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  • Feature

    The brain may clean out Alzheimer’s plaques during sleep

    Neuroscientist Barbara Bendlin studies the brain as Alzheimer’s disease develops. When she goes home, she tries to leave her work in the lab. But one recent research project has crossed into her personal life: She now takes sleep much more seriously.

    Bendlin works at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, home to the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention, a study of more than 1,500...

    07/15/2018 - 06:00 Biomedicine, Neuroscience, Mental Health
  • News

    Pregnancy depression is on the rise, a survey suggests

    Today’s young women are more likely to experience depression and anxiety during pregnancy than their mothers were, a generation-spanning survey finds.

    From 1990 to 1992, about 17 percent of young pregnant women in southwest England who participated in the study had signs of depressed mood. But the generation that followed, including these women’s daughters and sons’ partners, fared worse...

    07/13/2018 - 11:00 Neuroscience, Health
  • 50 years ago, neutrinos ghosted scientists

    Tracking the neutrino

    The definite detection of nonterrestrial neutrinos, whether from the sun or from beyond the solar system, will yield a far deeper understanding of stellar interiors and, therefore, of how today’s universe came to be. — Science News, July 20, 1968.

    Update

    In May 1968, researchers reported that a particle detector in South Dakota spotted ghostly subatomic...

    07/12/2018 - 16:47 Particle Physics, Astronomy, Technology
  • News

    The right mix of gut microbes relieves autism symptoms in the long run

    MADISON, Wis. — Giving children with autism a healthier mix of gut bacteria as a way to improve behavioral symptoms continued to work even two years after treatment ended.

    The finding may solidify the connection between tummy troubles and autism, and provide more evidence that the gut microbiome — the collection of bacteria and other microbes that live in the intestines — can influence...

    07/12/2018 - 13:00 Microbiology, Neuroscience
  • News

    A high-energy neutrino has been traced to its galactic birthplace

    A zippy little particle has been traced back to its cosmic stomping grounds, a flaring galaxy 4 billion light-years away, for the first time solving a cosmic whodunit.

    Scientists have long puzzled over the sources of high-energy particles from space, which batter the Earth at energies that can outstrip the world’s most advanced particle accelerators. Now, physicists have identified the...

    07/12/2018 - 11:00 Particle Physics, Astronomy
  • Feature

    The ecosystem that controls a galaxy’s future is coming into focus

    There’s more to a galaxy than meets the eye. Galaxies’ bright stars seem to spiral serenely against the dark backdrop of space. But a more careful look reveals a whole lot of mayhem.

    “Galaxies are just like you and me,” Jessica Werk, an astronomer at the University of Washington in Seattle, said in January at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society. “They live their lives in a...

    07/12/2018 - 07:00 Astronomy, Cosmology
  • Science Visualized

    How a particle accelerator helped recover tarnished 19th century images

    With the aid of a particle accelerator, scientists are bringing back ghosts from the past, revealing portraits hidden underneath the tarnished surface of two roughly 150-year-old silver photographic plates.

    Researchers used an accelerator called a synchrotron to produce strong, but nondamaging beams of X-rays to scan the damaged photographs, called daguerreotypes, and map their chemical...

    07/09/2018 - 07:00 Chemistry, Physics
  • Reviews & Previews

    Why humans, and Big Macs, depend on bees

    Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of BeesThor HansonBasic Books, $27

    When you hear the word bee, the image that pops to mind is probably a honeybee. Maybe a bumblebee. But for conservation biologist Thor Hanson, author of the new book Buzz, the world is abuzz with thousands of kinds of bees, each as beautiful and intriguing as the flowers on which they land.

    Speaking from his “...

    07/08/2018 - 08:00 Animals, Agriculture, Ecology
  • News

    NASA’s Parker probe is about to get up close and personal with the sun

    NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is about to embark on one daredevil stunt of a space mission.

    Slated to launch August 4, the probe will be the first spacecraft to swoop through the sun’s outer atmosphere, or corona, a roiling inferno of plasma heated to several million degrees Celsius.

    Parker will whip around the sun two dozen times over the next seven years, skirting within about 6...

    07/05/2018 - 07:09 Astronomy, Technology
  • Reviews & Previews

    The study of human heredity got its start in insane asylums

    Genetics in the MadhouseTheodore M. PorterPrinceton Univ., $35

    England’s King George III descended into mental chaos, or what at the time was called madness, in 1789. Physicians could not say whether he would recover or if a replacement should assume the throne. That political crisis jump-started the study of human heredity.

    Using archival records, science historian Theodore M...

    07/01/2018 - 08:00 Genetics, History of Science, Mental Health, Numbers