After her husband’s death in Syria’s civil war, Amouna Sharekh Housh gathered her eight children and headed for safety in the neighboring country of Lebanon. At the Lebanese border, Islamic State militants demanded that Housh hand her children over to them. She refused, even when an ISIS soldier put a gun against the head of her then 9-year-old son, Manar. After passing through that hellish...
Another route to 104 —04/25/2019 - 07:00 Chemistry, Physics
In 1964, a few radioactive atoms existed for three-tenths of a second in a Soviet laboratory, and G.N. Flerov and his colleagues, who detected it, announced the discovery of element 104. But the announcement was met with skepticism in the United States.… Now, U.S. scientists declare they have gone their own route to corral the elusive element. — Science News,...
When Molly was 10 months old, her parents took her to a Halloween party with other young families. While the other babies explored their surroundings, Molly sat and watched. She’s always been cautious, says Molly’s mom, Rachel. Early on, though, the little girl’s shyness didn’t raise red flags.
By the time Molly turned 4, however, life was getting harder — for everyone. Even though she...
The extreme dads of the bird world do all the work raising chicks while females fight intruders. The result: Male black coucals don’t sleep around as much when busy parenting.
On occasion, a male black coucal (Centropus grillii) slips over to another male’s nest to sire a chick. The demands of incubating eggs, however, reduce a male’s excursions about 17 percent, on average, compared...
The Chugach people of southern Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula have picked berries for generations. Tart blueberries and sweet, raspberry-like salmonberries — an Alaska favorite — are baked into pies and boiled into jams. But in the summer of 2009, the bushes stayed brown and the berries never came.
For three more years, harvests failed. “It hit the communities very hard,” says Nathan Lojewski...
News in Brief
ORLANDO — A common food additive may make it more difficult to fight the flu.
Vaccinated mice that got food containing the additive, tert-butylhydroquinone (tBHQ), took three days longer to recover from the flu than mice that ate tBHQ-free food. The unpublished result suggests the common additive may make flu vaccines less effective, toxicologist Robert Freeborn of Michigan State...
Multiplying 2 x 2 is easy. But multiplying two numbers with more than a billion digits each — that takes some serious computation.
The multiplication technique taught in grade school may be simple, but for really big numbers, it’s too slow to be useful. Now, two mathematicians say that they’ve found the fastest way yet to multiply extremely large figures.
The duo claim to have...
Unusual virus is valuable tool —04/05/2019 - 06:00 Microbiology
Viruses, which cannot reproduce on their own, infect cells and usurp their genetic machinery for use in making new viruses.... But just how viruses use the cell machinery is unknown.… Some answers may come from work with an unusual virus, called M13, that has a particularly compatible relationship with ... [E. coli] bacteria. — Science News, April 5...
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The physician as addict —03/28/2019 - 07:00 Health, Mental Health
The rate of drug abuse or addiction among physicians is from 30 to 100 times that of the general public.... The American Medical Association estimates that some 60,000 of the country’s 316,000 doctors misuse drugs of various kinds. The drug abuser among physicians has a predisposing personality for addiction, and suffers from overwork and fatigue. Since...