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  • Science Visualized

    ‘Brainbow’ illuminates cellular connections

    A mouse’s optic nerve glows in a rainbow of colors in the micrograph above.


    05/04/2015 - 09:30 Genetics, Cells
  • News

    Sugar-cleaving molecule raises hope for universal blood

    By tweaking an enzyme borrowed from a bacterium, researchers have taken a step closer to creating blood that is safe for transfusing to all people, regardless of their blood type — A, B, AB or O.

    Compared with the unaltered enzyme, designated Sp3GH98, the engineered version is 170 times faster at chopping apart certain sugar-based markers found on blood cells,...

    05/04/2015 - 07:00 Chemistry, Biomedicine
  • News

    Gene therapy for blindness dims a bit

    Gene therapy for a rare form of inherited blindness improves sight temporarily but can’t yet save vision cells from dying.

    Light-gathering rod and cone cells continued to die in the retinas of three people despite gene therapy to correct Leber congenital amaurosis, researchers report online May 3 in the New England Journal of...

    05/03/2015 - 17:15 Genetics, Biomedicine
  • Reviews & Previews

    Research can't be right with 'Statistics Done Wrong'

    05/03/2015 - 16:00 Numbers
  • Film

    ‘Ex Machina’ explores humanity as much as AI

    The Turing test features prominently in Alex Garland’s new film Ex Machina, but this is no meditation on computer science. It’s not even, ultimately, about artificial intelligence. The movie instead explores humans: the Frankenstein-like hubris involved in creating artificial beings; the power relationships between employee and boss, parent...

    05/02/2015 - 10:00 Robotics, Technology, Science & Society
  • News

    Zipping to Mars could badly zap brain nerve cells

    Like cannonballs slamming into stained glass, high-energy particles can shatter the delicate tendrils that connect nerve cells, a study on mice finds. This neural destruction left mice with memory and learning problems, a finding that has implications for intrepid space explorers.

    The result is “worrisome, very worrisome,” says neuroscientist M. Kerry O’Banion of the University of...

    05/01/2015 - 14:00 Neuroscience, Particle Physics
  • News

    Tiny particles propel themselves upstream

    View the video

    Human-made microbeads don’t always go with the flow.

    Under certain conditions, the artificial particles can align themselves with a fluid’s flow and then swim upstream, researchers report May 1 in Science Advances. These particles represent a small step toward making more...

    05/01/2015 - 14:00 Physics, Condensed Matter
  • It's Alive

    How slow plants make ridiculous seeds

    The secret behind the world’s largest seed and its sexually extravagant plant is good gutters.

    A prodigy among those seeds can weigh as much as 18 kilograms, about the weight of a 4-year-old boy. Yet the plant that outdoes the rest of the botanical world in the heft of its seed manages with below-poverty nutrition. Coco-de-mer palms (Lodoicea maldivica) are native to two islands...

    05/01/2015 - 13:10 Plants, Evolution, Conservation
  • Wild Things

    Lazy sunfish are actually active predators

    If you spot an ocean sunfish (Mola mola) near the surface of the water, you might be amazed by its size. These are, after all, the biggest of all the teleost fish (the group of ray-finned fishes that includes many of the species we like to eat), and...

    05/01/2015 - 07:00 Animals, Oceans
  • Science Ticker

    Beetle’s toxic, explosive vapor explained

    With a hot, mighty blast from the rear, bombardier beetles ward off predators with a harmful spray. And now scientists understand how the insects fire off the harmful fog.

    Using X-ray imaging, scientists monitored a two-chambered gland in the beetle’s rump. There, a chemical cocktail trickles from a reservoir chamber into a reaction chamber through a valve. In the reaction chamber, the...

    04/30/2015 - 18:10 Animals