June 7, 2012 Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have uncovered an overlooked way cockroaches evade us. The bugs have an amazing ability to run fill-tilt to the edge of a countertop, table or bookshelf, flip to the other side and keep going without missing a beat.
June 6, 2012 The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, a charity that helps raise money to support the NIH, today announced a $100,000 prize to encourage young scientists. A big check awaits an outstanding young researcher, who happens to be as old as 52.
May 9, 2012 While U.S. adults have relatively uniform microbe colonies in their guts, adults in Malawi and Amazonia have much more diverse populations. Scientists are still struggling with why that is and what it means.
May 2, 2012 Years after more than 40 patients with HIV received immune cells designed to attack and kill cells infected with HIV, the specialized cells are still present in their bloodstreams. There's been no sign the cells, a form of gene therapy, caused any serious side effects.
May 2, 2012 The paper describes experiments that suggest just a few genetic changes could potentially make a bird flu virus capable of becoming contagious in humans, and causing a dangerous pandemic. A fierce debate has raged over this study for months, because of fears that the work might provide a recipe for turning bird flu into a bioweapon.
April 2, 2012 Foul-smelling urine in a very young child who is fussy or feverish could point to a urinary tract infection, a study by Canadian doctors finds. This might help doctors decide whether to collect a urine sample, when doing so might require an invasive procedure.
March 30, 2012 A government advisory committee has reconsidered its advice to keep certain details of bird flu experiments secret. Revised versions of manuscripts that describe two recent studies can be openly published, the committee now says. The decision could help end a debate that has raged within the scientific community for months.
March 29, 2012 The human brain may be just three pounds of jelly. But it turns out that jelly is very organized. New scanning techniques show that the brain's communications pathways are laid out in a highly ordered three-dimensional grid that look a bit like a map of Manhattan.
March 21, 2012 People sometimes take prescription drugs to keep from getting sick at high altitudes. But medical researchers wondered whether ibuprofen, the painkilling mainstay, would be an effective over-the-counter alternative. The results look promising.
March 16, 2012 Researchers made a bunch of male fruit flies into boozehounds by pushing them on females unreceptive to their advances. The experiments showed that a brain chemical, very much like one in humans, played a key role in determining their behavior.
March 14, 2012 A single statistic can help show how beneficial, or not, a treatment is. It's called the number needed to treat. And the lower it is, the better.
March 14, 2012 Saturated fat, the stuff in meat and dairy foods, was associated with lower sperm counts, in a study of 99 men who were clients of fertility clinics. The results, though preliminary, suggest there's something men can do to boost the odds their sperm are up to their evolutionary task: eat better.
March 7, 2012 Scientists at the Food and Drug Administration are feeling more optimistic about the future of their agency than they were back in 2006, according to a survey just out from the Union of Concerned Scientists. But they still report concerns about outside pressures on the agency's decisions and policies.
March 5, 2012 Why are politicians and those of us who vote for them so obsessed with inconsistency? We take that question on from three angles: how our brains are wired; the psychology of judging what's consistent; and how consistency plays out in leadership styles.