SCIENCE

Beer has fueled a lot of bad ideas. But on a Friday afternoon in 2007, it helped two Alzheimer's researchers come up with a really a good one.

Facebook’s plan to fight fake news may have a fatal flaw. That’s according to a Yale study on how people read and react to news on the social media platform.

If the Russian psychologist Ivan Pavlov were alive today, what would he say about smartphones? He might not think of them as phones at all, but instead as remarkable tools for understanding how technology can manipulate our brains.

UMass food scientists Lynne McLandsborough, left, and Lili He.
Karen Brown / NEPR

Food scientists at UMass Amherst have come up with a technique they say could make it a lot easier to avoid food poisoning.

To age well, we must eat well. There has been a lot of evidence that heart-healthy diets help protect the brain.

The latest good news: A study recently published in Neurology finds that healthy seniors who had daily helpings of leafy green vegetables — such as spinach, kale and collard greens — had a slower rate of cognitive decline, compared to those who tended to eat little or no greens.

Updated 10:25 a.m. ET Wednesday

Early Wednesday morning brought a lunar event that hasn't been seen since 1866.

It was at least partially visible in all 50 U.S. states, though the views were better the farther west you live.

Let's break this down. This event – called a super blue blood moon – was actually three fairly common lunar happenings all happening at the same time.

And scientists say that information gathered during the event could help them figure out where to land a rover on the moon.

A short drive north of Fairbanks, Alaska, there's a red shed stuck right up against a hillside. The shed looks unremarkable, except for the door. It looks like a door to a walk-in freezer, with thick insulation and a heavy latch. Whatever is behind that door needs to stay very cold.

"Are you ready to go inside?" asks Dr. Thomas Douglas, a geochemist at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

"Trauma" is a heavy and haunting word. For many Americans, it conjures images of troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The emotional toll from those wars made headlines and forced a healthcare reckoning at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, a pediatrician, would like to see a similar reckoning in every doctor's office, health clinic and classroom in America — for children who have experienced trauma much closer to home.

Maybe you got one of those find-your-ancestry kits over the holidays. You've sent off your awkwardly-collected saliva sample, and you're awaiting your results. If your experience is anything like that of me and my mom, you may find surprises — not the dramatic "switched at birth" kind, but results that are really different from what you expected.

This Cat Lover's Claws Are Out

Jan 17, 2018
A cat.
Krysten Merriman / Creative Commons

An open letter to Robert Chipkin, researchers at Vanderbilt University, and all dog triumphalists, ever, for the end of time: Your dog may be smarter than my cat. This is not a great feat. My cat’s brain is about the size of a walnut.  

Pages