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  • News

    Air pollutants enter body through skin

    For some toxic air pollutants, more can get into the body through the skin than via breathing, new human data indicate.

    The natural assumption is that inhalation is the primary route by which air pollutants invade the body. Each breath delivers those chemicals to the blood, which courses through the lungs’ tiniest airways. But the body’s biggest organ is the skin, and recent studies show...

    10/13/2015 - 07:00 Pollution, Toxicology
  • News

    Gene editing makes pigs safer for human transplants

    Recently developed methods for editing genes could make pig organs safe for human transplant.

    Pig organs have not been used for transplant partly because they carry viruses that could infect people. Harvard researchers report October 11 in Science that they have used a powerful gene-editing tool to...

    10/12/2015 - 16:38 Genetics
  • Science Ticker

    Surface spills near fracking sites implicated in water contamination

    Chemicals used in fossil fuel extraction appear to be creeping into drinking water from above.

    In private wells near hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” sites in northeastern Pennsylvania, researchers identified trace amounts of chemicals similar to those found in gasoline and diesel. Fluids pumped into the ground...

    10/12/2015 - 15:00 Earth, Pollution
  • Wild Things

    Ecotourism could bring new dangers to animals

    Ecotourism seems like it should be a win-win. Visitors get to experience exciting, often exotic locales and see creatures in their natural habitats. The money raised through these visits goes to local communities and to preserving ecosystems.

    But what if nature tourism is hurting the very animals we want to protect?

    Benjamin Geffroy of the Federal University of Mato Grasso in...

    10/12/2015 - 07:00 Animals
  • Growth Curve

    Why kids look funny when they run

    View the video

    My 2-year-old daughter loves to run, and I love to watch her. She propels her little body forward with gusto, creating a hilarious vision of bobbly legs swinging out, head bouncing high and a jiggly smile. Her wild movements definitely get her from place to place, but they don’t yet resemble the smooth, controlled gait of an adult runner.


    10/11/2015 - 07:00 Human Development
  • News

    Future quantum computing could exploit old technology

    Silicon transistors have been converted into the basic components of a quantum computer.

    Using modified versions of transistors used in smartphones, tablets and desktop computers, Australian engineers have built the first quantum logic gate in silicon for performing quantum computations. The gate, described October 5 in Nature...

    10/09/2015 - 14:17 Quantum Physics, Computing
  • News

    Oxygen in Black Sea has declined by more than a third since 1955

    The Black Sea’s toxic underside is approaching the surface, new research finds.

    Comparing measurements collected from 1955 through 2013, researchers discovered that the sea’s oxygen-rich top layer shrank by more than a third from 140 meters to 90 meters deep. That oxygenated layer supports a marine ecosystem and separates the atmosphere from the world’s largest reservoir of poisonous...

    10/09/2015 - 11:28 Oceans, Climate
  • Science Ticker

    Jumping conchs triumph at overheated athletics

    Conchs famed for one-footed jumping can beat many fishes at oxygenating athletic performance at high temperatures.

    Hunchbacked conchs (Gibberulus gibberulus gibbosus) can jump away if they sniff a predatory cone snail creeping near. But signs are mixed on how climate change will affect conch athletics. In the lab, conchs collected from the Great Barrier Reef...

    10/09/2015 - 08:32 Animals, Climate
  • News

    Chemical tags on DNA appear to differ between gay and straight men

    BALTIMORE — Molecular tests may be able to distinguish homosexual from heterosexual men, a small study of twins suggests.

    Chemical modifications to DNA that change the activity of genes without changing the genes’ information differ between homosexual and heterosexual men, researchers from UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine have discovered. Results of the unpublished study on the link...

    10/08/2015 - 17:27 Genetics, Epigenetics
  • Science Ticker

    Widespread coral bleaching threatens world’s reefs

    Corals across the globe are experiencing widespread bleaching from high ocean temperatures, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration states in its latest Coral Watch Report. Stressful conditions in the Pacific and Caribbean...

    10/08/2015 - 16:57 Oceans, Animals, Ecosystems