Eating processed meat is associated with an increased risk of developing colon cancer in people who have the gene variant rs4143094, researchers report April 17 in PLOS Genetics. One in three people have this altered gene, which is found on the same...
04/18/2014 - 09:00
There’s no treatment for measles, but an experimental compound might do the trick by bogging down a key viral enzyme, a study of ferrets finds. When given to animals infected by a virus similar to the one that causes measles, the compound prevented illness.“This is still a ways away from human testing,” says Alan Hinman, a public health physician at the Task Force for Global Health, a nonprofit...
04/16/2014 - 14:00
Cells have a relief valve that keeps them from swelling so much that they burst.For the past 30 years, scientists have been trying to pinpoint the molecule that controlled the valve. Now, a team says they have found the protein and gene, called SWELL1, which helps prevent cells from popping.The result, which appears April 10...
04/11/2014 - 14:43
A father-to-be’s weight may be a greater factor in his child’s risk of developing autism than the weight of the mother.A new study looked at more than 92,000 children and found that obesity — defined as a body mass index of 30 or greater — in the father was associated with an increased risk of autism and Asperger syndrome in his child. A mother’s obesity was only weakly associated with risk for...
04/07/2014 - 15:05
Human Development, Health, Neuroscience
Vervet monkeys can learn from each other. Last year, Science News reported, scientists showed that young male monkeys are capable of social learning: When they leave the group in which they were born and join a new group, they can...
04/04/2014 - 10:01
Ever-increasing numbers of autism diagnoses have parents worried about a skyrocketing epidemic, and this week’s news may only drive alarm higher. Perhaps it shouldn’t.In 2010, 1 in 68 (or 14.7 per 1,000) 8-year-olds had an autism spectrum disorder, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now estimates...
03/28/2014 - 14:10
What gets us hot can be so revealing. For me, the slightest anxiety or excitement can trigger a warm spread across my face. I can feel the blood rushing up my neck and into the thousands of tiny capillaries across my cheeks. I’ve worn scarves or turtlenecks to job interviews, weather be damned, to keep my burning red neck from betraying my nerves.And the opposite can be true. Have you ever seen...
03/26/2014 - 18:09
Strawberry poison frogs (Oophaga pumilio) don't create their own poison. The Central American frogs sequester the alkaloid chemicals from the mites, ants and other arthropods they eat and store it in glands on their skin. Predators that ignore the bright red “don't eat me” warning pigmentation get a nasty surprise — a...
03/24/2014 - 11:30
Astronomers have detected the earliest echoes of the Big Bang, confirming a decades-old hypothesis that describes the universe’s ultrafast expansion during its first moments. The findings provide researchers with the first direct measurement of conditions at nearly the instant that cosmic expansion began, and may have far-reaching implications for physicists’ understanding of general relativity,...
03/17/2014 - 18:23
Guest post by Christopher CrockettLike a week-old party balloon, Mercury has shrunk over the last 4.6 billion years. And a vastly improved atlas of the scorched planet, courtesy of the MESSENGER spacecraft, shows it’s shriveled more than previously thought. The closest planet to the sun has tightened its belt by about seven...
03/16/2014 - 14:00