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  • 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
  • Growth Curve

    Playtime at the pool may boost youngsters’ bodies and brains

    This guest post is by SN's web producer Ashley Yeager, who can't remember ever not knowing how to swim. 

    Sometimes my brother-in-law will scoop up my 2-year-old niece and fly her around like Superwoman. She’ll start kicking her legs and swinging her arms like she’s swimming — especially when we say, “paddle,...

    05/20/2015 - 07:00 Human Development
  • News

    Snagging blood clots upgrades stroke care

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    Taking a cue from cardiology, doctors have begun treating strokes caused by blood clots in the brain by the most direct route imaginable — approaching the blockage from inside the artery.

    The concept is well-tested. Obstructed heart vessels are routinely opened with balloon-tipped catheters threaded up to the blockage. Attempts to clear...

    05/19/2015 - 15:10 Health, Clinical Trials
  • Science Ticker

    Broken bones heal with young blood, how remains a mystery

    Young blood is good for old bones.

    Elderly mice hooked up to the circulatory systems of young adult mice bounce back quickly from broken legs, researchers report May 19 in Nature Communications. The bone-healing finding is the latest in a chain of recent studies exposing the health benefits of young blood on different parts of...

    05/19/2015 - 11:00 Health
  • How Bizarre

    Pandas’ gut bacteria resemble carnivores’

    A giant panda may look like a teddy bear, but it’s got the guts of a grizzly.

    Microbes living in the bamboo lovers’ intestines match those of meat eaters, researchers report May 19 in mBio. Panda poop lacks the useful plant-digesting bacteria typically found in the feces of other herbivores, an analysis of 45 giant pandas...

    05/19/2015 - 09:00 Animals, Microbes, Health
  • Science Ticker

    E-cigarette flavorings may harm lungs

    Certain flavorings in e-cigarettes can harm lung cells, researchers report May 17 at the American Thoracic Society International Conference in Denver.

    Researchers exposed human lung cells to various doses of 13 flavorings for either 30 minutes or 24 hours. Five of the flavorings...

    05/18/2015 - 15:00 Toxicology, Health
  • Feature

    Typical American diet can damage immune system

    Blair River was described as “a big guy with a big heart.” The 575-pound former high school wrestler from Mesa, Ariz., became such a fixture at the Heart Attack Grill that he was recruited to be the restaurant’s official spokesperson. His satirical ads made him a minor celebrity in central Arizona.  He died in 2011 at age 29 — not because of his heart but from complications of influenza.

    05/18/2015 - 13:00 Microbiology, Nutrition
  • Science Ticker

    A firm grip may predict risk of death better than blood pressure

    Strong handshakes may influence more than first impressions. Individuals with a weaker grip have a higher risk of death from heart attack or stroke than people with mightier hand muscles. The finding held steady even after adjusting for age, smoking habits and physical activity, researchers report...

    05/18/2015 - 09:00 Health
  • Feature

    How to rewire the eye

    A man who had been blind for 50 years allowed scientists to insert a tiny electrical probe into his eye.

    The man’s eyesight had been destroyed and the photoreceptors, or light-gathering cells, at the back of his eye no longer worked. Those cells, known as rods and cones, are the basis of human vision. Without them, the world becomes gray and formless, though not completely black. The...

    05/15/2015 - 14:10 Genetics, Technology, Health