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  • News

    Sounds and glowing screens impair mouse brains

    SAN DIEGO — Mice raised in cages bombarded with glowing lights and sounds have profound brain abnormalities and behavioral trouble. Hours of daily stimulation led to behaviors reminiscent of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, scientists reported November 14 at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

    Certain kinds of sensory stimulation, such as sights and sounds, are...

    11/15/2016 - 17:30 Neuroscience, Human Development
  • News

    See where Clinton and Trump stand on science

    Hillary Clinton’s “I believe in science” declaration aside, science has not played a starring role in the 2016 presidential election. Far from it. For the most part, the candidates’ science policies have trickled out in dribs and drabs, and in varying degrees of detail — talking points on a website here, a passing comment in response to a spur-of-the-moment question there.

    Yet science...

    09/13/2016 - 12:25 Science & Society
  • Feature

    The pressure is on to make metallic hydrogen

    In a few highly specialized laboratories, scientists bombard matter with the world’s most powerful electrical pulses or zap it with sophisticated lasers. Other labs squeeze heavy-duty diamonds together hard enough to crack them.

    All this is in pursuit of a priceless metal. It’s not gold, silver or platinum. The scientists’ quarry is hydrogen in its most elusive of forms.

    Several...

    08/10/2016 - 09:00 Physics, Materials, Condensed Matter
  • Reviews & Previews

    New books deliver double dose of venomous animal facts

    In the arms race of life, a number of animals use venom as a weapon to paralyze prey and jump-start digestion. Meanwhile, venom also helps a variety of other seemingly defenseless creatures improve their odds against larger, stronger or more aggressive foes.

    In Venomous, molecular biologist Christie Wilcox surveys the animal kingdom’s wide array of biochemical warriors, from spiders and...

    07/24/2016 - 08:00 Animals
  • Feature

    Vaccines may offer defense against dengue, Zika and chikungunya

    Humans can’t easily protect themselves from the most dangerous species on Earth. The predator slips invisibly into homes, quietly stalks its prey and bites before a victim knows what happened. There’s little chance of escape.

    The attacker is Aedes aegypti, a mosquito that has, over time, developed a taste for people. It’s a city dweller that hovers in undisturbed crannies and can breed...

    06/15/2016 - 08:00 Immune Science, Health, Clinical Trials
  • Feature

    Scientists dig up proteins from the past

    The influenza virus is a quick-change artist. In a few decades, its genome can evolve as much as animal genomes can over millions of years. That means that the viral proteins, including those that alert our bodies to an infection, constantly reinvent themselves, threatening our immune systems and frustrating vaccine developers.

    For Jesse Bloom, a biologist studying how evolution affects...

    06/01/2016 - 07:00 Molecular Evolution
  • Feature

    Some animals ‘see’ the world through oddball eyes

    It sounds like a riddling trick: How can an animal with no eyes still see? But it’s a serious scientific question — the trickiest kind of riddle.

    Sea urchins don’t have anything that people recognize as an eye, says Sönke Johnsen of Duke University. Urchin bodies are mobile pincushions in purples and pinks to browns and blacks, bristling with a mix of spiky spines and soft, stretchy tube...

    05/18/2016 - 07:00 Animals, Evolution
  • News in Brief

    New sky map charts previously unknown gamma-ray sources

    SALT LAKE CITY — A new map of the sky charts the origins of some of the highest energy photons ever detected. Researchers from the High-Altitude Water Cherenkov Observatory released their first year of observations of gamma rays, ultrahigh-energy light particles blasted in our direction from some of the most extreme environments in the universe.

    The researchers found 40 gamma-ray sources...

    04/19/2016 - 14:31 Cosmology, Physics
  • Scicurious

    A storm of tweets followed Superstorm Sandy’s path

    As Superstorm Sandy threatened the East Coast of the United States in fall of 2012, people stocked up on bread and batteries. They boarded their windows. And they tweeted. During the height of the storm and its impact, between October 26 and November 10, people sent more than 20 million hurricane-related tweets.

    Now, scientists have taken almost 10 million of those tweets and used them...

    03/24/2016 - 15:20 Technology, Networks
  • Feature

    Mom’s weight during pregnancy shapes baby’s health

    When Elinor Sullivan was a postdoctoral fellow at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, she set out to explore the influence of food and exercise habits on obesity. In one experiment, she and her colleagues fed a troop of macaque monkeys regular chow. Other macaques dined American-style, with a hefty 32 percent of calories from fat and ready access to peanut butter treats. Over...

    01/12/2016 - 13:00 Health, Mental Health