Science & Health

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Teenagers get dissed for being irrational and making bad decisions, which can lead to very bad things, like drunken driving, risky sex and drug use.

But what if the problem is really that teens are just a little too rational?

That's the argument of Scott Huettel, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University.

He and other researchers were wondering about the presumptions we make about rational/good and irrational/bad when it comes to decision-making.

Let me say a few things about Lily: She has never tried to herd people, children, cats or dogs. She does not look like a classic herding dog. You wouldn't mistake her for Lassie or the border collie in Babe. And we have no particular reason to think she's been yearning to herd sheep.

The giant semiconductor manufacturer Intel will be severing ties with a long- running science and mathematics competition that has awarded millions of dollars in prize money to America's top high school students.

Intel has been a corporate sponsor of the Science Talent Search since 1998, according to the Society For Science, the group that administers the contest.

Labor Day may have marked the unofficial end of summer, but the craving for ice cream knows no end.

Of course, if you're not quick enough, melting ice cream creates a mess. But now, European scientists say they may have stumbled upon a solution to the sticky situation: an ingredient that makes the treat melt significantly more slowly.

It may be possible to transmit Alzheimer's disease from one person to another, according to a study published Wednesday in Nature. But this would occur only in highly unusual circumstances involving direct exposure to brain tissue, scientists say.

These are the tiniest babies born. Some weigh only a pound or two. And can fit in the palm of your hand.

Extreme preemies — born somewhere between 22 and 28 weeks — have a better chance of surviving now than they did 20 years ago, doctors report Tuesday in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association. But many of these babies still have severe health problems.

Math can be as scary as spiders and snakes, at least in the brain of an 8-year-old child. And that early anxiety about dealing with numbers can put a child at a significant disadvantage, not only in school but in negotiating life and a career. Fortunately, a study of third-graders, published this week in the Journal of Neuroscience, suggests an intervention that can help. One-on-one tutoring does more than teach kids, the researchers say. It calms the fear circuitry in the brain.

Feeding a caffeine habit is no sweat in our day and age: Just raid the office kitchen for some tea or hit one of the coffee shops that pepper the landscape.

But 1,000 years ago, Native Americans in the American Southwest and Mexican Northwest were getting their buzz on in landscapes where no obvious sources of caffeine grew, according to new findings published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Diver Dan Abbott unloads his scuba gear on a beach in Monterey, Calif. — his tank, flippers and a waterproof clipboard covered in tally marks. He spent the morning counting fish: pile perch, black perch, blue rockfish and kelp rockfish are among the 150 fish he spotted.

Abbott is diving with a team from Reef Check California, a group of volunteers doing underwater surveys by counting everything in the kelp forest in Monterey Bay.

You could say 36-year-old Matt Ray works in paradise — on a barrier island off the Florida's southern coast. As athletic director of the Anna Maria Island Community Center, Ray is doing what he loves.

"I grew up playing sports," he says. "I actually played two years of college basketball. So sports have pretty much been my entire life."

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Just How Sweet Is The Taste Of Victory?

Sep 6, 2015
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Why Google Is Going All In On Diabetes

Sep 6, 2015

Millions of people with diabetes prick a finger more than five times a day to monitor their blood glucose levels. It's a painful and expensive process.

But now, Google's Life Sciences division is putting its immense resources behind new initiatives aimed at helping them better live with the disease.

"It's really hard for people to manage their blood sugar," said Jacquelyn Miller, a Google Life Sciences spokeswoman, in an interview with KQED. "We're hoping to take some of the guesswork out of it."

More than four years after the 7,400 residents of the Japanese town of Naraha were evacuated after the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant melted down in the wake of a devastating tsunami, the government is allowing people to return.

Following several years of decontamination, Naraha is the first town in the area to allow residents to return. It was evacuated in March 2011 after the Fukushima plant was smashed by the magnitude-9.0 earthquake and tsunami near Sendai, setting off the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.