Category: Science

Bioluminescent Bacteria in a Wifi Pill Track Gut Health in Pigs

The ingestible biosensorLILLIE PAQUETTE, MITBioengineers have come up with a pill containing engineered bacteria and electronics that can read and wirelessly transmit information as a means of monitoring gut health. The prototype of this ingestible-micro-bio-electronic (IMBED) capsule was used to...

/ May 24, 2018

Present-Day Arboreal Birds Have Ground-Dwelling Past

This illustration shows a hypothetical bird fleeing a burning forest in the aftermath of the asteroid strike that eliminated dinosaurs and destroyed global forests. PHILLIP M. KRZEMINSKI When an asteroid slammed into Earth 66 million years ago, it drove dinosaurs to...

/ May 24, 2018

Deep Brain Stimulation Boosts Insulin Sensitivity

WIKIMEDIA, CRAIG HACKING AND A. PROF FRANK GAILLARDElectrical stimulation of the brain’s ventral striatum increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin, apparently by boosting dopamine levels, researchers reported yesterday (May 23) in Science Translational Medicine. As Science reports, the finding began...

/ May 24, 2018

What Made Human Brains So Big?

FLICKR, _DJ_Finding food and lighting fires might explain why humans have such big brains, researchers report yesterday (May 23) in Nature. Humans’ brains are six times as large as those of similarly sized mammals, an observation that has led scientists...

/ May 24, 2018

Congress Passes “Right to Try” Bill

WIKIMEDIA, ANDREW BOSSI On Tuesday (May 22), the US House of Representatives passed controversial legislation that will allow patients with life-threatening illnesses to use experimental medications without the approval of the Food and Drug Administration. The Senate already passed the...

/ May 23, 2018

Ebola Update: Funding, Vaccines, and More Deaths in DRC

World Health Organization workers deployed medical kits in response to reports of Ebola cases in DRC in 2017.FLICKR, MONUSCOThe US government has committed another $7 million in funds to fighting Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo, bringing its total contribution...

/ May 23, 2018

Nipah Virus Kills 10 in India

ISTOCK, CRAIGRJDSince last Friday (May 18), health officials in the southern Indian state of Kerala have confirmed 10 fatalities from Nipah virus, a disease harbored by fruit bats and spread by infected bats and pigs to humans. “This is a...

/ May 22, 2018

Prevalent Form of Childhood Leukemia May Be Preventable

ISTOCK, FATCAMERAAn analysis of more than 30 years of research has revealed the underlying cause of the most common form of leukemia in children. Research compiled in Nature Reviews Cancer on May 21 suggests that acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) occurs...

/ May 22, 2018

Conservation Biologist Ben Collen Dies of Bone Cancer

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDONBen Collen, a University College London PI whose research spanned ecosystems from Antarctica to Brazil, died on Saturday (May 19), according to the university. He was 40 years old. His wife writes on a fundraising page for bone...

/ May 22, 2018

Chris Fall Picked to Lead the Department of Energy’s Office of Science

ISTOCK, MINGZHEZHANG On Thursday (May 18), President Donald Trump announced that he intends to nominate Chris Fall to lead the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. The office has a $6-billion budget and is the primary funder of physical sciences...

/ May 21, 2018

USDA to Warn Some Facilities Ahead of Animal Welfare Inspections

ISTOCK, ANYAIVANOVA The US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service sent a letter last month to organizations regulated under the Animal Welfare Act announcing a pilot program that will sometimes alert facilities that inspectors are coming, The...

/ May 18, 2018

Zoo Pregnancy Raises Hopes of Preserving White Rhinos

FLICKR, IIP PHOTO ARCHIVEA southern white rhino at the San Diego Zoo named Victoria is pregnant, the zoo announced yesterday (May 17). “The confirmation of this pregnancy through artificial insemination represents an historic event for our organization but also a...

/ May 18, 2018

Slowing Global Warming Could Save a Majority of Earth’s Species

WIKIMEDIA, HARALD ZIMMERIf global warming is kept in check, with only a 1.5 °C increase in temperatures by the end of the century, a vast majority of plants and animals will be spared extinction, researchers report today (May 17) in...

/ May 17, 2018

FDA Approves Drug to Ease Symptoms of Opioid Withdrawal

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first non-opioid drug for treatment of the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. Announcing the move in a press statement yesterday (May 16), the agency noted that Lucemyra (lofexidine hydrochloride) is intended...

/ May 17, 2018

Chief Academic Officer Accused in Ongoing Research Scandal at UCL

WIKIMEDIA, DILIFF Prominent geneticist David Latchman, the chief academic and administrative officer of Birkbeck, University of London, has been accused of “recklessness” for his role in an ongoing research scandal, according to a report described by The Telegraph. The research scandal...

/ May 17, 2018

Lizards’ Green Blood Evolved Four Times

Prasinohaema prehensicauda, a green-blooded skinkCHRISTOPHER AUSTINSeveral species of New Guinea skinks, a type of lizard, are just as colorful inside as they are outside—bright green blood runs through their veins, an oddity among animals. But evolutionarily, the trait isn’t so...

/ May 16, 2018

Climate Change Will Force Hundreds of Marine Species to Move

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/ May 16, 2018

Sweden Cancels Agreement With Elsevier Over Open Access

WIKIMEDIA, MARCUS HANSSONA collection of Swedish universities and research institutions will not renew its current contract with Elsevier that expires at the end of June, Times Higher Education reports today (May 16). The move comes not long after academic institutions...

/ May 16, 2018

Huge Gender Disparity in Cancer Research Funding in U.K.

ISTOCK, TSVIBRAVBetween 2000 and 2013, women received just 31 percent of the number of cancer research grants awarded in the U.K., and 22 percent of the total funds to investigate cancer, according to an analysis published Tuesday (May 14) in...

/ May 16, 2018

Researchers Develop a Drug Against the Common Cold

ISTOCK, DR_MICROBEResearchers have developed a compound that blocks the replication of rhinoviruses, the pathogens behind most cases of the common cold. The in vitro study, published yesterday (May 14) in Nature Chemistry, could provide the first step to developing a...

/ May 15, 2018

Experimental Ebola Vaccine to be Used in DRC Outbreak

Sierra Leone, 2015ISTOCK, HARRY1978The World Health Organization, the government of Democratic Republic of Congo, and Merck have agreed to use Merck’s unapproved Ebola vaccine as an outbreak of the virus expands in DRC. “The cold chain is on standby, the...

/ May 14, 2018