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  • 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
  • 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 four...
    02/26/2015 - 18:44 Health, Science & Society
  • News

    Additives that keep foods fresh may sour in the gut

    Food additives may keep snacks fresh and tasty looking, but they can wreak havoc on the gut. These additives disrupt the intestine’s protection from bacteria and boost inflammation in mice, scientists report online February 25 in Nature.The new research “underscores the fact that a lot of things we eat … may not be as safe as we think...
    02/25/2015 - 13:00 Health, Microbiology, Immune Science
  • Wild Things

    Where an ant goes when it's gotta go

    Most of us think ants are unsanitary; it certainly seems that way when they’ve invaded our homes. But scientists have spotted ant behaviors that show that the insects are cleaner than you might think. Some ant species are known to form “kitchen middens” outside their nests, full of waste and fecal material. And in some species of ...
    02/24/2015 - 12:17 Animals
  • Feature

    For athletes, antioxidant pills may not help performance

    In the fickle world of sports nutrition fads, few trends have shown the staying power of antioxidants. For more than three decades, athletes have remained devoted fans of supplements; the American College of Sports Medicine estimates that around half of elite athletes take vitamins in hopes of keeping...
    02/24/2015 - 12:00 Health, Physiology, Nutrition
  • News

    Early peanut exposure can reduce likelihood of allergy

    HOUSTON — Infants getting small but regular doses of peanut butter in their diet are less likely to develop an allergy to peanuts than similar babies who avoid peanuts altogether, a new study shows. The finding — in infants at higher-than-usual risk of peanut allergy — swings the balance of evidence in favor of early consumption and away from avoidance as a way to avert this troublesome food...
    02/23/2015 - 16:30 Health, Immune Science
  • Wild Things

    Five surprising animals that play

    No one would be shocked to find play behavior in a mammal species. Humans love to play — as do our cats and dogs. It’s not such a leap to believe that, say, a red kangaroo would engage in mock fights. But somehow that behavior seems unlikely in animals other than mammals.It shouldn’t, though....
    02/20/2015 - 14:33 Animals
  • News

    New HPV shot fends off more types of the virus

    A new vaccine that broadens coverage against the human papillomavirus shows such potent protection for girls and women in a trial that some are calling the findings a milestone. Based on these results, reported in the Feb. 19 New England Journal of Medicine, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared this vaccine for use in...
    02/18/2015 - 17:00 Clinical Trials, Health, Cancer
  • News in Brief

    Blame pot munchies on nerve cells that normally nix appetite

    Potheads can blame their munchies on nerve cells that are supposed to keep them feeling full, scientists report February 18 in Nature.“It’s like you’re driving your car downhill and you push your brakes, and all of a sudden the brake becomes the accelerator,” says coauthor Tamas Horvath, a neurobiologist at Yale University.Horvath and...
    02/18/2015 - 07:00 Neuroscience
  • Introducing

    Insulin-suppressing hormone discovered

    A long-sought hormone that plays a role in regulating glucose has been captured by researchers studying fruit flies. The hormone, called limostatin, lowers production of insulin and prevents its release from cells.Insulin instructs cells to burn the sugar glucose. Scientists have theorized for decades that there must be a hormone that stops insulin from being made or released, so that people and...
    02/17/2015 - 15:02 Physiology