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‘Quantum jitter’ to reveal if we live in a hologram

In a new experiment called the “Holometer,” scientists are trying to answer some seemingly odd questions, including whether or not we live in a hologram.

Is the U.S. Southwest headed for a ‘megadrought’

The chance that the southwestern United States will experience a decade-long drought sometime in the next century is at least 50 percent, researchers say.

Parenting research often skips dads

Not enough parenting interventions target men or make a dedicated effort to include them, despite fathers’ substantial impact on child development, well-being, and family functioning, researchers report.

In autism, brain doesn’t ‘prune’ extra synapses

Neuroscientists have discovered extra synapses in the brains of children and adolescents with autism.

‘Hacked’ yeast may replace pain-killing poppies

For centuries poppy plants have been grown to provide opium, the compound from which morphine and other important medicines such as oxycodone are derived.

Pot-smoking couples tend to be less violent

A study of more than 600 married couples finds that the more often they smoked marijuana together, the less likely they were to engage in domestic violence.

Squid skin inspires eye-like photodetector

The technology behind a new type of photodetector mimics the way squid likely sense colors. Cephalopods like octopus and squid are masters of camouflage, but they are also color-blind.

Is ‘down the drain’ ibuprofen making fish sick?

Ibuprofen appears to be having a negative effect on the health of fish in nearly 50 percent of the rivers involved in a new study.

Can ‘experiential’ stuff let you buy happiness?

Conventional wisdom says that buying experiences brings more happiness than buying material items. But, if you’re going to buy an object, pick ones that provide you with experiences, say researchers.

Vision loss linked to higher death risk for older adults

Older adults who lose their vision as they age are more likely to face an increased risk of death, new research shows.

Jurassic mammals were picky eaters

Tiny shrew-like mammals that lived during the Jurassic period didn’t eat just anything. By analyzing jaw mechanics and fossil teeth, researchers were able to determine that two animals from this period between 201 and 145 million years ago, Morganucodon and Kuehneotherium, developed better hearing and teeth capable of precise chewing—and liked to feed on distinct types of insects.

Simple alerts can cut infections from catheters

Simpler, automatic alerts in electronic health records can cut the number of urinary tract infections in patients with urinary catheters, report researchers.

Rapeseed genes could take ‘the bite’ out of broccoli

Scientists have unraveled the genetic code of the rapeseed plant—which could lead to better canola oil—and possibly to less bitter broccoli.

How mindfulness can ease ‘burden’ of dementia

Mindfulness training eases depression and improves sleep and quality of life for both people with early-stage dementia and their caregivers, research shows.

Fewer overdose deaths in states with legal marijuana

In 2010, states with legalized medical marijuana recorded about 1,700 fewer deaths from prescription painkiller abuse than were expected.

Fish teeth show winners of massive die-off

An analysis of ancient teeth and shark scales suggests that fish populations in the Pacific Ocean were largely unaffected by a mass extinction event 66 million years ago.

Can gut bacteria stop peanut allergies?

A common class of gut microbe called Clostridia appears to prevent mice from becoming sensitized to peanuts—a key step in the development of food allergies.

Sickly reefs smell bad to baby coral and fish

Unhealthy coral reefs give off chemical cues that repulse young coral and fish, discouraging them from moving into the neighborhood.

Protein tethers HIV and Ebola to cells

A family of proteins that helps viruses, such as HIV and Ebola, enter a cell also can block the release of those viruses.

Tourism and mining threaten tiny primate

Genetic research could help save a tiny, carnivorous primate from the Philippines called the tarsier.