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  • Growth Curve

    Don’t cocoon a kid who has a concussion

    Concussions, particularly those among children playing sports, are on parents’ minds. The fervor over NFL players’ brains and those of other elite athletes has trickled all the way down to mini-kicker soccer teams and peewee football leagues. And parents are right to be worried. Concussions seem to be on the rise. From 1990 to 2014, the rate of concussions in youth soccer players jumped by...

    09/29/2016 - 15:00 Health
  • News

    Primitive signs of emotions spotted in sugar-buzzed bumblebees

    To human observers, bumblebees sipping nectar from flowers appear cheerful. It turns out that the insects may actually enjoy their work. A new study suggests that bees experience a “happy” buzz after receiving a sugary snack, although it’s probably not the same joy that humans experience chomping on a candy bar.

    Scientists can’t ask bees or other animals how they feel. Instead,...

    09/29/2016 - 14:00 Animals, Neuroscience
  • Science Ticker

    Zika virus infects cells that make bone, muscle in lab tests

    Zika virus can infiltrate the cells that give rise to bone, cartilage and muscles in the head, researchers report September 29 in Cell Host & Microbe.

    In utero infection of these cells, called cranial neural crest cells, could improperly mold babies’ facial features, the authors suggest. The findings — so far observed only in cells and minibrains grown in the lab — offer a possible...

    09/29/2016 - 12:00 Health
  • News

    Concern expands over Zika birth defects

    After a year caring for patients at the heart of Brazil’s Zika epidemic, pediatric neurologist Vanessa van der Linden has seen some of the worst cases.

    She was one of the first researchers to link Zika virus to microcephaly, a now well-known birth defect marked by a small, misshapen head and, sometimes, a forehead that slopes backward. Babies with the defect can have other symptoms, too...

    09/28/2016 - 16:39 Health
  • News

    New case emerging for Culex mosquito as unexpected Zika spreader

    ORLANDO, Fla. — New evidence from separate labs supports the controversial idea that an overlooked and unexpected Culex mosquito might spread Zika virus.

    The southern house mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus, is common in the Americas. Constância Ayres, working with Brazil’s Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Recife, previously surprised Zika researchers with the disturbing proposal that this...

    09/28/2016 - 11:49 Animals, Biomedicine
  • Science Ticker

    Measles has been eliminated in the Americas, WHO says

    A half-century after scientists first introduced a vaccine to combat measles, the disease has been eliminated from a swath of the globe stretching from Canada to Chile — and all the countries in between.

    The region is the first in the world to have eliminated the viral disease, the Pan American Health Organization and World Health Organization announced September 27. That’s different...

    09/27/2016 - 15:11 Health
  • News

    Sugar industry sought to sugarcoat causes of heart disease

    Using records unearthed from library storage vaults, researchers recently revealed that the sugar industry paid nutrition experts from Harvard University to downplay studies linking sugar and heart disease. Although the incident happened in the 1960s, it appears to have helped redirect the scientific narrative for decades.

    The documents — which include correspondence, symposium programs...

    09/25/2016 - 09:00 Health, Science & Society, Nutrition
  • For Daily Use

    It's time to retire the five-second rule

    For some dropped foods, the five-second rule is about five seconds too long. Wet foods, such as watermelon, slurp up floor germs almost immediately, scientists report online September 2 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

    Robyn Miranda and Donald Schaffner of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., tested gummy candy, watermelon and buttered and unbuttered bread by dropping...

    09/23/2016 - 11:53 Health, Microbiology
  • Feature

    Phil Baran finds simple recipes for complex molecules

    Phil Baran, 39ChemistScripps Research Institute

    This is not chemist Phil Baran’s first rodeo: It’s clear that he has done media interviews before. In his Scripps Research Institute office perched above a golf course along the Pacific Ocean in La Jolla, Calif., he is at ease, helpful and patient answering basic questions — why is it important to develop a new way to make a carbon-carbon bond? —...

    09/21/2016 - 11:08 Biomedicine, Chemistry, Science & Society
  • Feature

    Jessica Cantlon seeks the origins of numerical thinking

    Jessica Cantlon, 40Cognitive neuroscientistUniversity of Rochester

    The first time Jessica Cantlon met Kumang at the Seneca Park Zoo, the matriarch orangutan regurgitated her previous meal right into Cantlon’s face. “I was retching,” Cantlon recalls. “It was so gross.” But Cantlon was there to kick off a series of behavioral experiments, and her students, who would be working with Kumang...

    09/21/2016 - 11:07 Neuroscience, Human Evolution