News in Brief
Sneezing out antimicrobial snot may sound like a superpower, but it actually could be a handicap.Triclosan, an omnipresent antimicrobial compound found in products ranging from soaps and toothpaste to medical equipment, is already known to show up in people’s urine, serum and breast milk. It seeps in through ingestion or skin exposure. Now, researchers have found that it gets into snot, too. And...
04/15/2014 - 14:46
Health, Microbes, Toxicology
A mix of four medications has provided the most effective way so far to counter the hepatitis C virus in people with liver scarring.Twelve weeks after taking the last dose of the treatment, 191 of 208 patients had no trace of the virus in their bloodstream and 165 of 172 patients on a 24-week regimen appeared to be clear of the...
04/14/2014 - 12:24
Clinical Trials, Biomedicine, Health
The intricate neural wiring that carries smells to the brain locks into place soon after birth, two new mouse studies suggest. The results, published in the April 11 Science, identify a window of time in which the olfactory system can be scrambled. Once that window closes, the network becomes cemented into the brain, even as newborn neurons continuously stitch themselves into the mix.“It...
04/10/2014 - 14:00
News in Brief
Shaking off jet lag could be as easy as downloading an app. Researchers developed the iPhone app, called Entrain, using mathematical analyses of humans’ daily rhythms to calculate the quickest way to adjust to new time zones.Users plug in their destination and arrival time, and Entrain advises times of the day to soak up or stay out of the light....
04/10/2014 - 12:00
News in Brief
With one protein, a common infection in young children caused by respiratory syncytial virus shoves dying lung cells into the airway, where they can create killer clogs.The blockages are a hallmark of RSV infections, which cause lower airway disease in 34 million infants and young children worldwide annually, resulting in approximately 200,000 deaths. But until now, scientists didn't know exactly...
04/08/2014 - 12:18
Growing up in poverty or an unstable home is associated with shortened protective caps on the ends of children’s chromosomes, researchers report April 7 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Shorter chromosome caps, called telomeres, have been linked to increased risk of death.In a study...
04/08/2014 - 10:59
Health, Genetics, Epigenetics
Baby V really likes to eat. A lot. Ever since she got her first taste of avocado at around 4 months old, the girl has not turned a single snack down. Sardines. Pickles. Plain Greek yogurt. Luckily for me, she eats it all with gusto.Until this week. For some mysterious reason, Baby V started to refuse her scrambled eggs. She simply won’t touch them. (OK, that’s not exactly true: She loves ...
04/07/2014 - 17:52
A father-to-be’s weight may be a greater factor in his child’s risk of developing autism than the weight of the mother.A new study looked at more than 92,000 children and found that obesity — defined as a body mass index of 30 or greater — in the father was associated with an increased risk of autism and Asperger syndrome in his child. A mother’s obesity was only weakly associated with risk for...
04/07/2014 - 15:05
Human Development, Health, Neuroscience
Reviews & Previews
You would expect a place called the International Museum of Surgical Science to display a lot of sharp-edged instruments — and does it ever. From ancient blades used to cut holes in a patient’s skull (a still-mysterious procedure called trepanation) to the modern devices used to remove blockages from blood vessels, this Chicago museum provides a fascinating...
04/07/2014 - 08:30
Biomedicine, Science & Society
Society faces lots of problems that science can’t yet fix, from the troubling rise in asthma to the lack of a cheap energy source that doesn’t harm the environment. But there are also plenty of cases in which scientists know enough to avert tragedy. Whether society acts on that knowledge is a separate issue.The resurgence of whooping cough offers one example. A new type of pertussis vaccine was...
04/04/2014 - 15:00