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  • News

    Gene editing of human embryos yields early results

    Scientists have long sought a strategy for curing genetic diseases, but — with just a few notable exceptions — have succeeded only in their dreams. Now, though, researchers in China and Texas have taken a step toward making the fantasies a reality for all inherited diseases.

    Using the gene-editing tool known as CRISPR/Cas9, the researchers have successfully edited disease-causing...

    03/29/2017 - 11:30 Genetics, Science & Society
  • News in Brief

    Sarcasm looks the same in the brain whether it's words or emoji

    SAN FRANCISCO — Millennials, rejoice: A winking-face emoji is worth a slew of ironic words. The brain interprets irony or sarcasm conveyed by an emoji in the same way as it does verbal banter, researchers reported March 26 in San Francisco at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society’s annual meeting.

    Researchers measured brain electrical activity of college students reading sentences ending in...

    03/28/2017 - 18:36 Neuroscience
  • News

    Supermassive black hole gets kicked to the galactic curb

    A black hole weighing more than a billion suns appears to have gotten the boot toward the outer edges of its galaxy.

    Data from the Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories reveal a supermassive black hole zipping away from the center of its galaxy at a 7.5-million-kilometer-per-hour clip. It’s moving so quickly that it could leave the galaxy for good in 20 million years, says Marco...

    03/28/2017 - 15:08 Astronomy
  • For Daily Use

    Spray-on mosquito repellents are more effective than other devices

    Mosquitoes are more than an itchy nuisance. They can carry serious diseases, including Zika, West Nile, yellow fever and chikungunya. Now after testing 11 types of mosquito repellents, researchers say they’ve identified the products most effective at warding off the bloodsuckers.

    Spray-on repellents with DEET or a refined tree extract called oil of lemon eucalyptus are most likely to...

    03/28/2017 - 13:00 Health
  • Growth Curve

    Don’t put greasy Q-tips up your kid’s nose, and other nosebleed advice

    Ever since she was a baby, my older daughter has periodically endured massive nosebleeds. When she was 10 months old, I walked into her room to pick her up after her nap. There, I was greeted with a baby happily standing in what appeared to be a sea of ruby red blood. Her busy little hands had smeared blood all over the crib and wall. The sight haunts me still. 

    My daughter’s very calm...

    03/28/2017 - 07:00 Health, Human Development
  • News in Brief

    Math-anxious brains tackle simple problems differently

    SAN FRANCISCO — When faced with simple math problems, people who get jittery about the subject may rely more heavily on certain brain circuitry than math-savvy people do. The different mental approach could help explain why people with math anxiety struggle on more complicated problems, researchers reported March 25 at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society’s annual meeting.

    While in fMRI...

    03/27/2017 - 17:33 Neuroscience
  • News in Brief

    Palace remains in Mexico point to ancient rise of centralized power

    Remnants of a royal palace in southern Mexico, dating to between around 2,300 and 2,100 years ago, come from what must have been one of the Americas’ earliest large, centralized governments, researchers say.

    Excavations completed in 2014 at El Palenque uncovered a palace with separate areas where a ruler conducted affairs of state and lived with his family, say archaeologists Elsa...

    03/27/2017 - 15:10 Archaeology
  • News

    Millions of atoms entangled in record-breaking quantum tests

    In a feat of quantum one-upmanship, two teams of scientists have staked new claims of linking whopping numbers of atoms at the quantum level.

    Researchers from Geneva demonstrated quantum entanglement of 16 million atoms, smashing the previous record of about 3,000 entangled atoms (SN Online: 3/25/2015). Meanwhile, scientists from Canada and the United States used a similar technique to...

    03/27/2017 - 07:00 Quantum Physics
  • Scicurious

    Most Americans like science — and are willing to pay for it

    Americans don’t hate science. Quite the contrary. In fact, 79 percent of Americans think science has made their lives easier, a 2014 Pew Research Center survey found. More than 60 percent of people also believe that government funding for science is essential to its success.

    But should the United States spend more money on scientific research than it already does? A layperson’s answer to...

    03/24/2017 - 13:00 Science & Society
  • News

    Ancient Romans may have been cozier with Huns than they let on

    Nomadic warriors and herders known as the Huns are described in historical accounts as having instigated the fifth century fall of the Roman Empire under Attila’s leadership. But the invaders weren’t always so fierce. Sometimes they shared rather than fought with the Romans, new evidence suggests.

    Huns and farmers living around the Roman Empire’s eastern border, where the Danube River...

    03/24/2017 - 11:38 Archaeology, Anthropology