February 12, 2013 A study of more than 85,000 women in Norway found that those who started taking a folic acid supplement four weeks before getting pregnant were about 40 percent less likely to have a child who developed the disorder. Mothers had to continue taking the supplement during the first eight weeks of pregnancy to get the full benefit.
January 17, 2013 A New York law that requires mental health professionals to report potentially violent patients probably won't accomplish much, specialists say. Studies show that even highly trained professionals are often wrong about which patients become violent.
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 31, 2012 Superstorm Sandy is what most people will remember from the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. But Sandy was just one of 10 hurricanes this year during a season that was both busy and strange. From an El Nino that never materialized to meandering tropical storms, meteorologists were baffled.
December 26, 2012 The year saw some disappointments in the development of drugs to treat Alzheimer's. But the setbacks were offset by progress in other areas. The upshot from this year's mixed results, some scientists say, is that treatment for Alzheimer's needs to start long before forgetfulness and muddled thinking are apparent.
December 21, 2012 Sandy Hook and other mass killings have left people wondering how someone could engage in such behavior. Scientists say that genes can indeed predispose a person to mental illness or violence. But genetic variants alone can't explain why someone commits mass murder.
November 19, 2012 A massive research project in California is beginning to show how genes, health habits and the environment can interact to cause diseases. The new combination of genetic and health information is one of the most powerful research tools on earth, a researcher says.
November 8, 2012 When we listen to a new musical phrase, it is the parts of the brain that control muscle movement, not areas involved in hearing, that help us remember what we've heard. Keeping the notes in order is a little like getting your muscles to move at the right time.
November 6, 2012 Norfolk, Va., has spent decades — and millions of dollars — raising houses and building barriers to successfully hold back the sea. Expanding such efforts to other vulnerable coastal areas, such as New York and New Jersey, could work, but costs could reach the billions.
October 31, 2012 Hurricane forecasters predicted that Sandy would be an odd storm, and they were right. It turned left when most hurricanes turn right, it maintained its strength even as it struck land, and it joined forces with a winter storm. The computer models that characterized the storm's behavior are much more accurate and faster than they used to be.
October 27, 2012 It's still unclear whether Sandy, which was both downgraded then upgraded early Saturday morning, will be a devastating storm or just a bad one. It is clear, however, that Sandy will be remembered as the storm that broke all the rules and baffled the nation's top weather forecasters.
October 24, 2012 "One common property we see in animal groups from schooling fish to flocking birds to primate groups is that they effectively vote to decide where to go and what to do," says an evolutionary biologist. But like human leaders, successful animal leaders know they can't get too far ahead of their constituents.