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  • Gory Details

    Could the menstrual cycle have shaped the evolution of music?

    A piece of advice I once received: Don’t ever talk about your period at work. No one wants to know.I have broken that rule. Menstrual cycles are fascinating, and at the risk of a major breach of workplace etiquette, here’s why we should all be talking about them more: If you’re a woman, your cycle shapes your physiology more than you probably realize, with hormones orchestrating a monthly...
    04/23/2014 - 17:35 Human Evolution, Psychology
  • Science Ticker

    Gene therapy with electrical pulses spurs nerve growth

    Electrical current from a cochlear implant has guided corrective genetic material into inner ear cells and stimulated nerve regeneration in deaf guinea pigs. The treatment improved the animals’ hearing sensitivity and range, researchers report April 24 in Science Translational Medicine. The gene therapy technique, which does...
    04/23/2014 - 17:28 Genetics, Cells, Technology
  • News

    Enzyme may help aspirin protect against colon cancer

    Aspirin, the pain reliever that lowers fever and inhibits blood clotting, also shows impressive but spotty protection against colorectal cancer. A new study reveals that people who fail to get this benefit from the drug might be making too little of a key enzyme in the colon.Among aspirin users, those with ample levels of the enzyme 15-PGDH are about...
    04/23/2014 - 14:00 Biomedicine, Cancer, Health
  • News

    Major step taken toward error-free computing

    Quantum computing has overcome an important barrier: Scientists have achieved nearly perfect control over a bit of quantum information in a way that could bring them a step closer to error-free calculations.All digital information comes in tiny packets called bits. In consumer devices, bits are chunks of magnetic or electric material that flip between two distinct states. But thanks to quantum...
    04/23/2014 - 13:00 Quantum Physics, Physics, Computing
  • Wild Things

    Secrets of a sailfish attack

    Many of us are familiar with sailfish — relatives of marlin— only from seeing them on the walls of sport fishermen. But watching them underwater, whether in person or on video, shows how beautiful the animals are in their natural habitat (...
    04/23/2014 - 12:30 Animals, Oceans
  • Science Ticker

    Dolphins use sponges to dine on different grub

    Some bottlenose dolphins sport cone-shaped sea sponges in their beaks, a behavior that may help the animals hunt. New research confirms the idea, showing that sponging dolphins have different fatty acids and therefore different diets than...
    04/23/2014 - 12:12 Animals, Physiology
  • Science Ticker

    Rainbow trout genome shows how genetic material evolved

    About 100 million years ago, the genome of the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) duplicated itself. Since then, about half of the duplicated protein-coding genes have been lost, but nearly all of the original and duplicate genes that control how genes are expressed still exist, researchers report...
    04/23/2014 - 09:09 Genetics, Animals
  • News in Brief

    Submariners’ 'bio-duck' is probably a whale

    It quacks like a duck, sort of. But the mystery creature of the Antarctic is more likely a whale.Submariners in the 1960s recorded strings of quick heartbeatlike pulses and nicknamed the unknown source a “bio-duck.” Whatever it is sounds off mostly in winter and spring in the Weddell Sea off Antarctica and the waters off Western Australia.The sound is “way too loud for a fish,” says marine...
    04/22/2014 - 19:02 Animals, Conservation
  • Context

    Doctors flunk quiz on screening-test math

    Imagine a hypothetical baseball player. Call him Alex. He fails a drug test that is known to be 95 percent accurate. How likely is it that he is really guilty?If you said 95 percent, you’re wrong. But don’t feel bad. It puts you in the company of a lot of highly educated doctors.OK, it’s kind of a trick question. You can’t really answer it without knowing some other things, such as how many...
    04/22/2014 - 18:24 Numbers
  • News

    Pain curbs sex drive in females, but not males

    Pain makes female mice less amorous, but males ignore burning injections in pursuit of females, a new study finds. The results, published in the April 23 Journal of Neuroscience, highlight stark differences between male and female sexual behavior in mice.But it’s not clear whether the findings apply to the vagaries of human...
    04/22/2014 - 17:02 Neuroscience, Health, Evolution