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  • News

    Killer whales follow postmenopausal leaders

    A clue to the evolution of menopause may come from older female killer whales who often take the lead in salmon hunts.Among the whales that feast on chinook along the coast of the Pacific Northwest, females past reproductive age often lead hunting parties, especially in fish-sparse years, says Lauren Brent of the University of Exeter in England.Male killer whales rarely live longer than 50 years...
    03/05/2015 - 12:00 Animals, Evolution
  • News

    Hepatitis E vaccine shows strong coverage

    A vaccine against hepatitis E shows potent, long-lasting protection against the virus. The finding from a huge study in China could clear the way for other countries to adopt the shots against hepatitis E, which is most commonly spread through tainted water.“I consider this to be extremely important for the field,” says Heiner Wedemeyer, a physician and hepatitis researcher at Hanover Medical...
    03/04/2015 - 17:00 Clinical Trials, Health, Biomedicine
  • Scicurious

    Report offers stimulating recommendation on coffee

    A new round of dietary do’s and don’ts accompanied last month’s scientific report on the latest food research, summarizing everything from aspartame to saturated fats. The report puts eggs back on the menu. High dietary cholesterol is no longer linked to blood...
    03/04/2015 - 15:13 Nutrition
  • Wild Things

    Insects may undermine trees’ ability to store carbon

    Trees are often promoted as an important tool for combating climate change. That’s because trees take in carbon dioxide from the air and lock it away in wood and soil for years. But trees may not be as great of carbon sinks as we thought, a...
    03/04/2015 - 11:08 Animals, Climate
  • 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 up to...
    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