Echinacea, vitamins, and other dietary supplements have become a $5 billion industry, but the products don't need to be pre-approved by the FDA before they go on the market. How do we know what is really in our supplements? What regulations are currently in place? How can we keep ourselves safe and informed?
Since its appearance in the U.S. seven years ago, white-nose syndrome has decimated bat populations across eastern North America. Scientists say they've determined the culprit--a soil-dwelling fungus called Pseudogymnoascus destructans--and now they're investigating novel ways to stop it, including antifungal bacteria.
Forget dissecting frogs and building potato batteries. High school students today are learning genetic engineering--and some are even redesigning life. Bioethicists and the FBI have taken note and are rethinking biosecurity for the synthetic biology revolution.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is awarding more than $3.5 million in Affordable Care Act funding to support health care centers in Alabama.
Department Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Thursday that the funding will help expand the delivery of health care services in the state, which is expected to impact more than 20,700 Alabamians. Officials say the funding is expected to support five health care centers in Alabama.
Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 6:36 am
In the hunt for new ways to help people fight alcoholism, doctors are studying gabapentin, a generic drug that's commonly used to treat epilepsy and fibromyalgia.
In a 12-week clinical trial conducted by the Scripps Research Institute, people taking taking gabapentin were much better at reducing their alcohol intake than those who got a placebo. The research, involving 150 people, was funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 5:15 am
In the essay "The Myth of Sisyphus," philosopher Albert Camus — who would have turned 100 on Thursday — explored the nature of boring work. There's new psychological research into why people end up in boring jobs.
H. Jerry Qi, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Colorado University, holds simple models printed using polymers that have "shape memory." The flat piece on the left can reshape itself into a box with the application of heat.
Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 10:37 am
Last week, Aaron Kleidon went for a walk in the Illinois woods and returned with a bag of lotus seeds. The seeds were bound not for his dinner plate, but for his pint glass.
In a few months, Kleidon will have lotus-flavored beer at the small brewpub Scratch Brewing Company, which he owns with two friends in Ava, Ill. The microbrewery specializes in beers with seeds, leaves, roots, fruits and fungi foraged from a nearby wooded property. The brewers have even made a saison from chanterelle mushrooms.
The news for moose is not good across the country's northern tier and in some parts of Canada. A recent and rapid decline of moose populations in many states may be linked to climate change, and to the parasites that benefit from it.
In Minnesota, moose populations have dropped from a high of more than 12,000 two decades ago to fewer than 3,000 now. Moose in some parts of Manitoba have declined by 50 percent and more.
Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 3:33 pm
Former NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin pioneered a "faster, better, cheaper" approach to America's space program, but he would have been hard-pressed to deliver a Mars mission for the bargain-basement price of India's first probe to the red planet, which blasted off Tuesday.
A team of planet hunters estimates that about 22 percent of the sun-like stars in our galaxy may have planets about the size of Earth that are bathed in similar amounts of sunlight — and potentially habitable.
That's the conclusion of a new analysis of observations taken by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, which was launched in 2009 to hunt for potentially habitable Earth-like planets around other stars.
Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 12:34 pm
A new study suggests there could be far more Earth-like planets orbiting distant stars than once thought, some of which might even harbor life.
A team of astronomers from the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, used the Kepler space telescope to survey 42,000 Sun-like stars looking for a telltale dimming caused by an orbiting planet as it crosses between us and the parent star.