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Comet dust coats Mercury with ‘invisible paint’

Scientists have long puzzled over the planet Mercury’s dark, barely reflective surface. Now they believe they have the answer.

Ants tumble but keep marching in microgravity

Last year, eight groups of ants flew to the International Space Station. Results from their trip show that the collective search behavior of ants in microgravity had some interesting twists.

Loner giant pandas like to hang out, too

The idea that pandas are reclusive loners may not be as on target as once believed. For a new study, researchers captured, collared, and tracked five pandas from 2010 to 2012 in the Wolong Nature Reserve in southwest China.

Virtual nose keeps gamers from feeling sick

Simulator sickness—which often induces vertigo and even nausea—often afflicts players of virtual reality games, but inserting a “virtual nose” into the picture may be a way to lessen the queasiness.

Air pollution is no barrier to exercise

If you use your area’s air pollution as a reason not to exercise, you might need to find a better excuse.

MRI could use sugary ‘slime’ to find cancer

An MRI that detects cellular slime could someday replace invasive biopsies to confirm that patients have cancer.

Can this garlic nutrient keep brains healthy?

A nutrient in garlic may offer the brain cells protection against aging and disease, according to new research.

Why ‘keyhole’ surgery should be more common

Minimally invasive surgeries are not performed often enough, resulting in unnecessary complications from traditional open incision procedures and costing US hospitals upwards of $280 million a year.

Single drop test detects disease in 90 minutes

A single-drop DNA test, which works like a pH test for swimming pools, detects disease and gives a result in 90 minutes.

‘Bottleneck’ events pop up in DNA patterns

Genetics researchers have found striking patterns in the building blocks of DNA in a wide variety of species.

How gallium arsenide could outcompete silicon

Computer chips, solar cells, and other electronic devices have traditionally been based on silicon, the most famous of the semiconductors, that special class of materials whose unique electronic properties can be manipulated to turn electricity on and off the way faucets control the flow of water.

Can Sweet ‘N Low stunt cancer’s growth?

Labeled as a cancer-causing chemical for decades and declared safe about 15 years ago, saccharin may actually inhibit the growth of cancer cells, according to new research.

Childhood trauma boosts chance of early psychosis

More than 75 percent of people with early psychosis say they were exposed to some form of trauma in childhood.

Soft nanotube fibers may improve brain electrodes

New experiments show that biocompatible carbon nanotube fibers are ideal candidates for small, safe electrodes that interact with the brain, say researchers.

Even ‘last resort’ antibiotics are starting to fail

Bacteria frequently implicated in respiratory and urinary infections in hospitals may soon develop complete resistance to antibiotics, even those used as a last resort, experts warn.

Biomarker combo could flag concussion

A new look at the molecular aftermath of concussion reveals a candidate panel of blood biomarkers that can accurately signal mild traumatic brain injury within hours.

Blood test can detect tiny ‘funnel’ protein

Scientists have developed a way to measure the protein apo-M in our blood. The protein is of interest because it may prove important to research into diseases such as multiple sclerosis, arteriosclerosis, and diabetes.

Is ‘tastier’ raw milk worth the risk?

If you drink raw milk, you are 100 times more likely to get foodborne illness than if you drink pasteurized milk, a new study shows.

‘Stubby’ wings let hummingbirds hover so well

Scientists have used more than a million fine samples of aerodynamic force and airflow combined to determine what makes a hummingbird’s wings so good at hovering.

Why American sympathy cards veer positive

When we hear about a tragedy or troubling situation, culture affects how we respond. For example, Americans of European descent are more positive in how they articulate sympathy, whereas Germans are more direct about the negativity of the circumstance.