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  • News in Brief

    Secondhand smoke exposure in womb linked to eczema in childhood

    HOUSTON — Children born to mothers who were exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke during pregnancy face an elevated risk of eczema and other skin problems in childhood.Elementary school children exposed to smoke in the womb were 50 percent more likely to have any history of atopic dermatitis than unexposed kids, scientists in South Korea found using blood tests and questionnaires about prenatal...
    03/01/2015 - 08:00 Health, Immune Science, Human Development
  • News in Brief

    Iron nanoparticles snatch uranium

    Using wee balls of iron, scientists can catch radioactive fuel — hook, line and sinker.In liquid, iron nanoparticles quickly lure and encase uranium, which researchers can then reel in with a simple magnet. The method, reported online February 17 in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, could be used to sop up radioactive spills...
    02/27/2015 - 16:07 Chemistry
  • News in Brief

    Breast-feeding newborns might limit their allergy to pets later

    HOUSTON — Early breast-feeding accompanies a lower risk of pet allergy, possibly because of the way breast milk steers the composition of an infant’s gut microbe mix.Scientists find that formula-fed newborns have a kind of gut bacterium at levels typically not seen until later in babyhood. These kids also had more signs of pet allergy years later than did breast-fed children, researchers...
    02/27/2015 - 15:26 Human Development, Health, Immune Science
  • Wild Things

    Delicate spider takes down tough prey by attacking weak spots

    Like a miniature martial artist, the Loxosceles gaucho recluse spider can sneak up on a heavily armored harvestman (a type of arachnid), identify its weak spots and quickly disable its meal, a new study reveals.This species of recluse spider lives in and around Sao...
    02/27/2015 - 15:05 Animals
  • News

    Planet collisions may have rearranged crowded solar systems

    Sibling rivalries among planets can turn deadly. Families of worlds huddled close to their stars might destroy one another, leaving behind just one or two planets after the carnage. These family feuds probably erupt in planetary systems that form much differently than our own, though it’s possible our solar system suffered similar growing pains.Many multiplanet systems discovered by the Kepler...
    02/27/2015 - 12:39 Exoplanets, Astronomy
  • Science Ticker

    Superfast evolution observed in soil bacteria

    You can take the flagella out of the bacteria, but you can’t take the flagella out of the bacteria’s genetic arsenal.By deleting a gene that controls flagella growth, Tiffany Taylor of the University of Reading in England and colleagues engineered the soil bacteria Pseudomonas fluorescens so they lacked their tiny tails. Bacteria that can move around and find food are more likely to...
    02/27/2015 - 09:00 Evolution, Microbiology
  • News in Brief

    Coastal Los Angeles losing fog to urban sprawl

    Morning fog along parts of coastal Southern California is disappearing due to nearby urbanization, new research suggests.Since 1948, fog frequency has plummeted 63 percent in the Los Angeles area, bioclimatologist A. Park Williams of Columbia University and colleagues report in a paper to be published in ...
    02/27/2015 - 08:00 Climate
  • Science Ticker

    CDC panel gives thumbs up to vaccine against nine HPV types

    A federal vaccine advisory committee voted February 26 to recommend use of an expanded version of the human papillomavirus shot marketed as Gardasil.The move, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, clears the way for the broader-coverage vaccine, called Gardasil 9, to be used in the clinic. Current vaccines offer protection against up to...
    02/26/2015 - 18:44 Health, Science & Society
  • Growth Curve

    A little tablet time probably won’t fry a toddler’s brain

    Laura Sanders is away on maternity leave.Give a toddler an iPhone and 10 minutes, and she’ll take at least 50 selfies and buy a car on eBay. Give her an iPad, and she’ll stumble upon decidedly non-kid-friendly episodes of Breaking Bad.With smartphones and tablets, children are exposed to an unprecedented amount of screen...
    02/26/2015 - 16:00 Human Development, Neuroscience
  • Science Ticker

    Mysterious bright spot on Ceres has a partner

    An enigmatic bright patch on the dwarf planet Ceres, the largest body between Mars and Jupiter, has a dimmer companion in the same basin. The duo, seen in an image from the Dawn spacecraft when it was about 46,000 kilometers from Ceres, could be a sign of...
    02/26/2015 - 14:45 Planetary Science