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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
- About Us
Top Stories: Microbes to Make You Thin, Universal DNA Sequencing, and More
6 September 2013 1:00 pm
In a few years, new parents may go home from the hospital with not just a bundle of joy, but with the complete sequence of their baby’s DNA as well. A new $25 million National Institutes of Health research program will explore the promise—and ethical challenges—of sequencing every newborn’s genome.
Weight gain isn’t as simple as calories in versus calories out. The microbes in our gut also play a part in how much we weigh. Now, researchers have shown that certain gut microbes found in lean mice can prevent obesity, even when given to mice that start out chubby. The catch? The bacterial takeover needs a healthy, high-fiber diet in order to stick.
Dolphins and bats don't have much in common, but they share a superpower: echolocation. Now, a study shows that this ability arose independently in each group of mammals from the same genetic mutations. The work suggests that evolution sometimes arrives at new traits through the same sequence of steps, even in very different animals. The research also implies that this convergent evolution is common—and hidden—within genomes, potentially complicating the task of deciphering some evolutionary relationships between organisms.
Fighting the mental effects of aging is tricky. But NeuroRacer, a new racing video game created by neuroscientists, shows promise in reversing some signs of mental decline. An important question with such games is whether they can strengthen skills that are useful away from a computer. NeuroRacer seems to deliver: People who trained with the game saw improvements in multitasking, memory, and attention and were able to maintain at least some of these skills months after training.
For 2 weeks, observations at the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, the world’s largest radio telescope, have been at a standstill, due to an ongoing strike by the 195-member ALMA workers union. Science chatted with the president of the union to get his take on the situation.
Earth could be in for some turbulence. Our solar system travels through space. Right now, it’s moving through an expanse of gas called the Local Interstellar Cloud. Astronomers have discovered signs of potential change in the wind inside the cloud. If the shift is real and continues for hundreds to thousands of years—a dicey extrapolation—it could be a harbinger of more dramatic changes in our solar system, including greater exposure to harmful galactic cosmic rays.