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The Crux

This Woman Can Smell Parkinson's. It Might Help Lead To Earlier Treatment

By Anna Groves | March 21, 2019 3:02 pm

Parkinson’s disease stinks. Figuratively. But according to new research, it literally stinks too — to those who have a heightened sense of smell. Thanks to the help of one of these “super-smellers,” a team of scientists has identified subtle volatile compounds produced by Parkinson’s sufferers. These compounds could be used to make much easier, and earlier, diagnostics for the disease.

According to the CDC, Parkinson’s is the second-most common neurodegenerative disease after  …

D-brief

Researchers Say They May Have Found the Cause of SIDS and Other Sudden Death Syndromes

By Megan Schmidt | March 21, 2019 1:29 pm

Every parent’s worst fear is not being able to keep their child safe. And a mysterious condition known as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is enough to keep any new parent awake at night.

What’s so troubling about SIDS is that no one really understands why a seemingly healthy baby goes to sleep and never wakes up. But a new review paper suggests that SIDS and other forms of sudden death syndromes — which impact people of all ages and seem to strike without warning or cause — ma …

D-brief

Frozen Testes Restore Fertility In Monkeys, Offering Hope To Childhood Cancer Survivors

By Roni Dengler | March 21, 2019 1:13 pm

Childhood cancers rob kids of their youth. The treatment often saves lives but steals their opportunity to have kids of their own. About 30 percent of childhood cancer survivors become permanently infertile thanks to chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

Now researchers show they can restore fertility to sterile male monkeys that received chemotherapy as youngsters by cryopreserving immature testicular tissue. A young female monkey conceived from the preserved tissue is proof the approac …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine, top posts
MORE ABOUT: sex & reproduction

D-brief

Boeing’s Starliner Test Flight Delayed by Three Months, Sources Say

By Korey Haynes | March 21, 2019 11:21 am

The schedule for Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft has slipped again, and the company will no longer launch an uncrewed test flight to the International Space Station in April, Reuters has reported. The flight is being pushed back to August. Starliner is Boeing’s entry for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to ferry both cargo and people to the ISS and back. The company’s spaceship is a competitor with SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, which successfully docked with the ISS earlier this month – a …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts
MORE ABOUT: space exploration

D-brief

Space Station Astronauts Prep for Two Spacewalks in One Week

By Korey Haynes | March 21, 2019 10:59 am

On March 22, two astronauts will take the first spacewalk of Expedition 59 in order to upgrade aging batteries on the International Space Station. The astronauts will be Nick Hague and Anne McClain, and it will be the first spacewalk for both of them.

Next week, on March 29, McClain will venture into space again, joined by Christina Koch. This will mark the first all-female spacewalk, a historic event.

Koch and Hague joined the space station just last week. For Hague, this was a delay  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts
MORE ABOUT: space exploration

D-brief

People Follow a Universal Pattern When Switching Between Cell Phone Apps

By Bill Andrews | March 21, 2019 10:28 am

One of the best parts of traveling is getting to see how, despite differences in culture and geography, we’re all fundamentally alike. “People are the same everywhere,” Morrissey tells us — we laugh, we cry, we find cute things cute. And, it now seems, we also juggle the apps on our smartphones the same way.

That’s the finding of an international team of computer scientists and neuroscientists, published Wednesday in the journal Royal Society Open Science. Despite differences in  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology, top posts
MORE ABOUT: computers

D-brief

It's Not Just Humans: Sun Bears Also Communicate by Mimicking Facial Expressions

By Amber Jorgenson | March 21, 2019 10:00 am

“A smile is infectious,” so goes the cheesy saying. But there’s actually some validity there. It’s long been known that people, often unintentionally, mimic the facial expressions of those around them. This communication technique was thought to only exist in humans and gorillas, but new research is challenging that idea.

A recent study in sun bears, which are the smallest (and possibly cutest) species of bear in the world, shows that they, too, mimic the expressions of their peer …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, Mind & Brain, top posts

D-brief

This 'Cannonball' Pulsar is Racing at Escape Speed Across the Milky Way

By Korey Haynes | March 20, 2019 4:47 pm

Astronomers discovered a pulsar, a kind of zombie star, racing across the galaxy so quickly that it could get from the Earth to the moon in six minutes flat. The dead star has a tail pointing back toward the remnant of a supernova that exploded 10,000 years ago. Astronomers suspected this might have provided the kick that sent the pulsar speeding off, but had to wait for 10 years of telescope data to make their case convincing.

A pulsar is the rapidly spinning neutron star left over a …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts
MORE ABOUT: stars

D-brief

Scientists Find That Anesthetics Can Weaken Traumatic Memories

By Roni Dengler | March 20, 2019 2:45 pm

Some memories can leave us scarred for life. For example, the memory of a dog attack may leave even the most canine-loving person terrified of every pooch they come across. Fortunately, traumatic memories may not be permanent. In a new study, researchers have discovered that a general anesthetic can weaken emotionally disturbing memories. The find means a routine anesthetic could potentially treat psychiatric disorders such as phobias and anxiety.

“This is proof of principle,” said …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Mind & Brain, top posts

D-brief

An Important Group of European Hunter-Gatherers Taught Themselves To Farm

By Roni Dengler | March 20, 2019 12:00 pm

Some 12,000 years ago, the land was exceptionally fertile curving up from the Nile River basin across Jordan, Syria, and Iraq, down into the Tigris River Valley. The area’s earliest settlers grew wheat, barely and lentils. Some kept pigs and sheep. Farming soon replaced hunting and foraging as a way of life there. The region became known as the Fertile Crescent, the birthplace of agriculture.

This pastoral lifestyle eventually spread across Europe from a place called Anatolia, which sit …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, top posts
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