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E.g., 09/26/2016
E.g., 09/26/2016
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  • News

    Sugar industry sought to sugarcoat causes of heart disease

    Using records unearthed from library storage vaults, researchers recently revealed that the sugar industry paid nutrition experts from Harvard University to downplay studies linking sugar and heart disease. Although the incident happened in the 1960s, it appears to have helped redirect the scientific narrative for decades.

    The documents — which include correspondence, symposium programs...

    09/25/2016 - 09:00 Health, Science & Society, Nutrition
  • News

    Nuclear blasts, other human activity signal new epoch, group argues

    Humankind’s bombs, plastics, chickens and more have altered the planet enough to usher in a new chapter in Earth’s geologic history. That’s the majority opinion of a group of 35 experts tasked with evaluating whether the current human-dominated time span, unofficially dubbed the Anthropocene, deserves a formal place in Earth’s geologic timeline alongside the Eocene and the Pliocene.

    In a...

    09/25/2016 - 06:00 Earth, Climate, Science & Society
  • Science Ticker

    A salty sea could lurk beneath the heart of Pluto

    A salty ocean more than 100 kilometers deep might lurk beneath Pluto’s icy heart, a new study suggests. The buried reservoir could have helped tip the dwarf planet over at some point in its past, bringing the heart-shaped region in line with gravitational forces from Charon, Pluto’s largest moon.

    A subsurface ocean isn’t a new idea; researchers proposed the possibility in March to...

    09/23/2016 - 17:00 Planetary Science
  • News

    New era of human embryo gene editing begins

    A Swedish scientist is gene editing healthy human embryos, and he is probably not alone, researchers say.

    Chinese researchers have twice reported editing genes in human embryos that are unable to develop into a baby (SN Online: 4/6/16; SN Online: 4/23/15). But developmental biologist Fredrik Lanner of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm is the first researcher to publicly acknowledge...

    09/23/2016 - 16:30 Genetics, Science & Society
  • For Daily Use

    It's time to retire the five-second rule

    For some dropped foods, the five-second rule is about five seconds too long. Wet foods, such as watermelon, slurp up floor germs almost immediately, scientists report online September 2 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

    Robyn Miranda and Donald Schaffner of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., tested gummy candy, watermelon and buttered and unbuttered bread by dropping...

    09/23/2016 - 11:53 Health, Microbiology
  • News

    Narrowed plumbing lets flower survive summer cold snaps

    A summertime cold snap can, quite literally, take the bloom off the rose. Not so for Scotch heather — and now scientists know why.

    Thick cell walls and narrow plumbing in the alpine shrub’s stems stop deadly ice crystals from spreading to its fragile flowers during sudden summer freezes, researchers report September 15 in PLOS ONE. That lets the flowers survive and the plant make seeds...

    09/23/2016 - 07:00 Plants
  • News

    Endurance training leaves no memory in muscles

    Use it or lose it, triathletes.

    Muscles don’t have long-term memory for exercises like running, biking and swimming, a new study suggests. The old adage that once you’ve been in shape, it’s easier to get fit again could be a myth, at least for endurance athletes, researchers in Sweden report September 22 in PLOS Genetics.

    “We really challenged the statement that your muscles can...

    09/22/2016 - 14:21 Genetics, Cells
  • News

    Natural ally against global warming not as strong as thought

    A natural ally against global warming may provide far less aid than previously hoped.

    Researchers estimate that the planet’s soils will soak up about 40 percent less carbon by the end of the century than environmental simulations have predicted. That means the atmosphere in 2100 would hold an extra 4 ½ years’ worth of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel burning at current rates,...

    09/22/2016 - 14:09 Earth, Climate, Ecosystems
  • 50 Years Ago

    Old-school contraptions still work for weighing astronauts

    New method to measure mass in space devised — A scale for measuring weight in space that does not depend upon the attraction of gravity has been devised.... In [William Thornton’s] method, the weight of the mass is determined [by] mechanically oscillating a weight in a tray. The heavier the mass, the slower the oscillation rate. The scale is tied to an electronic unit measuring the time...

    09/22/2016 - 07:00 Astronomy
  • News

    Single exodus from Africa gave rise to today’s non-Africans

    One wave of ancient human migrants out of Africa gave rise to all non-Africans alive today, three separate genetic studies conclude.

    Those human explorers left Africa about 50,000 to 72,000 years ago, mixed with Neandertals and spread across the world, researchers report online September 21 in Nature. The studies present data from genetically diverse and previously unrepresented...

    09/21/2016 - 15:28 Genetics, Ancestry, Climate