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Missing data? African study shows why we need to expand the human reference genome

Cathleen O'Grady | 
The human genome sequence, first published in 2001, has some important information missing. The latest version of it, called GRCh38, ...
night owl

Does being a night owl increase breast cancer risk?

Cathleen O'Grady | 
A paper presented at the National Cancer Research Institute [November 5] has made for some flashy headlines, like this confident declaration from India’s Economic Times: ...

Can llamas give us a universal flu vaccine?

Diana Gitig | 
Llama antibodies are different from ours. Our antibodies are a mix of two pairs of proteins, heavy and light, wrapped ...
archaeologists find year old tools in desert of Saudi Arabia

300,000-year-old stone tools found in Saudi Arabian desert could shed light on human migration out of Africa

Kiona Smith | 
Stone tools unearthed in Saudi Arabia’s inhospitable Nefud Desert indicate that members of our genus Homo had ventured beyond the ...

‘Gender-equality paradox’: Why are differences stronger in wealthier, gender-equal nations?

Cathleen O'Grady | 
In Sweden, girls are just as likely to go to school and university as boys are. Women make up a greater ...

Rats and hepatitis E: How animal diseases jump to humans

Beth Mole | 
The first known case of rat hepatitis jumping to a human patient has reopened a long-standing mystery of how the ...

Diagnosing deadly medieval fever epidemics through ancient DNA

Kiona Smith | 
Many epidemics of fever ravaged Europe from ancient times through the early 20th century. But one disease stands out in ...
alboin entering pavia

Ancient Italian cemeteries tell tales of barbarian migration

John Timmer | 
We know very little of [Longobards] or any of the other barbarian tribes that roared through Western Europe other than ...
epilepsy autism genetics neurosciencenews

Brain implants could control epileptic seizures with chemical stimulants

Jennifer Ouellette | 
People who suffer severe epileptic seizures may one day be able to control or even prevent them with an electronic ...

Pinpointing the internal clock that helps us mark the passage of time

Jennifer Ouellette | 
Manmade clocks may precisely measure time, but, from a human perspective, the passage of time is remarkably fluid. It drags ...

How math skills and a love of patterns are linked to autism

Chris Lee | 
[O]ur brain uses two modules to try to make sense of the world. One systemizes: it looks for patterns and ...

Hospital ‘superbugs’ getting better at defeating alcohol-based hand sanitizers

Beth Mole | 
Popular hand sanitizers may be heading the way of antibiotics, according to a study published this week in Science Translational Medicine ...
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Boy almost back to normal 3 years after doctors remove large section of his brain

Beth Mole | 
A boy who had large parts of the right side of his brain removed due to a slow-growing tumor made ...
preschool x

Genes play a role in educational achievement, but not as much as your parents’ education does

John Timmer | 
What's more important, genes or environment? …The advent of genomics has given us a new perspective on the role of ...

Using gene editing to merge an organism’s chromosomes into ‘one giant molecule’

John Timmer | 
Complex organisms have complex genomes. While bacteria and archaea keep all of their genes on a single loop of DNA, ...

Why it’s difficult to declare the end of an Ebola outbreak

Beth Mole | 
The World Health Organization on [July 24] declared the official end of the latest outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic ...
Pneumonia patient

Better than antibiotics? Bacteria-targeting viruses show potential against pneumonia

John Timmer | 
Like other cells, bacteria often find themselves victims of viral infections, dying as new viruses burst out to infect their ...

Can we delay aging by killing off old cells with powerful drug combo?

John Timmer | 
We have a good idea of what makes individual cells old. Things like DNA damage, shortened chromosome ends, and a ...
Feed the World sans GMOs x

GMO crops so efficient at killing pests, adjacent non-GMO crops are also protected

Diana Gitig | 
One of the great purported boons of GMOs is that they allow farmers to use fewer pesticides, some of which are ...

USDA wants your opinion on its GMO labeling proposal

John Timmer | 
There's nothing inherently unsafe about genetically engineering crops or agricultural animals. ... But the public has been consistently uneasy about ...
cell phone radiation anti media

Ars Technica decision to reject reporting on latest cellphone scare study illustrates how journalists apply science literacy

John Timmer | 
[Recently], a fellow editor emailed me a link to yet another study purporting to show that cellphone use could be ...
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Woman’s death blamed on bee-sting acupuncture promoted by Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop

Beth Mole | 
A 55-year-old Spanish woman has died following repeated exposures to an acupuncture method that uses live, stinging bees instead of ...
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Stone tool evolution study illuminates early human development

Kiona Smith | 
For at least 2.6 million years, humans and our ancestors have been making stone tools by chipping off flakes of ...

Ecological vanishing act: African rainforests disappeared, then bounced back

Kiona Smith | 
Three thousand years ago, dense old-growth rainforests covered most of central Africa. But around 2,600 years ago, an event that ...

Male birth control: Still no pill despite 50 years of contraceptive research

Hannah Flynn | 
Today, there are 17 female-controlled forms of contraception approved by the FDA, including the birth control pill. Yet condoms and ...
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What happened to the native Caribbeans? Ancient DNA could solve mystery

Kiona Smith | 
The Bahamas weren’t settled until 1,500 years ago. The people who settled there are known as the Lucayan Taino, and ...
NASA Photo Bio Mimicry Project Robert Dumitru

Harnessing evolution for space travel: Using biomimicry to recreate life on Mars

Matthew Francis | 
[E]volution has had billions of years of trial and error to produce species that are well adapted chemically and physically ...
poison arrow

Ancient poison used for arrows could lead to male birth control pills

Beth Mole | 
According to scientists, a poison arrow in the quiver may let loose a very sticky nether-region massacre. The poison in ...