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Exposure to different types of dirt may boost body’s immune system, study suggests

Jef Akst | 
Differences in allergy incidence between the two sides of the Finnish-Russian border might have something to do with exposure to ...

We don’t know enough yet to effectively pick embryos to get smarter, taller children, study says

Shawna Williams | 
Despite advances in understanding the combined effects of multiple genes on complex traits in humans, efforts to choose embryos based ...
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‘Strange’ decade gave us CRISPR, gene therapy advances and a Neanderthal genome

Bob Grant | 
[H]ere, we present some of the innovations, both conceptual and technological, that stood out throughout the past decade. … In ...
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Emergency approval sends new oral polio vaccine to front lines, bypassing clinical trials

Robert Fortner | 
To stem a growing polio crisis, health officials are accelerating the development of a new oral vaccine with plans for emergency ...
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Video: Neuroscientist Sergiu Pasca on his pioneering efforts to grow brain organoids from stem cells

Sergiu Pasca | 
When [Stanford University brain researcher Sergiu] Pasca started his own lab at the university in 2014, he continued working on ...

Infographic: These blood biomarkers could be critical to diagnosing, treating Alzheimer’s

Shawna Williams | 
Researchers are investigating a host of molecules found in the blood that could reveal pathological processes in the brain. Here ...
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Pursuit of ‘speech prosthetic’ for people who’ve lost the ability to talk could be boosted by this discovery

Shawna Williams | 
One [area of the brain is called] the “hand knob,” which, as the name suggests, is a knobby region of ...
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Why finding a blood test for Alzheimer’s could be the key to new treatments

Shawna Williams | 
Alzheimer’s patients who were at earlier stages of the disease did better than those with more advanced cognitive decline [in ...

Was it ‘bad luck’—not ancient humans—that drove Neanderthals to extinction?

Catherine Offord | 
Neanderthals may have gone extinct due to chance, and not, as some researchers previously thought, due to competition for resources ...
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New dengue fever defense? Mosquitoes infected with common bacteria can’t transmit dangerous virus

Emily Makowski | 
Mosquitoes infected with Wolbachia bacteria and released into the wild are associated with a sharp decrease in dengue fever infections in humans, ...
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More children sickened by polio vaccine than by wild virus

Jef Akst | 
Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, and Angola have experienced nine new cases of polio caused by the ...

Universal ecology: Laws of physics and mathematics apply across the universe. Are there biological laws?

John Damuth, Lev Ginzburg, Mark Colyvan | 
On Earth, bacteria grow exponentially, lynx eat hares, and red panda populations decline due to habitat loss and fragmentation. How ...
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Does the keto diet offer protection against the flu?

Abby Olena | 
Mice fed a ketogenic diet—in which 90 percent of calories come from fat and less than 1 percent from carbohydrates—were ...
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Infographic: Creating artificial human chromosomes

Ruth Williams | 
To convert a piece of cloned DNA into a centromere-containing human artificial chromosome (HAC), an array of repeated LacO sequences ...

Cancer cells alter mutation rates to survive targeted therapies. Researchers want to know how they do it.

Abby Olena | 
In response to antibiotic treatment, bacteria improve their odds of survival by increasing the rate of mutations in their genomes, ...
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China’s new Alzheimer drug greeted with ‘surprise and skepticism’ by researchers

Emily Makowski | 
China’s approval of the drug oligomannate earlier this month for treating mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease has been met with surprise and ...
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Children from extramarital affairs not as common as we think, study shows

Ashley Yeager | 
That old joke about the milkman fathering many of a town’s children—it’s far from true, a new study reaffirms. Researchers ...
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What makes a murderer? MRI scans reveal reduced gray matter patterns in convicts

Nicoletta Lanese | 
Kent Kiehl and his research team regularly park their long, white trailer just outside the doors of maximum-security prisons across the ...
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Neural stem cell transplants show promise for treating stroke, Parkinson’s, spinal injuries

Ashley Taylor | 
Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease is a genetic malady that leaves neurons without their myelin coating. This deficit has devastating consequences for the ...

Chicxulub asteroid impact sparked mammal growth surge, fossil ‘trove’ shows

Emily Makowski | 
After an asteroid crashed into what is now Chicxulub, Mexico 66 million years ago, a chain of events occurred that ...
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Viewpoint: New antibiotics won’t save us from drug-resistant bacterial infections

Arturo Casadevall, Neil Greenspan | 
Of course, there is an ongoing search for new safe and effective antibiotics, but agents are very difficult to find ...
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Brain organoids may have ‘critical’ research limitation: Imperfect modeling of human development

Arnold Kriegstein, Diana Kwon | 
Despite their potential, [brain] organoids still have some critical limitations. In a study presented [October 22] at the Society for Neuroscience meeting ...
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ISIS leader al-Baghdadi’s remains may have been identified with new rapid DNA testing technology

Emma Yasinski | 
On Sunday (October 27), President Donald Trump announced that US Special Operations forces had cornered Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the current ...
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Deafness edited out of human eggs by Russian researcher. No plans for gene-edited babies—yet

Emily Makowski | 
Russian biologist Denis Rebrikov has started editing the GJB2 gene, associated with deafness, in human eggs donated by women who ...

Engineered molecule could protect key food crops from intensifying droughts as climate changes

Abby Olena | 
An engineered small molecule called opabactin that targets the receptor for the hormone abscisic acid (ABA), which plants release in ...
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‘Time to stop debating’: Researchers blame enterovirus for mysterious polio-like paralysis in kids

Catherine Offord | 
A team of researchers has published evidence that an enterovirus is to blame for a mysterious neurologic illness that has ...
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‘Brain drain’ increases genetic inequality between wealthy, poor regions in UK study

Abdel Abdellaoui, Judy Luigjes | 
An unintended side effect of merit-based social mobility is that it stimulates selective migration; people with a higher education are ...
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Commercialization without consent: Sanger Institute accused of violating agreements with African scientists

Kerry Grens | 
The Wellcome Sanger Institute in the UK had planned to commercialize a genetics array based on African DNA samples, whistleblowers ...