February 12, 2013 Diclofenac — sold under the brand names Voltaren, Cambia, Cataflam and Zipsor — raises the risk of a heart attack by about 40 percent. But that hasn't prevented the drug from becoming the world's most popular painkiller in its class. Now researchers are calling on the World Health Organization to remove it from a list of so-called "essential medicines."
February 4, 2013 Some people with damage to a specific region of the brain called the amygdala do not feel fear. If you make them handle a snake or show them a scene from a scary movie such as The Shining, they won't be affected. But breathing in air with high levels of carbon dioxide can send them into a panic.
February 4, 2013 A study in South Africa finds that an experimental vaccine against TB didn't help protect infants very much against either infection with TB or development of disease. The results were a setback, but researchers say the field remains promising.
January 31, 2013 Owls can turn their heads 270 degrees without injuring themselves. That's more than twice as far around as humans can safely handle. Nifty adaptations in owls' vertebrae and blood vessels make it possible.
January 26, 2013 There was big news this week about U.S. laboratory chimpanzees heading for sanctuary. Barbara J. King considers a new website that urges us to think of these primates not as nameless research subjects, but instead as distinct individuals.
January 24, 2013 Multitaskers tend to test high for traits like risk-taking, sensation-seeking and impulsivity. And those very traits interfere with people's ability to stay focused, researchers say.
January 24, 2013 One new analysis finds female smokers are more than 26 times more likely to die of lung cancer than nonsmoking women — twice the rate calculated 30 years ago. New data also quantify the surprising payoffs of smoking cessation — especially under the age of 40.
January 23, 2013 After researchers created versions of the bird flu virus that could spread more easily, critics began to worry that the work could spawn a pandemic if a virus escaped from the lab. After halting their work for more than a year, scientists now say the benefits outweigh the risks, and they are set to restart their experiments.
January 23, 2013 Reality is stranger than fiction; this is certainly the case within the quantum world, where objects can be in two places at the same time. Experiments confirm this can also be true for large molecules. The next step is to try it with living beings.
January 23, 2013 An NIH working group recommends that most of the agency's 360 research chimpanzees be sent to a sanctuary — a non-laboratory setting where chimps can live more natural lives. But even if the NIH accepts the recommendations, putting them into effect won't be easy.
January 11, 2013 Anthrax spores and gluten are health problems on a very different scale. But researchers believe they both could be vulnerable to thoughtfully designed enzymes. Computerized tools funded by the Defense Department to develop countermeasures for chemical and biological attacks may help with a treatment for celiac disease.
January 9, 2013 An experimental drug developed to fight Alzheimer's disease partially reversed hearing loss caused by exposure to extremely loud sounds, researchers say. The results apply only to mice, but scientists are encouraged by the fact that the medicine caused new hair cells to grow in the animals' inner ears.
December 27, 2012 Children can easily become kinder and more helpful. And that behavior makes them more positive, more accepting and more popular with other children, a study of Canadian kids finds.