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  • Scicurious

    A vivid emotional experience requires the right genetics

    Certain images conjure up intense emotion: crying children, a bloody face, a snake rearing for a strike. When people take in pictures that hold deep meaning for them, they actually see the images more vividly. For them, emotion gives the world an extra burst of Technicolor and increases the odds that they will remember the scene.

    But the amount of visual boost — called emotionally...

    05/08/2015 - 11:43 Neuroscience
  • Feature

    Designer drugs hit dangerous lows to bring new highs

    The 18-year-old had stabbed himself four times in the neck and chest with a pair of scissors. Alone in his dorm room, he had suddenly felt trapped, convinced that the only way to get out was to kill himself.

    When he woke up hours later in a pool of blood, the psychedelic trip that had gripped him was waning. Horrified, he managed to call an ambulance. As he recovered, the college student...

    05/05/2015 - 15:00 Chemistry, Science & Society
  • The Science Life

    Brain on display

    Studying the human brain requires grandiose thinking, but rarely do actual theatrical skills come into play. In her latest stint as a video star, MIT neuroscientist Nancy Kanwisher does not buzz saw her skull open to give viewers a glimpse of her brain. But she does perhaps the next best thing: She clips off her shoulder-length gray hair and shaves her head on camera.

    Kanwisher’s smooth...

    04/27/2015 - 16:06 Neuroscience, Science & Society
  • Wild Things

    Your toy stegosaurus may be a girl

    Are your toy dinosaurs boys or girls? One Science News editor decided her plush stegosaurus was male and named him Franklin. It was as good a guess as any since there’s really no way to tell a dinosaur’s gender just by looking at it. Even paleontologists can’t always determine gender. Female...

    04/22/2015 - 14:00 Paleontology, Evolution
  • Editor's Note

    Driving Curiosity to discovery

    Clara Ma, who in 2009 won an essay contest to name NASA’s new Mars rover, named it Curiosity. “Curiosity,” the young student wrote, “is an everlasting flame that burns in everyone’s mind....

    04/22/2015 - 09:00 Astrobiology, Climate, Genetics, Earth
  • Science Ticker

    Low levels of lead linked to lower test scores in children

    Small doses of lead may have big impacts on reading and math scores, scientists report April 7 in Environmental Health.

    Researchers looked at third grade test scores and levels of lead in blood samples from 58,650 students in Chicago public schools. As little as 2...

    04/17/2015 - 12:00 Toxicology
  • Science Ticker

    Saying ‘I’ and ‘me’ all the time doesn’t make you a narcissist

    Narcissism is not in the I’s of the beholder — or the speaker. People who utter lots of first-person singular pronouns such as I and me score no higher on narcissism questionnaires than peers who engage in little I-talk, researchers report March 30 in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology...

    04/10/2015 - 16:15 Psychology
  • Scicurious

    Serotonin and the science of sex

    In 2011, a group of scientists “turned mice gay.” The only issue is, of course, they didn’t.

    Rather, Yi Rao and colleagues at Peking University in Beijing, China, showed that male mice will cheerfully mount both male and female mice, as long as their brains are deficient in one chemical...

    04/10/2015 - 08:00 Neuroscience
  • Scicurious

    Women in engineering engage best with gender parity

    Even when a woman is confident in her abilities, it can be a chilling experience to be the only woman in the room. Suddenly her voice sounds higher in her ears. She begins to worry she’ll be talked over. And in male-dominated careers, it might end up meaning a woman never speaks up in the first place.

    In some situations, it really does help to have other women around. A new study finds...

    04/06/2015 - 17:16 Science & Society
  • Letters to the Editor

    Rethinking light's speed, helping young adults with autism and more reader feedback

    A failure to replicate

    Tina Hesman Saey’s two-part series, “Repeat Performance” (SN: 1/24/15, p. 20...

    03/25/2015 - 11:00 Psychology, Physics, Science & Society