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The Lead

Nautilus, One of World’s Rarest Animals, Reappears to Biologist After 30 Years

August 26, 2015 | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

A deep-sea creature, which is so elusive it hasn’t been seen by humans in 30 years, was found again by one of the professors who first cataloged its existence in the South Pacific. All it took was dropping fish and chicken meat to as much as 1,300 feet below the surface of the ocean.


Does Sperm Harpoon the Egg?

August 27, 2015 4:58 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

Spiky filaments at the head of sperm cells may lash together, effectively allowing the swimming cells to harpoon an egg to facilitate fertilization. The new find could be a revelation in a fundamental process of life that is 14 years in the making.


South African Prototype May Solve Unsolvable Power Problem

August 27, 2015 2:25 pm | by Associated Press, Lynsey Chutel | Comments

By thinking small, a group of South African scientists may have pioneered solar technology that has stumped Internet giant Google. The Helio100 project is a cost-effective heliostat that harnesses solar power to generate electricity.


Four-day School Week May Boost Academic Performance

August 27, 2015 2:14 pm | by Georgia State Univ. | Comments

Shortening the school week to four days has a positive impact on elementary school students' academic performance in mathematics, according to researchers. Their study analyzed the impact of a four-day school week on student achievement by comparing fourth-grade reading and fifth-grade math test scores for students who participated in a four-day school week, versus those who attended a traditional five-day school week.


Primates Recover from Spinal Cord Injuries Better than Rats

August 27, 2015 2:02 pm | by EPFL | Comments

Monkeys and humans exhibit greater motor recovery than rats after similar spinal cord injury. The reason for this lies in differences in anatomy and function of the corticospinal tract, which are the fibers through which the cortex communicates with the spinal cord.


Phone Can Track Your Wheezing

August 27, 2015 2:00 pm | by Inside Science News Service, Marcus Woo | Comments

A simple breath can reveal a lot about someone's health. Now, researchers have developed a new algorithm that detects and measures wheezing, providing crucial information to help doctors monitor and understand diseases such as asthma, lung cancer, cystic fibrosis and COPD.


FDA Sends Warnings to 'Natural' Tobacco

August 27, 2015 2:00 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

The Food and Drug Administration issued warning letters to the makers of Winston, Natural Spirit and Nat Sherman cigarettes over their "additive-free" and "natural" label claims. The issue over the claims is that they may lead consumers to believe the products pose a lower risk. That claim has to be scientifically proven.


Naming Rules Introduced for Generic Biotech Drugs

August 27, 2015 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Matthew Perrone | Comments

Biotech drugs are powerful, injected medicines produced in living cells which are typically much more expensive than traditional chemical-based drugs. The FDA has released its proposal for naming lower-cost biotech drugs, a critical step in creating a market for the new class of medicines.


Alabama Issues Parrot Disease Warning to Zoo-goers

August 27, 2015 11:10 am | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

An outbreak of a bacterial disease at an Alabama zoo has state officials warning a month’s worth of visitors to be on the lookout for symptoms. Parrot fever, or parrot disease, was detected in several of the lorikeets at the Birmingham Zoo’s aviary and can be transmitted to humans and other species.


Body-snatching Parasites Control Crickets to Their Advantage

August 27, 2015 9:28 am | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

Parasites depend on taking maximum advantage of their hosts. The househair worm as developed this to a kind of art, according to new research. The worm can not only drive a Acheta domesticus cricket to commit suicide by drowning to benefit its life cycle– it can apparently also prevent it from mating before that crucial act.


Forget Calories, Monitor Nutrition for Heart Health

August 27, 2015 7:00 am | by BMJ | Comments

It's time to stop counting the calories, and instead start promoting the nutritional value of foods, if we are to rapidly cut illness and death from cardiovascular disease and curb the rising tide of obesity, say experts. They argue that, rather like quitting smoking, simple dietary changes can rapidly improve health outcomes at the population level.


Rare Blue Pigment Used in Ancient Mummy Portraits

August 27, 2015 7:00 am | by Northwestern Univ. | Comments

Fifteen Roman-era Egyptian mummy portraits and panel paintings were literally dusted off by scientists and art conservators as they set out to investigate the materials the painters used nearly 2,000 years ago. What they discovered surprised them, because it was hidden from the naked eye: the ancient artists used the synthetic pigment Egyptian blue as material for underdrawings and for modulating color— a finding never before documented.


Researchers Seek Hypoallergenic Parks

August 27, 2015 7:00 am | by American Society of Agronomy | Comments

Scientists, making a preemptive strike against seasonal allergies, are studying how the plants in urban green spaces affect air quality. The researchers hope their efforts will lead to fantastic urban green spaces that don’t cause allergic reactions.


Colorful Potatoes May Prevent Cancer

August 27, 2015 7:00 am | by Penn State Univ. | Comments

Compounds found in purple potatoes may help kill colon cancer stem cells and limit the spread of the cancer, according to a team of researchers. Baked purple-fleshed potatoes suppressed the growth of colon cancer tumors in petri dishes and in mice by targeting the cancer's stem cells.


Canceling an Action Saps Memory

August 27, 2015 7:00 am | by Duke Univ. | Comments

You’re driving on a busy road and you intend to switch lanes when you suddenly realize that there’s a car in your blind spot. You have to put a stop to your lane change— and quickly. A new suggests that this type of scenario makes a person less likely to remember what halted the action— for example, the make and model of the car in the blind spot.


Q&A: James Gangwisch and the White Bread Blues

August 27, 2015 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | Comments

Laboratory Equipment’s scientist of the week is James Gangwisch from Columbia University. He and a team discovered that white bread, and other highly refined carbohydrates, can increase the risk of depression.



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