Category Archives: STEM News

Suicide Data Reveal New Intervention Spots, Such as Motels and Animal Shelters

Patterns show places where people who intend to kill themselves go—and give health workers better chances to stop them

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Human Hearts Evolved for Endurance — and They Need It to Stay Healthy

(Credit: lzf/Shutterstock)

(Inside Science) — Millions of years ago, after the ancestors of humans diverged from the last link they shared with chimpanzees, they began developing the numerous adaptations that made endurance one of the defining traits of our species. By about 2 million years ago, the genus Homo had emerged and the process really took off. Today, humans can run for miles or walk all day thanks to those changes. In new research, scientists have shown just how substantially evo Continue reading

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Scientists Experiment With Growing Human Tissues on Tofu, Paper, Ice and More

(Credit: ValentinaKru/Shutterstock)

It’s been more than a decade since the first lab-grown organ (a more-or-less functional replacement bladder) was successfully implanted into a human body. But in the time since tens of thousands of people have been added to the organ donor waiting list in America alone.

Scientists are still figuring out how to grow organs at a scale — and price — that can meet the needs of thousands of patients a year. One of the big challenges to creating new organs i Continue reading

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This Device Can Recommend the Best Cancer Treatment — Using Just a Patient’s Breath

A patient breathes into the eNose, a tool designed to determine effective cancer treatments for lung cancer patients. (Credit: Amsterdam University Medical Centers)

The newest cancer sniffer might not be as cute as a sharp-nosed canine, but it cou… Continue reading

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The Silenced: Meet the Climate Whistle-Blowers Muzzled by the Trump Administration

Six whistleblowers and ex-government scientists describe how the Trump administration made them bury climate science—and why they won’t stay quiet

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Study Finds Air Pollution Particles Can Get Inside the Placenta

Particles of black carbon have been found inside the placenta, raising questions of health risks to fetuses. (Credit: Africa Studio/Shutterstock)

Many of us don’t give much thought to the air we breathe. But if you live in a city, near a major road, next to an industrial plant or even just have a wood burning stove, that air is often laced with miniscule pollutants. After we inhale, those particles can lodge in our lungs and travel throughout the body. For pregnant women, this may put their Continue reading

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Cows Burp Out Tons of Methane. Feeding Them Seaweed Could Help

Adding seaweed to cows’ diet would help tamp down their methane emissions. (Credit: Jan K/ Shutterstock)

Every morning, Breanna Roque goes out to the barn to feed the cows. But this isn’t your typical farm – in fact, it’s a laboratory. The University of California, Davis graduate researcher spends her time among bovines, tweaking their diets so that they burp less. Why? Less burps means less methane. And less methane, on a global scale, could mean slowing down climate change.

Roque is p Continue reading

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Drenchable Drones, Prickly Cells and Face-Tracked Chimps: Science GIFs to Start Your Week

Enjoy and loop on

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New Proof Solves 80-Year-Old Irrational Number Problem

Mathematicians have finally proved a conjecture on approximating numbers with fractions

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Pluralism: Beyond the One and Only Truth

Some big questions, such as how matter makes mind and what quantum mechanics means, may not have a single, definitive answer

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9 Ways to Instantly Cut Your Environmental Impact

Buying clothes and other items second hand is a great way to cut your environmental impact. (Credit: Cabeca de Marmore/Shutterstock)

Helping the environment might seem like an impossible task, especially when there are a couple billion other people… Continue reading

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How Do You Know Which Emotion a Facial Expression Represents?

A group of researchers has created a short test to see just how misleading the look on a person’s face can be

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Insecticides May Be Giving Songbirds Anorexia and Delaying Their Migrations

An experiment with white-crowned sparrows shows that insecticides may be impacting songbirds. (Credit: Phil Lowe/Shutterstock)

Some migrating songbirds may be starving thanks to agricultural pesticides. Neonicotinoids are popular insecticides used … Continue reading

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Adrenaline Doesn’t Actually Cause the Fight-or-Flight Response, New Study Says

When you’re overcome with fear, it’s not adrenaline making you want to fight or flee. (Credit: Master1305/Shutterstock)

A thrilling high when you’re faced with danger, a boost of energy when you’re going for an intense run – we tend to associate these rushes with adrenaline, a hormone synonymous with our fight-or-flight response. But it turns out adrenaline might not be what activates our brains’ stress reaction after all.

