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  • How Bizarre

    Tampons: Not just for feminine hygiene

    Tampons are cheap and highly absorbent, which makes them the perfect tool for testing rivers for pollution. Tampons submerged in contaminated water shine blue under ultraviolet light because of the brightening chemicals they have sucked in, researchers report March 30 in the Water and Environment Journal.    

    Rivers can become...

    03/30/2015 - 20:15 Pollution
  • News

    Egg-meet-sperm moments are equal opportunities for girls and boys

    Girl or boy: For expecting parents, it’s a classic question. For scientists studying human demographics, it’s a head scratcher.

    Statistics seem to favor boys. On average, for every 105 boys born, only 100 girls are born. Scientists have credited the difference to more male embryos being conceived. But that’s not true, a new study suggests.

    Researchers from the United States and the...

    03/30/2015 - 15:24 Human Development, Biomedicine, Genetics
  • News

    Fracking chemicals can alter mouse development

    DENVER — Wastewater from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, may tote several hormone-disrupting chemicals that can alter the development of mice, researchers reported March 23 at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society.

    Twenty-three chemicals used in fracking fluids can...

    03/30/2015 - 13:45 Toxicology, Development
  • Science Ticker

    Performance gains from Tommy John surgery still up for debate

    Major League baseball pitchers who undergo two Tommy John surgeries have shorter careers — by nearly a year on average — than similar-age pitchers who haven’t had the operation, researchers find. For the surgery, surgeons replace the damaged ulnar collateral ligament in the arm with a tendon taken from elsewhere in the body to reverse a career-ending injury.

    After two surgeries, pitchers...

    03/30/2015 - 09:00 Health
  • Say What?

    ‘Supernova sweeping’ cleans up a galaxy’s gas

    Supernova sweeping
    \SOO-per-NOH-vah SWEEP-eeng\ n.

    A process in which exploding stars push gas out of a galaxy.

    Supernovas might be the maid service of the universe. These explosions of stellar remnants work hand in hand with supermassive black holes to sweep out gas and shut down galaxies’ star-forming factories, new research suggests.

    The black holes at the cores of...

    03/30/2015 - 07:30 Astronomy
  • Science Ticker

    White House unveils strategy against antibiotic resistance

    The Obama Administration has launched a long-term plan to curb antibiotic resistance, unveiling incentives and requirements designed to boost surveillance and diagnosis of resistant microbes, speed new drug development and require that hospitals and clinics adopt antimicrobial...

    03/27/2015 - 17:09 Science & Society, Microbes, Health
  • News

    A new spin on guiding sound waves along a one-way route

    An array of miniature turntables could offer a powerful new way to control the flow of sound.

    The proposed device, reported in the March 20 Physical Review Letters, would channel sound waves in a protected one-way thoroughfare along its edge. The structure is an acoustic version of a hotly researched class of...

    03/27/2015 - 15:36 Materials, Physics
  • Science Ticker

    Panda stalking reveals panda hangouts

    Giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) may not be quite the lone rangers they’re reputed to be, researchers report March 27 in the Journal of Mammology.

    A research team strapped GPS collars to five wild pandas — one male and four females — that live...

    03/27/2015 - 14:00 Animals, Conservation
  • Science Ticker

    Bright bird plumage resulted from natural, sexual selection

    Charles Darwin observed birds such as the peacock and thought the bright colors of the male’s tail attracted females — an example of sexual selection. Alfred Russel Wallace suggested that duller female birds were the result of natural selection — bright colors stood out to predators as the birds protected their nests, so the birds that blended in to their surroundings survived.

    Who was...

    03/27/2015 - 14:00 Evolution, Animals
  • News in Brief

    Suds turn silver nanoparticles in clothes into duds

    DENVER — Life’s bleachable moments may be a death sentence for bacteria-busting silver nanoparticles.

    The tiny metal balls that coat some recently manufactured athletic clothing and hospital gowns can crack and crumble when they’re washed in tough detergents that...

    03/27/2015 - 12:06 Materials, Technology, Pollution