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  • Culture Beaker

    Attempt to shame journalists with chocolate study is shameful

    “I Fooled Millions Into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weight Loss. Here's How.”

    That’s the headline on a May 27 article by science journalist John Bohannon that revealed the backstory of a sting operation he conducted earlier this year. Bohannon and a...

    05/28/2015 - 18:09 Science & Society, Health
  • Science Ticker

    Mice grow a thinner skin during long stays in space

    Long trips in space may thin the skin. Three months spent aboard the International Space Station made mice’s skin waste away and made the animals' hair grow, a new study shows. Scientists had hints that skin might be sensitive to weightlessness (...

    05/28/2015 - 09:56 Health, Physiology
  • News

    Cerebellum may be site of creative spark

    Creative sparks may fly from the brain’s cerebellum. Activity in that part of the brain, once thought to be a plodding, steady workhorse, increased as people inside an fMRI scanner created Pictionary drawings, scientists report May 28 in Scientific Reports.

    While other scientists caution that the brain scan results lack the precision to say that cerebellum activity tracks...

    05/28/2015 - 07:13 Neuroscience
  • Science Stats

    One in 10 people with tattoos experience rashes, scarring or other problems

    Tattoos may have people seeing red.

    Up to 6 percent of inked adults develop a long-lasting rash, researchers report online May 27 in Contact Dermatitis. In some cases, itchy, scaly, puffy skin at the tattoo site lingered for years.

    Of 300 tattooed adults surveyed in New York’s Central Park, more than 10 percent had...

    05/27/2015 - 20:00 Health
  • Scicurious

    Diet and nutrition is more complex than a simple sugar

    When it comes to studying the vast complexity of the food we eat, it helps to simplify. Test one nutrient or variable at a time to find out how each functions. Compare one part of a sugar molecule against another. These studies can tell us a great deal about how specific nutrients are processed in the body, and how they affect our health, our waistlines and even our behavior.

    But one...

    05/26/2015 - 16:04 Neuroscience
  • Science Stats

    Genes and environment balance each other

    Combatants in the age-old battle of nature versus nurture may finally be able to lay down their arms. On average, both nature and nurture contribute roughly equally to determining human traits.

    Researchers compiled data from half a century’s worth of studies on more than 14 million pairs of twins. The researchers measured heritability — the amount of variation in a characteristic that...

    05/26/2015 - 12:40 Genetics, Human Development
  • News in Brief

    Ebola gatekeeper protein identified

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    Ebola relies on a molecular “inside man” to sneak into cells.

    Mice lacking the virus’s accomplice, a protein called NPC1, are completely protected from Ebola infection, scientists report May 26 in mBio. Designing drugs that target NPC1 could potentially stop Ebola from breaking and...

    05/26/2015 - 10:00 Health
  • News

    No-pain gene discovered

    Mutations in a previously unscrutinized gene can leave people dangerously indifferent to harm, researchers report May 25 in Nature Genetics.

    Certain changes to this gene, PRDM12, rob people of the ability to feel pain, leading to unintentional injuries such as scarred tongues, scratched corneas and missing digits. A deeper...

    05/25/2015 - 11:00 Neuroscience, Health
  • News

    Mutations that drive cancer lurk in healthy skin

    By late middle age, about a quarter of skin cells carry cancer-driving mutations caused by exposure to sunlight — and it’s perfectly normal.

    Researchers had previously thought that the types of mutations that fuel tumor growth were rare and happened just before a cell becomes cancerous. But a study of the eyelids of four people who don’t have cancer reveals that such mutations “are...

    05/21/2015 - 14:11 Genetics, Cancer
  • News

    Brain implants let paralyzed man move robotic arm

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    A paralyzed man can now make a robotic arm do some smooth moves. Tiny silicon chips embedded in an action-planning part of his brain let the man control the arm easily and fluidly with his thoughts, scientists report in the May 22 Science.

    “This is groundbreaking...

    05/21/2015 - 14:00 Neuroscience, Robotics, Technology