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E.g., 06/30/2015
E.g., 06/30/2015
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  • Scicurious

    No matter the language, disease risk is hard to communicate

    At the beginning of June, my travel companion and I were lost somewhere in the bowels of the Seoul subway in South Korea. As we puzzled over a map we could barely read, a kind young woman, a surgical mask covering her nose and mouth, stopped and offered to help us find our way. As she led us to our next train, she looked at me seriously. “You should get one of these,” she said, gesturing to...

    06/29/2015 - 16:56 Science & Society, Health
  • Science Ticker

    Pain may come in his and hers

    Male and female mice use different kinds of cells to respond to pain, a new study shows. The results suggest that if a similar thing happens in people, pain treatments ought to be tailored to men or women.

    Scientists knew that after an injury, cells called microglia in the spinal cord spring into action, a process that’s been linked...

    06/29/2015 - 11:59 Neuroscience
  • Growth Curve

    Should you eat your baby’s placenta?

    Having a baby means having to make decisions. Among the countless quandaries parents face are where and how they’ll give birth, what they’ll name the new little fella and whether they should buy a swing or a bouncer. In recent years, another question is getting thrown into the mix: Should a new mom eat her placenta?

    Though statistics are elusive, it seems more and more women are...

    06/26/2015 - 07:00 Health, Science & Society
  • Science Ticker

    Poppy yields the final secret to making morphine

    The final puzzle piece in the chemical pathway that makes morphine has been identified, scientists report June 25 in Science. The work fills in the center piece in the path — the protein converting the compound (S)-reticuline to (R)-reticuline.

    By analyzing poppy DNA and confirming its function in yeast,...

    06/25/2015 - 16:08 Plants, Health
  • News

    One path that fear takes in the brain discovered

    View the video

    A zap of blue light to the brain can make a mouse flee or freeze. By exciting select nerve cells, scientists have for the first time identified and hijacked a neural pathway that carries threatening information from the eyes to the brain.

    The results, published in the June...

    06/25/2015 - 14:00 Neuroscience
  • News

    Switching off nerve cells eases asthma attacks

    To stop an asthma attack, just numb some nerve cells.

    Dulling nerve cells in mice’s lungs soothes irritated airways by easing inflammation and out-of-control coughing, researchers report online June 25 in Neuron.

    “It’s a game changer,” says asthma researcher Christopher Evans of the University of Colorado Denver. He thinks targeting nerve cells could be a feasible...

    06/25/2015 - 12:00 Health
  • News

    New cancer drugs wake up sleeping killer T cells

    Cancer relies on a bag of tricks that can render it virtually invisible to the body’s disease-fighting apparatus. Tumors even co-opt “checkpoint” proteins found on the immune system’s T cells. These proteins normally prevent the immune system from running amok. When activated, these checkpoints can turn a T cell from a bristling warrior ready for a fight into a dozing sentinel — and cancer...

    06/25/2015 - 08:30 Cancer, Clinical Trials
  • News

    Spit test could provide early warning of head, neck cancers

    Doctors may be able to detect head and neck cancers more promptly with the help of saliva.

    DNA from tumors can appear in the saliva and blood plasma of patients with head and neck cancers, researchers report June 24 in Science Translational Medicine. This DNA could help identify cancer, or its recurrence, at an early stage.  Previous studies have suggested using tumors’...

    06/24/2015 - 14:00 Cancer, Genetics
  • News

    Sense of smell is strictly personal, study suggests

    A person’s sense of smell may reveal a lot about his or her identity.

    A new test can distinguish individuals based upon their perception of odors, possibly reflecting a person’s genetic makeup, scientists report online June 22 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    Most humans perceive a given...

    06/22/2015 - 15:00 Neuroscience
  • News

    Brain’s adult stem cells born early

    Stem cells in the adult brain are born early in embryonic life, scientists report in the June 18 Cell. Understanding when and how these cells arise is a step toward designer cells that could be used to repopulate damaged brain areas. 

    Neural stem cells hold great promise for repairing brains because they are capable of continually producing new nerve cells, even in an adult...

    06/22/2015 - 10:22 Neuroscience