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New pain relief for dental work goes up your nose

A Phase 3 clinical trial has deemed a nasal spray called Kovanaze safe and effective for avoiding pain at the dentist—including the sting of a numbing injection.

‘Turing learning’ means machines don’t need our help

Researchers working with swarm robots say it is now possible for machines to learn how natural or artificial systems work by observing them—without being told what to look for.

Japan is building a culture to foster start-ups

Japanese corporations are evolving and adopting a “start-up culture” to boost their business creativity and their country’s economic prospects, research shows.

C. diff bacteria may linger in pets and kids

Household transmission of Clostridium difficile to pets and children may be a source of C. difficile infections outside of healthcare settings, according to a small study.

Could ‘valleytronics’ cool off electronics?

A device made of bilayer graphene, an atomically thin hexagonal arrangement of carbon atoms, provides experimental proof of the ability to control the momentum of electrons.

Pea-size brain structure may make beer cravings

Researchers used brain imaging to compare the reactions of beer drinkers to a taste of their favorite brew versus that of Gatorade.

Songbirds took this route to take over the world

Songbirds began diversifying about 33 million years ago in Australia. Then, 23 million years ago, they jumped through early islands in the Indonesian archipelago into Asia—and then around the world.

Plant grows and fights pests at the same time

Plants face a dilemma: outgrow and outcompete their neighbors for light, or defend themselves against insects and disease.

Self-sabotage peaks at our favorite time of day

If you’re a “morning person,” you’re more likely to undermine your performance on a stressful task early in the day, research suggests.

Cannabinoid is culprit when stress becomes anxiety

A new study shows what happens in the brain when stress triggers anxiety. The closely linked emotions of stress and anxiety are both generated in the limbic system of the brain.

Obese patients aren’t getting obesity diagnosis

Despite a growing epidemic, many medical providers fail to diagnose obesity in their patients—missing an opportunity to identify an important component of long-term health.

The solar system’s fate depends on ‘Planet Nine’

If the mysterious “Planet Nine” exists, then the sun’s death would throw the solar system into disaster, new research suggests.

Pacific sea level predicts rise in surface temps

Sea level changes in the Pacific Ocean let scientists estimate future global average surface temperatures, a new report shows.

8 more cancers linked to excess weight

Researchers have identified eight additional types of cancer linked to excess weight and obesity: stomach, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, ovary, meningioma (a type of brain tumor), thyroid cancer, and the blood cancer multiple myeloma.

Veterans who misuse painkillers often turn to heroin

Military veterans who misuse opioid painkillers are highly likely to begin using heroin as well, a 10-year study of nearly 3,400 US veterans shows.

These 3 existing drugs might fight Zika

Several drugs already in the pharmaceutical arsenal have potential to fight Zika virus infections, tests with lab-grown human cells reveal.

Hurricane Katrina slashed New Orleans lead levels

Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans 11 years ago, but the storm’s legacy may have a silver lining: reduced levels of lead in soil across the city.

Low-income kindergartners close the ‘readiness gap’

On the first day of kindergarten, many low-income children are already playing catch-up. Yet, despite widening economic inequality in the US, many of those kids are not as far behind as low-income kids once were, a new study finds.

Scientists find Europe’s oldest living tree in Greece

A Bosnian pine living in the highlands of Greece appears to be more than 1,075 years old, making it the oldest known living tree in Europe.

Fracking chemicals alter hormones of baby mice

More than 15 million Americans live within a one-mile radius of unconventional oil and gas operations.