Biology Environment Health 

Why Plastics Are Dangerous to Our Health

By Emily Folk (@EmilySFolk) It is almost impossible to avoid plastics today. They’re used to package our food, hold the water we drink, and even print our receipts at the grocery store. Though plastics have made life more convenient than ever before, could there be a downside to their prevalence in our world? Scientists are trying to find out. One area of research focuses on how regular contact with plastic might harm the human body, especially because people unknowingly ingest plastic practically every day. To quote the Graduate, “I just…

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Animals Genetics Videos 

Science with Sophie: Dogs

Do dogs really exist? Okay, we know dogs really exist. But how do you know if something really exists if you can’t see it? On this episode of Science with Sophie, Sophie explores why it’s so important to do your own research, as well as how genetic traits as passed down. And as a bonus, you’ll learn all about the history of dogs, complete with at least five different canine cameos. Do the science experiment with Sophie To do the science experiment, you’ll need these things: something to write on something…

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Science with Sophie: Scabs, scab Education Health Videos 

Science with Sophie: Scab Science

Scab Science It’s happened to all of us. You’re running or riding your bike, you slip, you fall, and you skin your knee. After a few days, you notice that the cut where you skinned your knee has formed a scab. What happens to our bodies when we get hurt? Why do we get cuts, and why do we get scabs afterward? Learn how white blood cells, proteins, and skin cells work together to help you get better after you get hurt in this episode of Science with Sophie! Do…

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Fabulous Fat: Lipid-Based Nutrient Supplements Combat Malnutrition Health 

Fabulous Fat: Lipid-Based Nutrient Supplements Combat Malnutrition

By Shayna Keyles @shaynakeyles Malnutrition affects hundreds of millions of children around the world. As of 2017, about 23 percent of children under five suffer from stunted growth because of malnutrition and about 8 percent experience extreme wasting, which is characterized by a low weight-to-height ratio. Although over the years many treatments have been developed that reduce chances of mortality, increase weight gain, and improve lean tissue creation—all signs of healthy development—more work is necessary to create an inexpensive, accessible, and long-term solution. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF; also known as…

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Ongoing Human Evolution Revealed in Data Biology Health 

Ongoing Human Evolution Revealed in Data

By Kate Stone @GotScienceOrg When I was about nine years old, a young schoolmate demanded to know, “If evolution is real, then why isn’t it happening now?” Being nine and not a biologist, I wasn’t prepared to answer this question. And yet, it was a question that I’ve heard echoes of in the years to follow. Now, a research team at Columbia University has conducted a large-scale study of genetic data and revealed how humans are evolving. In a study analyzing the genomes of 210,000 people in the United States…

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Nests, Neurons, and the Evolution of Behavior. How and Why Do Brain Cells Die? Biology Health 

How and Why Do Brain Cells Die?

By Norman Rusin @normanrusin Chaining Proteins May Free Brain Cells from Disease How did the king of Corinth, Sisyphus, outwit the god of death, Thanatos? By using the god’s own chains. When it was Sisyphus’s time to die, Zeus ordered Thanatos to chain Sisyphus up in Tartarus, the kingdom of the dead. King Sisyphus slyly asked Thanatos to demonstrate how the chains worked. As Thanatos was granting him his wish, Sisyphus seized the opportunity and trapped Thanatos in the chains instead. Once the god of death was bound by the…

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Pathogenic Triggers of Bacterial DNA Discovered Biology Health 

Pathogenic Triggers of Bacterial DNA Discovered

By Shayna Keyles @shaynakeyles Bacteria, those mysterious, microscopic creatures living in, on, and around us, are very often our benign neighbors with whom we quietly cohabitate and occasionally exchange mutual support. However, as anyone who has ever gotten pneumonia or strep throat knows, bacteria are not always looking out for our best interests. Occasionally, bacteria become pathogenic and infect their hosts, and if we are their hosts, we get sick. In a groundbreaking study published on July 29 in Science Access, researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory uncovered the molecular…

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by tableatny via Flickr Biology Health 

Female Longevity: Why Do Women Outlive Men?

By Shayna Keyles @shaynakeyles Women tend to live longer than men: Countless studies of human and animal populations have shown this claim to be more than merely anecdotal. Yet why is female longevity more consistent in human populations than in populations of other species? And why are females granted this longevity at all? Researchers Steven Austad and Kathleen Fischer of the University of Alabama at Birmingham sought to answer these queries in their recent paper “Sex Differences in Lifespan,” published in Cell Metabolism on June 14. The researchers noted that sex…

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Marshall Islands Nuclear Test Radiation Environment Health 

Marshall Islands Radiation Still Too High Decades Later

By Emily Rhode @riseandsci In the years immediately following the end of World War II, the United States government conducted large-scale testing of nuclear weapons on a small group of islands in the remote Pacific Ocean. On March 1, 1954, the largest nuclear device ever tested by the United States was detonated at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Castle Bravo, as the bomb was known, created a mushroom cloud of radiation almost four and one-half miles wide. This was more than 1,000 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on…

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Dichroa febrifuga, a medicinal herb that has been historically used to treat fever, is named for its active ingredient, febrifugine. By Keith Edkins (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons Biology Chemistry 

Malaria Drugs: Herb Garden to Medicine Cabinet

By Bill Sullivan, PhD @wjsullivan We live on a lush planet filled with over 290,000 species of plants. Herbs are a particular type of plant that lack a wooden stem, and humans have often sampled them in hopes of finding a new food or flavoring. Sometimes ingestion of an herb produces unwanted effects, such as death. But other herbs have medicinal qualities, such as the alleviation of fever.  An Old and New Malaria Drug Dichroa febrifuga is one of the most important herbs in traditional Chinese medicine, used for millennia…

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