    Built up in tissue-thin layers over millennia, corals are the high-rise apartments of underwater Gotham. Calcium carbonate skeletons represent generations of tiny invertebrate animals, covered in a living layer of...

    10/18/2016 - 05:30 Oceans, Conservation
  • 50 Years Ago

    50 years ago, noise was a nuisance (it still is)

    Noise Menace Threatens Man — Noise, forever bombarding urban and suburban man, is becoming an increasing menace to his psychological and physical well-being. Little cars with oversized engines, enormous trucks, sirens, construction projects and jet planes are exacting high prices in frazzled nerves, fatigue and poor hearing. — Science News, October 15, 1966 

    UPDATE

    Concerns about sounds...

    10/09/2016 - 08:00 Health, Pollution
  • Wild Things

    Pup kidnapping has a happy ending when a seal gets two moms

    On December 3, 2000, at Cape Shirreff, near the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, a female Antarctic fur seal experienced a personal tragedy: She gave birth to a dead male pup. For the next day or so, the seal, numbered “12” by scientists watching her group, nuzzled her baby and vocalized to him.

    Nearby on December 4, another female, No. 29, gave birth to a live male pup. But soon she, too...

    07/29/2016 - 12:48 Animals, Oceans
  • Science Ticker

    40 years ago, Viking 1 pioneered U.S. exploration on Mars

    Happy 40th anniversary, Viking 1! Four decades ago — July 20, 1976 — the robotic probe became the first U.S. mission to land on Mars. Its sister spacecraft, Viking 2, touched down 45 days later.

    Launched August 20, 1975, Viking 1 spent over 6 years snapping pictures and studying the soil at its landing site, an ancient crater named Chryse Planitia. An experiment to look for Martian...

    07/20/2016 - 07:00 Planetary Science
  • Wild Things

    That ‘Dory’ for sale may have been poisoned with cyanide

    In the years after the animated movie Finding Nemo was released by Pixar in 2003, sales of clownfish spiked as fans, little and big, rushed to buy their own “Nemo.” So many Nemos were purchased that the sales actually depleted some wild stocks of the fish. Pressure on those wild populations has since dropped, thanks to efforts to increase captive clownfish breeding. But now there are worries...

    06/16/2016 - 15:00 Animals, Conservation
  • Wild Things

    Vultures are vulnerable to extinction

    Vultures are the birds everyone loves to hate. Even though you have nothing to fear from them — unless you’re dead — vultures’ steady diet of carrion will gross most people out. That diet may also be responsible for the birds’ quick and steep declines around the globe, a new study shows.

    It’s not the dead bodies that are killing vultures, though. It’s the poisons with which humans have...

    05/11/2016 - 08:36 Animals