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  • News

    Ebola vaccine protects people in West Africa

    The first large test of an Ebola vaccine in the field shows strong protection against the lethal virus. With the epidemic in West Africa now in retreat, the shot might hasten disease elimination in Guinea, which still has cases cropping up.

    “This is a huge advance in the Ebola field,” says Thomas Geisbert, an immunologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. “It’s been...

    07/31/2015 - 17:38 Clinical Trials, Biomedicine
  • Science Ticker

    Kidney transplants may benefit from a slightly chilled donor

    Cooling an organ donor’s body after death might improve kidney function in transplant recipients.

    Scientists compared the function of kidneys from 150 organ donors whose bodies were cooled to between 34˚ and 35˚ Celsius (93.2˚ to 95˚ Fahrenheit), and those from 152 donors whose bodies were kept warm at between 36.5˚ and 37.5˚ C (97.7˚ to 99.5˚ F). Doctors kept the bodies at those...

    07/31/2015 - 11:35 Health
  • Growth Curve

    Antibiotics early in life may have lingering effects

    A few months back, two puffy, red eyes full of goop landed my toddler in the doctor’s office, where an exam also turned up two ear infections. This double-eye, double-ear whammy led to her first dose of antibiotics, post haste.

    I was tremendously thankful for something that might make her feel better. But as she began slurping down her bubble gum-flavored medicine after breakfast, I...

    07/31/2015 - 11:17 Microbes, Human Development, Health
  • Say What?

    The five basic tastes have sixth sibling: oleogustus

    Oleogustus
    /OH-lee-oh-GUHS-tuhs/ n.

    The taste of certain fats.

    Move over, umami. Fat is the newest member of the pantheon of basic tastes, joining salty, sweet, sour, bitter and savory, or umami.

    Researchers at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., conducted taste tests pitting a variety of fats against flavors in the other taste categories, such as monosodium...

    07/31/2015 - 06:00 Nutrition, Physiology
  • News

    Caterpillar treats and tricks ants by oozing spiked juice

    Beware the caterpillar offering a juicy treat. Sips tweak ant brain chemistry, lulling the insects into neglecting their own colony in favor of hanging around the source of the marvelous droplets.

    Effects on the brain help Narathura japonica caterpillars recruit a corps of ant bodyguards, says chemical ecologist Masaru K. Hojo of Kobe University in Japan. In lab tests, ants...

    07/30/2015 - 12:07 Animals, Neuroscience, Ecology
  • News

    New view of mouse brain provides up-close look at nerve cells’ habitat

    View video

    A tiny speck of mouse brain hosts a microscopic wonderland, a new study reveals. By characterizing the dense, complex habitat of brain cells down to nanometers, scientists have uncovered clues about how the brain wires itself. Among the early revelations: Nearby brain cells don’t always form connections.

    ...

    07/30/2015 - 12:00 Neuroscience
  • Letters to the Editor

    Global warming unpaused, how space affects the brain and more reader feedback

    Space travel vs. the brain

    Getting to Mars may leave a mark on astronauts’ minds. In “Trip to Mars could damage brain cells” (SN...

    07/29/2015 - 15:27 Neuroscience, Climate, Cells
  • Scicurious

    How trans fats oozed into our diet and out again

    On June 16 the Food and Drug Administration made the final call: Trans fats are no longer “generally recognized as safe” for use in food. That means that food manufacturers have three years to ooze these cheap and useful fats out of their processed foods.

    In fact, most of them already have. Trans fat —a...

    07/29/2015 - 14:24 Nutrition, Science & Society
  • News

    Resveratrol’s anticancer benefits show up in low doses

    Less can be more.

    Low doses of resveratrol, a chemical found in red grapes and some other foods, were better than higher ones at stimulating cancer-fighting processes, researchers report July 29 in Science Translational Medicine. Mice with a genetic predisposition for colon cancer also developed...

    07/29/2015 - 14:00 Biomedicine, Cancer, Physiology
  • Feature

    Brain activity in unconscious patients offers new views of awareness

    The average brain weighs about 1.3 kilograms and consumes 20 percent of the body’s energy budget. Much of that energy powers the brain’s 86 billion nerve cells, or neurons, which conduct tiny electrical currents that can travel close to 120 meters per second. A typical neuron transmits its signals to about 7,000 neighboring cells and to cells beyond. These neurons assemble into structures...

    07/28/2015 - 17:47 Neuroscience