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Bile acid might prevent deadly heart ‘scars’

There’s currently no treatment for cardiac fibrosis, a leading cause of heart failure. But new research suggests there may be a way to prevent it.

Graphene ‘biofoam’ makes filthy water drinkable

Engineers have found a way to use graphene oxide sheets to transform dirty water into drinking water.

Doctors without ‘me time’ are a lesson for us all

A new study finds that early-career doctors—and the rest of us—can be better at our jobs if we simply set aside as little as 30 minutes a day for some “me time.” The alternative, the study finds, is a scenario in which the patient may suffer.

Some frogs mate on land to avoid a ‘breeding frenzy’

Biologists have long thought that some frog species evolved to mate on land—sometimes in unusual places—instead of in open water to better guard eggs and tadpoles from being eaten by fish and other predators.

Can a stem cell gene called Nanog reverse aging?

In a series of experiments, an embryonic stem cell gene kicked into action dormant cellular processes that are key to preventing weak bones, clogged arteries, and other telltale signs of growing old.

Patchy oxygen in ocean may have stalled evolution

Evolution has slowed to a crawl a few times in four billion years. And an eon or so has passed before more complex life forms, such as simple animals, could arise.

Should doctors routinely screen for melanoma?

The United States Preventive Services Task Force has released a report saying there isn’t enough evidence to recommend that clinicians perform visual screening for melanomas for patients with no known risk for the skin cancer.

‘Thrifty’ gene variant adds to obesity in Samoa

The world-leading rate of obesity among the Samoan people is a recent phenomenon, thought to be heavily influenced by a rapid global shift to calorie-rich, processed foods and sedentary lifestyles.

Teens with autism practice driving in virtual reality

Researchers are designing a virtual reality simulator specifically for teaching teenagers with autism spectrum disorder to drive.

This fabric can repair itself and neutralize toxins

Engineers are developing fabrics for protective suits that not only self-heal but also shield people from toxic materials.

Adding trauma centers may actually cost lives

New research shows that changes over time in the volume of patients seen by trauma centers influence the likelihood of seriously injured patients living or dying.

Simple hearing test may predict autism risk

Scientists have identified an inner ear deficiency in children with autism that may affect their ability to recognize speech.

Tiny ants invade UK with ‘super’ sprawling colonies

Three new infestations of an invasive garden ant—known for building massive colonies of tens of thousands of insects—have been found in the UK this year.

Does ‘motherese’ best teach babies language?

Some experts suggest the best way to teach language to a tiny baby is to speak as though the infant were another adult, since adult sounds, cadence, and tone of voice are what the child should eventually learn.

Scientists discover band gaps in spider silk

New discoveries about spider silk could inspire novel materials to manipulate sound and heat in the same way semiconducting circuits manipulate electrons.

This ‘placenta on a chip’ mimics the real thing

The first placenta-on-a-chip can fully model the transport of nutrients between mother and fetus. The flash-drive-sized device contains two layers of human cells that model the interface.

To see how brain works, switch amygdala ‘off’

Temporarily turning off one part of the brain changes patterns of activity across other parts as well, according to a new study with monkeys.

Teens safer in schools with gay-straight alliances

At schools with gay-straight alliances, LGBTQ students report significantly fewer incidences of bullying based on sexual orientation or gender expression.

Stem cells grow cartilage to fix hips

Scientists are developing a way to treat arthritic hips without extensive surgery to replace them. They’ve programmed stem cells to grow new cartilage on a 3D template shaped like the ball of a hip joint.

Tool turns flat sheets into 3D shapes like shoes

A new tool can turn a flat sheet of plastic or metal into a complex 3D shape, such as a mask, a sculpture, or a high-heeled shoe.