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Your search has returned 97 articles:
  • News

    Orangutans take motherhood to extremes, nursing young for more than eight years

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    The supermoms of the mammal world are big, shy redheads. Studying growth layers in orangutan teeth shows that mothers can nurse their youngsters for eight-plus years, a record for wild mammals.  

    Teeth from a museum specimen of a young Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) don’t show signs of weaning until 8.1 years of age. And a Sumatran orangutan (P. abelii) was still...

    05/17/2017 - 14:46 Animals, Anthropology
  • Feature

    Yes, statins protect hearts. But critics question their expanding use

    Cholesterol is so important to life that practically every human cell makes it. Cells use the compound to keep their membranes porous and springy, and to produce hormones and other vital substances. The body can make all the cholesterol it needs, but Americans tend to have a surplus, thanks in large part to too little exercise and too much meat, cheese and grease. Fifty years ago, researchers...

    05/03/2017 - 07:00 Health, Biomedicine
  • Feature

    For robots, artificial intelligence gets physical

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    In a high-ceilinged laboratory at Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C., a gleaming white robot stitches up pig intestines.

    The thin pink tissue dangles like a deflated balloon from a sturdy plastic loop. Two bulky cameras watch from above as the bot weaves green thread in and out, slowly sewing together two sections. Like an experienced human surgeon...

    11/02/2016 - 17:16 Robotics, Science & Society
  • Feature

    Rehab for psychopaths

    Nudity, mind-altering drugs and encounter groups bring out the worst in psychopaths behind bars. That’s not a pitch for a new reality television show — not yet, at least. It’s an evidence-based conclusion. An infamous experimental treatment program for violent criminals, conducted mainly from 1968 to 1978 in a Canadian maximum security psychiatric facility 90 miles north of Toronto, tried...

    06/17/2015 - 07:30 Mental Health
  • Feature

    Seeing past the jellyfish sting

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    Robots that hunt down and exterminate jellyfish: Good or bad idea? Discuss.

    A 2013 video from robotics designers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology shows three jelly-killer prototypes gliding as a metallic fleet over gently rippling water. An underwater video demonstrates the cunning plan. Pale jellyfish bells drift into view, and a...

    08/22/2014 - 14:33 Animals, Oceans
  • Scicurious

    Main result of Facebook emotion study: less trust in Facebook

    Psychologists secretly toyed with Facebook users’ emotions in 2012, published their findings last month and got scorched by a social media firestorm they never saw coming.

    What goes around comes around.

    The researchers wanted to see if emotions spread through online social networks. Apparently, negative emotions spread really fast on the Internet. Congratulations, guys, you’re on...

    07/03/2014 - 16:40 Science & Society, Psychology
  • Feature

    Quantum timekeeping

    The best clock in the world has no hands, no pendulum, no face or digital display. It’s a jumble of lasers, wires and strontium atoms in Jun Ye’s lab at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder, Colo. He keeps it cooled to about three millionths of a degree above absolute zero.

    The clock, described by Ye in the Feb. 6 Nature, is so precise that had it begun...

    02/21/2014 - 14:54 Quantum Physics
  • Feature

    Mother lode

    A bonanza of potent disease-fighting compounds has been discovered in a surprisingly common source — the breasts of every nursing mother on the planet. Human milk, the only substance that evolved to feed and protect us, seems to contain a trove of medicines just now being unlocked by scientists.

    “We go down to the bottom of the ocean to find new compounds and test them out against...

    12/27/2013 - 14:05 Human Development, Microbes, Health
  • Feature

    When Networks Network

    Half a dozen times each night, your slumbering body performs a remarkable feat of coordination.

    During the deepest throes of sleep, the body’s support systems run on their own timetables. Nerve cells hum along in your brain, their chitchat generating slow waves that signal sleep’s nether stages. Yet, like buses and trains with overlapping routes but...

    09/07/2012 - 10:39 Networks
  • Feature

    As Told By the Egg

    Whether the chicken or the egg came first doesn’t occupy biologist Luca Jovine’s thoughts too much. Animals have been laying eggs for millions of years, after all. Over time, evolution has reshaped both the eggs and the creatures hatched from them.

    Instead, Jovine spends his time unscrambling another egg-related conundrum: How does the egg orchestrate the molecular...

    08/24/2012 - 10:33