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What the 1918 ‘Spanish flu’ tells us about Ebola


The 1918 influenza virus killed 50 million people worldwide, and now scientists are hoping to apply the lessons learned to fight diseases like Ebola.

Touch a receipt and you’ll absorb tons of BPA


You may want to think twice about handling a cash register receipt, especially if you’ve just slathered on some hand sanitizer or lotion.

Not all scientists are great at sharing


Astronomers and geneticists are good at sharing, report researchers, who say ecologists may need a brush-up on the concept.

When hospitals merge, patients often pay the price

While more and more US hospitals are consolidating medical groups and physician practices to be more efficient, a new study finds the practice often backfires and increases the cost of patient care.

Does toxic air raise a child’s risk for autism?


Children exposed to certain types of air pollution during pregnancy and early in life are more likely to develop autism, according to a study of families living in Pennsylvania.

Scientists are skeptical of ‘brain games’ for older adults


Nearly 70 scientists have issued a statement saying they’re skeptical about claims that computer-based “brain games” actually help older adults sharpen their mental powers.

Feathers have ‘custom’ shafts for flight


The shafts of feathers are made of a multi-layered fibrous composite material—a lot like carbon fiber—that lets the feather bend and twist in flight.

Teens who eat a hearty breakfast skip the snacks


Teenagers who eat breakfast, particularly one high in protein, are less likely to crave junk food later, and scientists say a boost in the brain chemical dopamine may help explain why.

Overweight women less likely to work with public


Overweight women are more likely to work in lower-paying and more physically demanding jobs, according to a new study.

The plague hitches a ride to travel the body

An ancient scourge is giving scientists new insights on how the body responds to infections. In the journal Immunity, researchers show how the Yersinia pestis bacteria that cause bubonic plague hitchhike on immune cells in the lymph nodes and eventually ride into the lungs and the blood stream, where the infection is easily transmitted to others.

How black holes stop galaxies from making stars


New evidence could help explain how some massive black holes shut down a galaxy’s ability to make new stars.

Rest your mind the right way to boost learning


Scientists have previously found that resting the mind, such as daydreaming, helps strengthen memories of events and retention of information.

Milk fat detector uses fluorescent dye


Scientists are building a fluorescent sensor that can rapidly identify the presence of fat in milk. The device, called “Milk Orange,” could one day be useful to milk producers in developing countries.

Super high-res MRI detects single atom


For the first time, researchers have detected a single hydrogen atom using high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Diabetes may raise risk for heart valve disease


There appears to be a link between high blood sugar and heart valve hardening. Scientists discovered that feeding cells that support heart valves too much glucose slows the cells down.

Different squid evolved to glow in similar way


New research with cephalopods offers a preliminary answer to the question of whether of evolution is predictable.

Everybody gains when larvae ‘follow the leader’


If insect larvae follow a leader while foraging for food, both the leaders and their followers grow much faster than if the group is all followers or all leaders.

Therapy cures hearing loss from loud noises


Scientists restored hearing to mice that were partly deafened by noise. They did it by increasing a key protein in their ears.

Weird interior of Saturn’s moon makes it wobble


A slight wobble detected in Saturn’s moon Mimas suggests its icy surface is covering either an odd-shaped rocky core or a sloshing ocean.

Tiniest particles melt and then turn into ‘Jell-O’


The fact that microscopic particles known as polymers and colloids will melt as temperatures rise was no surprise to scientists.


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