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Brain-Invading Tapeworm That Eluded Doctors Spotted by New DNA Test

Brain-Invading Tapeworm That Eluded Doctors Spotted by New DNA Test

Doctors at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital could not figure out what was wrong with the 29-year-old man sitting before them. An otherwise healthy construction worker from Nicaragua, the patient was suffering from a splitting headache, double vision and ringing in his ears. Part of his face was also numb. The cause could have been anything—from an infection to a stroke, a tumor or some kind of autoimmune disease. The Emergency Department (ED) staff took a magnetic resonance imaging scan of the man’s brain, performed a spinal tap and completed a series of other tests that did not...

June 22, 2017
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Scientists Demonstrate Direct Brain-to-Brain Communication in Humans

Scientists Demonstrate Direct Brain-to-Brain Communication in Humans

We humans have evolved a rich repertoire of communication, from gesture to sophisticated languages. All of these forms of communication link otherwise separate individuals in such a way that they can share and express their singular experiences and work together collaboratively. In a new study, technology replaces language as a means of communicating by directly linking the activity of human brains. Electrical activity from the brains of a pair of human subjects was transmitted to the brain of a third individual in the form of magnetic signals, which conveyed an instruction to perform a...

November 2, 2019
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The Science Is Clear: Gun Control Saves Lives

The Science Is Clear: Gun Control Saves Lives

By enacting simple laws that make guns safer and harder to get, we can prevent killings like the ones in Uvalde and Buffalo. At least 19 elementary school children and two teachers are dead, many more are injured, and a grandmother is fighting for her life in Uvalde, Tex., all because a young man, armed with an AR-15-style rifle, decided to fire in a school. By now, you know these facts: This killing spree was the largest school shooting since Sandy Hook. Law enforcement couldn’t immediately subdue the killer. In Texas, it’s alarmingly easy to buy and openly carry a gun. In the immediate...

May 28
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NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Probe Successfully Stows Space-Rock Sample

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Probe Successfully Stows Space-Rock Sample

NASA’s pioneering  has bagged up its precious asteroid sample for return to Earth.OSIRIS-REx has finished stowing the bits of the carbon-rich  that it  (Oct. 20), successfully locking the material into the spacecraft’s return capsule, mission team members announced Thursday (Oct. 29).And the sample appears to be substantial—far heftier than the 2.1 ounces (60 grams) the mission had set as a target, team members said. Indeed, OSIRIS-REx collected so much material on Oct. 20 that its ; the head’s sealing mylar flap was wedged open in places by protruding Bennu pebbles.The OSIRIS-REx team...

November 1, 2020
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Lab-Made ‘Miniproteins’ Could Block the Coronavirus from Infecting Cells

Lab-Made ‘Miniproteins’ Could Block the Coronavirus from Infecting Cells

While the world waits for a COVID-19 vaccine, many researchers are focused on developing effective therapeutics that can be rolled out quickly and cheaply. Monoclonal antibodies—a potentially promising laboratory-manufactured therapy modeled on antibodies extracted from the blood of recovering patients— recently when President Trump received a not-yet-approved antibody cocktail made by the company Regeneron. And pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly recently announced that its monoclonal antibody reduced the risk of hospitalization in 300 people who had mild or moderate symptoms of COVID-19, in a...

October 15, 2020
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The Disturbing History of Research into Transgender Identity

The Disturbing History of Research into Transgender Identity

In 1975 psychiatrist Robert Stoller of the University of California, Los Angeles, wrote something bizarre in his on sex and gender. He asserted that people who were assumed to be boys when they were born but whose gender identity or expression did not match that assumption “often have pretty faces, with fine hair, lovely complexions, graceful movements, and—especially—big, piercing, liquid eyes.” Based on this observation, he suggested a theoretical model in which transgender girls become transgender because they are especially cute. Society treats them more like girls, he reasoned, and...

October 24, 2020
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Russia’s Fast-Track Coronavirus Vaccine Draws Outrage over Safety

Russia’s Fast-Track Coronavirus Vaccine Draws Outrage over Safety

Russia’s president Vladimir Putin announced on August 11 that the country’s health regulator had become the world’s first to approve a coronavirus vaccine for widespread use — but scientists worldwide have condemned the decision as dangerously rushed. Russia hasn’t completed large trials to test its safety and efficacy, and rolling out an inadequately vetted vaccine could put at risk people who receive it, researchers say. It could also impede global efforts to develop quality COVID-19 immunizations, they suggest.“That the Russians may be skipping such measures and steps is what worries our...

August 12, 2020
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COVID Pandemic Reduces Seismic Noise

COVID Pandemic Reduces Seismic Noise

Earthquakes send strong tremors through the earth's crust, recorded by seismometers planetwide. Human bustle also creates an ongoing, high-frequency vibration—a background buzz—in the rock. After cities, states and countries implemented lockdowns to try to slow the spread of COVID-19 this past spring, the volume of human ground noise fell by up to 50 percent on average in various regions, as people stayed home instead of taking cars, buses and trains to work and school and as businesses and industries curtailed operations. The decline, evident for months, was recorded by seismometers as...

December 4, 2020
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Pesticides Are Killing the World’s Soils

Pesticides Are Killing the World’s Soils

Scoop up a shovelful of healthy soil, and you’ll likely be holding more living organisms than there are people on the planet Earth. Like citizens of an underground city that never sleeps, tens of thousands of subterranean species of invertebrates, nematodes, bacteria and fungi are constantly filtering our water, recycling nutrients and helping to regulate the earth’s temperature. But beneath fields covered in tightly knit rows of corn, soybeans, wheat and other monoculture crops, a toxic soup of insecticides, herbicides and fungicides is wreaking havoc, according to our newly published...

June 2, 2021
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Media Multitasking Disrupts Memory, Even in Young Adults

Media Multitasking Disrupts Memory, Even in Young Adults

The bulky, modern human brain evolved hundreds of thousands of years ago and, for the most part, has remained largely unchanged. That is, it is innately tuned to analog information—to focus on the hunt at hand or perhaps the forage for wild plants. Yet we now pummel our ancient thinking organ with a daily deluge of digital information that many scientists believe may have enduring and worrisome effects.A new study published today in Nature supports the concern. The research suggests that “media multitasking”—or engaging with multiple forms of digital or screen-based media simultaneously,...

October 29, 2020
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