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  • Feature

    Instead of starving a cancer, researchers go after its defenses

    Like many living things, a cancer cell cannot survive without oxygen. When young and tiny, a malignancy nestles inside a bed of blood vessels that keep it fed. As the mass grows, however, its demand for oxygen outpaces supply. Pockets within the tumor become deprived and send emergency signals for new vessel growth, a process called angiogenesis. In the 1990s, a popular cancer-...

    02/22/2017 - 12:32 Cancer, Cells, Biomedicine
  • The List

    For Ebola patients, a few signs mean treatment’s needed — stat

    A new scorecard, devised by analyzing Ebola patients from the most recent outbreak in West Africa, may help doctors quickly decide who needs additional care to survive the virus in future epidemics.

    In the latest outbreak, which raged in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone from 2014 to 2016, 28,616 people were infected with virus and 11,310 people died. Doctors might be able to improve the...

    02/16/2017 - 07:00 Biomedicine
  • News

    Gastric bypass controls diabetes long term better than other methods

    People who undergo gastric bypass surgery are more likely to experience a remission of their diabetes than patients who receive a gastric sleeve or intensive management of diet and exercise, according to a new study. Bypass surgery had already shown better results for diabetes than other weight-loss methods in the short term, but the new research followed patients for five years.  

    “We...

    02/15/2017 - 17:06 Biomedicine, Health
  • News

    Ricin poisoning may one day be treatable with new antidote

    WASHINGTON — It has been used by an assassin wielding a poisoned umbrella and sent in a suspicious letter to a president.

    Ricin, the potent toxin and bioterrorism agent, has no antidote and can cause death within days. But a cocktail of antibodies could one day offer victims at least a slim window for treatment.

    A new study presented February 7 at the American Society for...

    02/10/2017 - 10:02 Health, Cells, Biomedicine
  • News

    Mouse cells grown in rats cure diabetes in mice

    Growing human organs in other animals is a small step closer to reality.

    Injecting human stem cells into pig and cattle embryos created embryos that incorporate a small number of human cells, scientists report January 26 in Cell. The ultimate goal of the controversial research is to use hybrid, or chimeric, animals to produce human organs for transplant.

    Farm animals incubating...

    01/26/2017 - 12:00 Cells, Biomedicine, Science & Society
  • Scicurious

    How scientists are hunting for a safer opioid painkiller

    An opioid epidemic is upon us. Prescription painkillers such as fentanyl and morphine can ease terrible pain, but they can also cause addiction and death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly 2 million Americans are abusing or addicted to prescription opiates. Politicians are attempting to stem the tide at state and national levels, with bills to change and...

    12/22/2016 - 09:00 Neuroscience, Biomedicine, Health
  • News in Brief

    New blood tests can detect prions

    A new blood test can detect even tiny amounts of infectious proteins called prions, two new studies show.

    Incurable prion diseases, such as mad cow disease (BSE) in cattle and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in people, result from a normal brain protein called PrP twisting into a disease-causing “prion” shape that kills nerve cells in the brain. As many as 30,000 people in the...

    12/21/2016 - 14:00 Biomedicine
  • Feature

    Year in review: ‘Three-parent baby’ technique raises hope and concern

    A “three-parent baby” was born in April, the world’s first reported birth from a controversial technique designed to prevent mitochondrial diseases from passing from mother to child.

    “As far as we can tell, the baby is normal and free of disease,” says Andrew R. La Barbera, chief scientific officer of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. “This demonstrates that, in point of...

    12/14/2016 - 07:39 Genetics, Science & Society, Biomedicine
  • News

    Losing tropical forest might raise risks of human skin ulcers, deformed bones

    Clearing tropical forests may raise the risk of people being exposed to a gruesome disease called Buruli ulcer, a new study suggests.

    Mycobacterium ulcerans, the bacteria that cause Buruli skin lesions and bone deformities, can thrive in a wide range of wild creatures, especially tiny insects grazing on freshwater algae, says Aaron Morris, now at Imperial College London. Surveying more...

    12/07/2016 - 14:00 Ecology, Biomedicine, Conservation
  • News

    Mitochondria variants battle for cell supremacy

    Some mitochondria naturally have an advantage over others in the battle for cellular domination, a new study shows. The finding could make procedures for producing “three-parent babies” safer.

    Doctors carrying out DNA-swapping techniques to prevent mothers from passing mitochondrial diseases to their children should choose egg donors whose mitochondria can hold their own against other...

    11/30/2016 - 13:00 Cells, Biomedicine