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Molecular Scissors Could Help Keep Some Viral Illnesses At Bay

By Joe Palca
A stylized illustration representing how CRISPR targets the ability of a virus to replicate.

A new technique uses the CRISPR molecule to snip away at the part of RNA viruses that allows them to spread infection by making copies of themselves.

(Image credit: Susanna M. Hamilton/Broad Communications)

  • November 13th 2019 at 17:03

Silver-Backed Chevrotain, With Fangs And Hooves, Photographed In Wild For First Time

By Bill Chappell
Nearly 30 years after its last documented sighting, a silver-backed chevrotain was spotted by a camera set up in the forest of southern Vietnam.

Scientists say their goal was to rediscover a type of chevrotain that had been "lost to science" for nearly 30 years. Chevrotains are the world's smallest hoofed mammal, or ungulate.

(Image credit: Southern Institute of Ecology/Global Wildlife Conservation/Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research/NCNP)

  • November 11th 2019 at 22:47

Meditation Reduced The Opioid Dose She Needs To Ease Chronic Pain By 75%

By Allison Aubrey
To deal with chronic pain, Pamela Bobb

For some patients in pain, opioids are still part of the long-term solution, doctors say. But by adding meditation, hypnosis or other treatments, the opioid dose can be reduced.

(Image credit: Jessica Tezak for NPR)

  • November 11th 2019 at 11:05

You Can Get A Master's In Medical Cannabis In Maryland

By Martin Austermuhle
Maryland now offers the country

The University of Maryland, Baltimore, now has a master's program dedicated to the science and therapeutics of medical weed because of a growing number of students looking for expertise in the field.

(Image credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images)

  • November 9th 2019 at 22:57

Stress Over Mass Shootings, Health Care Access High Among Latinos, Survey Finds

By Patti Neighmond
Mourners hold candles as they gather for a vigil at a memorial outside Cielo Vista Walmart in El Paso, Texas, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019.

A national survey by psychologists shows a significant rise in U.S. stress in 2019. Mass shootings, the election campaign and concerns about health care costs and access top the list of stressors.

(Image credit: Luke E. Montavon/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

  • November 9th 2019 at 11:00

New Study Challenges The Assumption That Math Is Harder For Girls

By Jon Hamilton

Research shows that when boys and girls as old as 10 do math, their patterns of brain activity are indistinguishable. The finding is the latest challenge to the idea that math is harder for girls.

  • November 8th 2019 at 22:53

Math Looks The Same In The Brains Of Boys And Girls, Study Finds

By Jon Hamilton
Two fourth-graders rock side to side while doing math equations at Charles Pinckney Elementary School

Brain scans of 104 boys and girls doing basic math tasks found no gender differences. The finding adds to the evidence that boys and girls start out with equal ability in math.

(Image credit: John McDonnell/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

  • November 8th 2019 at 11:01

Western Individualism May Have Roots In The Medieval Church's Obsession With Incest

By Rhitu Chatterjee
Augustine of Hippo was among those in the Catholic Church who championed its eventual rejection of intrafamily marriages, which researchers say may have paved the way for a breakdown of extended family networks in Western Europe.

Researchers combed Vatican archives to find records of how ancient church policies restricting whom one could marry shaped Western values and family structures today.

(Image credit: Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images)

  • November 7th 2019 at 21:20

There's A Promising New Vaccine For One Of The World's Top Health Threats

By Jason Beaubien
Indonesians independently carry out fumigation in their neighborhood to eradicate the larvae of mosquitoes that cause dengue fever. A new vaccine to prevent dengue may be on the horizon.

Dengue afflicts nearly 400 million people worldwide every year, but a vaccine has remained elusive. New research offers a path forward.

(Image credit: Aditya Irawan/NurPhoto/Getty Images)

  • November 7th 2019 at 16:07

Scrubbing Your House Of Bacteria Could Clear The Way For Fungus

By Pien Huang
Malassezia is a genus of fungi naturally found on the skin surfaces of many animals, including humans. The researchers found it in urban apartments, although some strains have been known to cause infections in hospitals.

A new study in Brazil finds that urban apartments have more diverse fungi — some healthy, some potentially not — than villages in the Amazon rainforest.

(Image credit: Science Source)

  • November 6th 2019 at 17:45

CRISPR Approach To Fighting Cancer Called 'Promising' In 1st Safety Test

By Rob Stein
The preliminary results described Wednesday come from two patients with multiple myeloma and one with sarcoma. This was just a first safety test, the scientists say, and was not designed to measure whether such a treatment would work.

