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  • Scicurious

    The weekly grind of social jetlag could be a weighty issue

    For some of us, a weekly case of the Mondays isn’t just because of traffic, work pileups or our soulless office space. It’s because we had to get up early, and sleeping in on the weekend was so incredibly glorious. Besides, because we slept in on Sunday, we didn’t get to the gym until the afternoon, we cooked a late dinner for a friend and then we couldn’t fall asleep at all and so stayed up...

    07/20/2015 - 07:38 Health
  • News

    Mission to Pluto: Live coverage

    The New Horizons spacecraft flew by Pluto at 7:49 a.m. EDT on July 14, 2015. Astronomy writer Christopher Crockett wrote several updates from mission control at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Md., from July 12-15, and reviewed some of the mission's major milestones from the last several months. Check our...

    07/15/2015 - 17:39 Planetary Science
  • Scicurious

    Shifted waking hours may pave the way to shifting metabolism

    Shift work can be brutal. Working late nights, early mornings and constantly changing hours wreaks havoc on social and family life. But in our racing, 24-hour world, someone needs to keep the lights on. For years, scientists have studied just what happens when we play fast and loose with the body’s clock. A handful of new studies add to the evidence that shift work and other kinds of circadian...

    07/15/2015 - 14:30 Physiology, Health
  • Feature

    A brief history of timekeeping

    For millennia, humans have harnessed the power of clocks to schedule prayers, guide ocean voyages and, lately, to chart the universe. Whatever their use, all clocks need two basic components: a constant repetitive action (like a pendulum’s swing or an atom’s vibrations) and a way to mark time’s progression.

    ...

    07/15/2015 - 09:47 History of Science
  • Feature

    Pluto: A timeline of 85 years of discovery

    Clyde Tombaugh began searching for a ninth planet in 1929 and stumbled upon Pluto the following year. In the decades since, our view of Pluto hasn’t changed much. All of that changes on July 14 when the New Horizons spacecraft, nearly 5 billion kilometers from home, slipped past Pluto and gave humankind its only look at this icy world (see "...

    07/11/2015 - 14:03 Planetary Science
  • Science Ticker

    Pluto is only a ‘day’ away

    The New Horizons spacecraft will buzz Pluto and its moons in just one day — one Pluto day, that is. The icy world rotates once for every 6 days, 9 hours and 22 minutes on Earth. Starting at 10:28 p.m. Eastern July 7, Pluto will spin around just one more time before New Horizons makes its closest approach on July 14.

    The probe officially...

    07/07/2015 - 12:26 Planetary Science
  • News

    Age isn’t just a number

    Some people age faster than others, a long-term study of New Zealanders reveals. But there’s good news for the rapid agers: Studies in mice indicate there may be ways to slow the aging rate.

    Like a class reunion photo, a physiological snapshot of 954 people born in Dunedin, New Zealand, in 1972 and 1973 shows that time has been kinder to some people. The calendar indicated all those...

    07/07/2015 - 07:00 Physiology, Health, Neuroscience
  • News

    New cancer drugs wake up sleeping killer T cells

    Cancer relies on a bag of tricks that can render it virtually invisible to the body’s disease-fighting apparatus. Tumors even co-opt “checkpoint” proteins found on the immune system’s T cells. These proteins normally prevent the immune system from running amok. When activated, these checkpoints can turn a T cell from a bristling warrior ready for a fight into a dozing sentinel — and cancer...

    06/25/2015 - 08:30 Cancer, Clinical Trials
  • Wild Things

    Beauty drives orchids towards extinction

    At plant markets in Thailand, exquisite orchids are for sale. Those orchids are unlike the ones you can buy at many U.S. shops; many of them are rare species that were collected from the wild. Selling them is illegal.

    This trade is “invisible” because hardly any of it makes it into government statistics that are supposed to document illegal trade in wild flora, Jacob Phelps and Edward...

    06/23/2015 - 12:16 Plants, Conservation
  • Feature

    Rehab for psychopaths

    Nudity, mind-altering drugs and encounter groups bring out the worst in psychopaths behind bars. That’s not a pitch for a new reality television show — not yet, at least. It’s an evidence-based conclusion. An infamous experimental treatment program for violent criminals, conducted mainly from 1968 to 1978 in a Canadian maximum security psychiatric facility 90 miles north of Toronto, tried...

    06/17/2015 - 07:30 Mental Health