Living Longer, Boring Lectures, and a Collapsing Glacier

(Left to right): Kimimasa Mayama/Reuters; NASA; James King-Holmes/Science Source

Top Stories: Living Longer, Boring Lectures, and a Collapsing Glacier

A Longer Lifespan—No Dieting Required

We've known for decades that when animals eat dramatically less, they live longer and stay healthier. But surviving on far fewer calories is no picnic. Now, using a specific molecule produced every day by our own cells, researchers might have found another way to prolong our lifespan—no extreme dieting required.

Lectures Aren't Just Boring, They're Ineffective, Too

Are your lectures droning on? Change it up every 10 minutes with more active teaching techniques and more students will succeed, researchers say. A new study finds that undergraduate students in classes with traditional stand-and-deliver lectures are 1.5 times more likely to fail than students in classes that use more stimulating, so-called active learning methods.

Blockbuster Big Bang Result May Fizzle  

The biggest discovery in cosmology in a decade could end up fizzling out. Eight weeks ago, researchers reported finding evidence of the massive inflation of our universe immediately following the big bang. Many scientists hailed the result as the big bang’s "smoking gun.” But now, some scientists are saying that there's a problem with the results.

West Antarctic Ice Sheet Is Collapsing

A disaster may be unfolding—in slow motion. Scientists have reported that a key glacier holding the massive West Antarctic Ice Sheet together is starting to collapse. In the long run, they say, the entire ice sheet is doomed, which would release enough meltwater to raise sea levels by more than 3 meters.

Drug Could Protect Against Radiation Exposure

It may not work against Godzilla, but a new drug could protect people from deadly doses of radiation. The compound, already in clinical trials to treat a blood disorder, may also make radiation therapy for cancer safer.

MERS Situation Not an Emergency Yet, WHO Panel Says

Despite a recent dramatic rise in cases, a World Health Organization panel stopped short of declaring the deadly new virus Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) a public health emergency of international concern. However, it did call on countries on the Arabian Peninsula to improve their hospital hygiene and help in carrying out much-needed studies on how MERS spreads.

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