In fact, our bones might be doing more work than we originally th Continue reading

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The Gravitational-Wave “Revolution” Is Underway

As the fourth anniversary of the first detection approaches, the field continues to mature—with a bright future ahead

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Many Cancer Drugs Don’t Work Like Scientists Say They Do, New Study Suggests

(Credit: Shidlovski/Shutterstock)

Cancer therapies often fail to work when tested in clinical trials. As a result, a startling 97 percent of drugs designed for specific cancer treatments do not receive approval from the Food and Drug Administration…. Continue reading

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A ‘Brown Tide’ of Seaweed is Choking the Caribbean and Worrying Scientists

Dead seaweed chokes beaches across the Caribbean every year. (Credit: Playa del Carmen/Shutterstock)

(Inside Science) — In the summer of 2018, thousands of tons of a prolific seaweed called sargassum invaded the pristine beaches of the Caribbean. … Continue reading

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How the Government is Working to Combat Fake Images and Videos

It can be tricky to make it look like people are doing things they never did. (Credit: Alexander Sobol/Shutterstock)

Lots of people – including Congress – are worried about fake videos and imagery distorting the truth, purporting to show people saying and doing things they never said or did.

I’m part of a larger U.S. government project that is working on developing ways to detect images and videos that have been manipulated. My team’s work, though, is to play the role of the bad guy. We d Continue reading

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Americans Commonly Eat Orange Roughy, a Fish Scientists Say Can Live to 250 Years Old

Orange roughy live in the deep ocean, where they’re often caught by trawling ships. (Credit: New Zealand National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research)

Would you eat an animal if you knew it was as
old as the U.S. Constitution?

Scientists in New Zealand have aged a fish called an orange roughy at between 230 and 245 years old, making it one of the longest-lived fin-fish on record.

The ancient fish was born in the late 1700s
— and then caught
in 2015 by a New Zealand commercia Continue reading

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Humpback Whales Swap Songs at Island Hub

At the Kermadec Islands, humpbacks from all over the South Pacific converge and swap songs. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

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New Tesla Batteries Could Run for One Million Miles

(Credit: Grisha Bruev/Shutterstock)

Car batteries don’t last forever. Generally, they need to be replaced every five to six years, sometimes sooner, depending how worn they are. But engineers working to develop batteries for Tesla claim to have created one that can outlast a typical vehicle’s power source by over a decade.

Researchers at Dalhousie University in Canada tested a new lithium-ion cell battery that could last for roughly 20 years, or one million miles, according to a report p Continue reading

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Immune-Cell Pioneers Win Prestigious Lasker Medical Award

The prizes honored the discoverers of B and T cells, the inventors of a breast cancer treatment, and a vaccination NGO

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Struggling to Hit Your Step Count? Competition May be the Best Motivation

(Credit: shepele4ek2304/Shutterstock)

Yes, physical activity is good for your health, but sometimes – OK, maybe a lot – you just don’t want to. How do you get yourself up and going when inspiration lags? According to a new study, the answer may be a little friendly competition.

In a study out Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers have found that gamifying physical activity objectives encourages people to take more steps per day than merely setting a goal. And when it Continue reading

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Forestalling a Fatal Decision

Social scientists have begun to close in on new ways to stop people from taking their own lives

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Food Expiration Dates May Mislead Consumers

Better food labeling could prevent people from throwing away a lot of “expired” food that’s still perfectly edible.

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Did a Single Genetic Mutation Make Humans the Heart Attack Species?

(Credit: halfbottle/Shutterstock)

There are many things that set us humans apart from other species: large brains, bipedalism, a predilection for puns. But we’re also defined by our singular vulnerability to cardiovascular disease.

Heart attacks and strokes, the leading causes of death in humans worldwide, are rampant in our species and our species alone. Even chimpanzees, our closest relatives in the animal kingdom, suffer from cardiovascular disease at far lower rates, and for different Continue reading

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What’s Causing These Strange Holes at Indiana Dunes National Park?

Wind sweeps over sand dunes along the shores of Lake Michigan at Indiana Dunes National Park. (Credit: Delmas Lehman/Shutterstock)

(Inside Science) — On the shores of Lake Michigan, near the northeastern tip of Indiana Dunes National Park, an appr… Continue reading

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The Delusion of Scientific Omniscience

As time passes, the claim that science can comprehend everything looks increasingly nutty

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India Loses Contact with Lunar Lander

The Chandrayaan-2 mission’s Vikram lander is presumed lost after falling silent in the final moments of its descent

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These Four New STIs Are On the Rise

With cases of STIs on the rise, basic methods of protection are more important than ever.(Credit: Purple Anvil/Shutterstock)

When it comes to sexually transmitted infections (STIs), we all know the classics: Syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea and the li… Continue reading

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