Attempts to use the gene-editing tool CRISPR to develop a treatment for cancer seem safe and feasible in the earliest findings from the first three patients. "So far, so good," scientists say.

(Image credit: Jure Gasparic/EyeEm/Getty Images)

  • November 6th 2019 at 15:01

Hidden Brain: Does Going To Church Improve Your Mental Health?

By Shankar Vedantam
People sitting in the pews of a house of worship.

It's been debated a long time: Does being part of organized religion improve your mental health? A new study finds that religion can buffer adolescents against depression.

(Image credit: Exkalibur/Getty Images)

  • November 5th 2019 at 11:08

'The Great Pretender' Seeks The Truth About 'On Being Sane In Insane Places'

By Michael Schaub
The Great Pretender: The Undercover Mission That Changed Our Understanding of Madness, by Susannah Cahalan

Journalist and Brain on Fire author Susannah Cahalan writes in an urgent, personal book that the '70s study by David Rosenhan had an outsized effect on psychiatry — and may have been fatally flawed.

(Image credit: Grand Central Publishing )

  • November 4th 2019 at 16:15

How Deep Sleep May Help The Brain Clear Alzheimer's Toxins

By Jon Hamilton
During deep sleep, waves of cerebrospinal fluid (blue) coincide with temporary decreases in blood flow (red). Less blood in the brain means more room for the fluid to carry away toxins, including those associated with Alzheimer

A study of 11 sleeping brains sheds some light on the mysterious link between sleep problems and Alzheimer's disease. The flow of cerebrospinal fluid through the brain appears to be the key.

(Image credit: Fultz et al. 2019)

  • October 31st 2019 at 20:21

For These Vampires, A Shared Blood Meal Lets 'Friendship' Take Flight

By Nell Greenfieldboyce
Common vampire bats (Desmodus rotundus), such as this group day-roosting in a cave in Mexico, can form cooperative, friendship-like social relationships.

Common vampire bats might drink the blood of their prey, but it turns out that these fearsome beasts can be warm and fuzzy when it comes to their fellow bats.

(Image credit: B.G. Thomson/Science Source)

  • October 31st 2019 at 16:00

U.S. Travel Ban Disrupts The World's Largest Brain Science Meeting

By Jon Hamilton
At Chicago

Scientists from nations including Iran, Mexico, and India were refused visas to attend this year's Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago. Some researchers got stand-ins to present their work.

(Image credit: Rob Piercy/Allen Institute)

  • October 24th 2019 at 20:56

Teen Vapers Who Want To Quit Look For Help Via Text

By John Daley
Though there are websites, hotlines, therapists and coaches to help teens manage nicotine cravings, there

Starting to vape is easy, but quitting a nicotine habit can be tough, teens are finding. Some vaping cessation programs have begun to reach out to teens where they live — on their phones.

(Image credit: Towfiqu Photography/Getty Images)

  • October 23rd 2019 at 12:18

Hospitals Around The World Have A Dire Shortage Of Blood

By Tim McDonnell
A blood transfusion bag hangs in an operating room in a hospital in the Republic of Congo. Most countries in sub-Saharan Africa have a huge gap between blood supply and demand, new research found.

The first global analysis of blood supply and demand finds that many developing countries are relying on risky emergency donations.

(Image credit: Godong/Universal Images Group/Getty Images)

  • October 22nd 2019 at 19:52

Scientists Create New, More Powerful Technique To Edit Genes

By Rob Stein
Scientists are exploring a new technique, called prime editing, that is more precise than CRISPR and which uses certain enzymes, including reverse transcriptase, to edit DNA.

A new technique, dubbed 'prime editing,' appears to make it even easier to make very precise changes in DNA. It's designed to overcome the limits of the CRISPR gene editing tool.

(Image credit: Evan Oto/Science Source)

  • October 21st 2019 at 22:09

Keeping Your Blood Sugar In Check Could Lower Your Alzheimer's Risk

By Jon Hamilton
A PET scan shows metabolism of sugar in the human brain.

Diabetes can double a person's chances of developing Alzheimer's. Now researchers are beginning to understand the role of brain metabolism in the development of the disease.

(Image credit: Science Source)

  • October 21st 2019 at 18:07
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