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E.g., 10/17/2018
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  • News

    A mysterious polio-like disease has sickened as many as 127 people in the U.S.

    U.S. health officials are investigating an outbreak of a mysterious, polio-like disease that causes weakness in one or more limbs. The rare disease — acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM — has sickened 62 people, mostly children, in 22 states so far this year and is suspected in 65 more cases, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced October 16.

    Starting with an outbreak...

    10/16/2018 - 18:37 Health
  • News in Brief

    An ancient child’s ‘vampire burial’ included steps to prevent resurrection

    Excavations in an ancient Roman cemetery turned poignantly eerie last summer.

    In one grave lay a roughly 10-year-old child, possibly the victim of malaria, with a stone inserted in his or her mouth. That practice was part of a funeral ritual intended to prevent the youngster from rising zombielike and spreading disease to the living, researchers say. Such "vampire burials" indicate signs...

    10/16/2018 - 13:00 Archaeology
  • News

    To unravel autism’s mysteries, one neuroscientist looks at the developing brain

    WASHINGTON — As the number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder increases, so too has research on the complex and poorly understood disorder. With powerful genetic tools, advanced brain-imaging methods and large groups of children to study, the field is poised to make big contributions in understanding — and potentially treating — autism.

    Neuroscientist Kevin Pelphrey, who...

    10/16/2018 - 12:00 Neuroscience
  • News in Brief

    People who have a good sense of smell are also good navigators

    We may truly be led by our noses. A sense of smell and a sense of navigation are linked in our brains, scientists propose.

    Neuroscientist Louisa Dahmani and colleagues asked 57 young people to navigate through a virtual town on a computer screen before being tested on how well they could get from one spot to another. The same young people’s smelling abilities were also scrutinized. After...

    10/16/2018 - 10:59 Neuroscience
  • Reviews & Previews

    Explore the history of blood from vampires to the ‘Menstrual Man’

    Nine PintsRose GeorgeMetropolitan Books, $30

    The title of journalist Rose George’s new book, Nine Pints, quantifies how much blood George has flowing through her body. Her supply takes a temporary dip in the book’s opening chapter, when she donates about a pint (a story that continues on to recap the amazing accomplishment that is blood banking). This act of generosity is an...

    10/16/2018 - 09:00 Physiology, Health, History of Science
  • News

    In cadaver caves, baby beetles grow better with parental goo

    Growing up inside a dead mouse could really stink, but not for some burying beetles. Their parents’ gut microbes keep the cadaver fresh, creating a nursery where the larvae can thrive.

    What burying beetle parents can do with a small dead animal is remarkable, says coauthor Shantanu Shukla of the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany.  “It looks different. It smells...

    10/15/2018 - 18:27 Animals, Microbes
  • News in Brief

    Add beer to the list of foods threatened by climate change

    Beer lovers could be left with a sour taste, thanks to the latest in a series of studies mapping the effects of climate change on crops.

    Malted barley — a key ingredient in beer including IPAs, stouts and pilsners — is particularly sensitive to warmer temperatures and drought, both of which are likely to increase due to climate change. As a result, average global barley crop yields could...

    10/15/2018 - 13:43 Agriculture, Climate
  • It's Alive

    How nectar bats fly nowhere

    Flying forward is hard enough, but flying nowhere, just hovering, is so much harder. Most bats and birds can manage the feat for only a few frantic seconds.

    Hovering means losing a useful aerodynamic shortcut, says aerospace engineer and biologist David Lentink of Stanford University. As a bat or bird flies forward, its body movement sends air flowing around the wings and providing some...

    10/15/2018 - 07:00 Animals, Biophysics
  • Science & the Public

    We’re probably undervaluing healthy lakes and rivers

    For sale: Pristine lake. Price negotiable.

    Most U.S. government attempts to quantify the costs and benefits of protecting the country’s bodies of water are likely undervaluing healthy lakes and rivers, researchers argue in a new study. That’s because some clean water benefits get left out of the analyses, sometimes because these benefits are difficult to pin numbers on. As a result, the...

    10/14/2018 - 08:00 Pollution, Science & Society
  • News

    Genealogy databases could reveal the identity of most Americans

    Protecting the anonymity of publicly available genetic data, including DNA donated to research projects, may be impossible.

    About 60 percent of people of European descent who search genetic genealogy databases will find a match with a relative who is a third cousin or closer, a new study finds. The result suggests that with a database of about 3 million people, police or anyone else with...

    10/12/2018 - 16:12 Genetics, Science & Society