Friday, June 20, 2014

Autoimmune diseases stopped in mice

A new strategy to rebalance out-of-control immune systems could one day stop autoimmune diseases. The method, tested in mice, preserves the body’s ability to fight off bacteria and viruses.
Autoimmune diseases result when the immune system mistakes some of the body’s proteins for invaders and attacks organs. Doctors usually treat such disorders — including type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis —with immune-suppressing drugs. The drugs calm the attacks but damage the ability to fight infections and cancer.
But research now shows that the immune system can relearn that the body’s proteins are friends, not foes..

Quantum or not, controversial computer runs no faster than a normal one

The D-Wave computer, marketed as a groundbreaking quantum machine that runs circles around conventional computers, solves problems no faster than an ordinary rival, a new test shows. Some researchers call the test of the controversial device, described online today in Science, the fairest comparison yet. But D-Wave argues that the computations used in the study were too easy to show what its novel chips can do.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Sense about science: equipping people to make sense

We are a charitable trust that equips people to make sense of scientific and medical claims in public discussion.
With a database of over 6,000 scientists, from Nobel prize winners to postdocs and PhD students, we work in partnership with scientific bodies, research publishers, policy makers, the public and the media, to change public discussions about science and evidence
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How researchers shaped the White House's brain-mapping initiative

Researchers have learned an enormous amount about how we think, what drives our behaviors, and why we feel the way we do since President George H.W. Bush proclaimed the 1990s the “decade of the brain,” but many fundamental questions about the three-pound universe remain unanswered.  So President Obama has proposed a Brain Activity Map (BAM) project to reveal some of these remaining secrets, using the Human Genome Project as a model

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How researchers shaped the White House's brain-mapping initiative

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Top 25 stories of 2013

Last year it was easy to choose a story to lead our annual Top 25 list. The discovery of the Higgs boson was a watershed moment, ending a decades-long quest by thousands of physicists to fully describe the subatomic realm.
This year, nothing so momentous came to pass. But science isn’t just about dramatic announcements and tremendous technical feats. Anyone who reads Science News regularly appreciates that great new insights often arise from countless little bits and pieces of new knowledge. This year, careful readers may have noticed a steady accumulation of revelations about the bacterial communities that call the human body home.

Unflappable' Science 'Warrior' Chosen to Lead Key NASA Climate Lab

NASA today named Gavin Schmidt, 46, to lead the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), one of the world’s top climate research institutions. Schmidt, a climate modeler and current deputy director of the lab, follows in the footsteps of prominent climatologist James Hansen, who retired from the agency last year. Although Schmidt does not have quite the public name recognition of Hansen, he is known as one of the nation’s most visible communicators of climate science.
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No wind chill on Mars

Even though daytime temperatures in the tropics of Mars can be about –20°C, a summer afternoon there might feel about the same as an average winter day in southern England or Minneapolis. That’s because there’s virtually no wind chill on the Red Planet, according to a new study—the first to give an accurate sense of what it might feel like to spend a day walking about on our celestial neighbor.
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Monday, June 9, 2014

Watch Live: Asteroid Known as ‘The Beast’ Flies by Earth

A recently discovered astroid nicknamed The Beast will pass by Earth today at a distance three times that between the Earth and the moon.

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Chimps Best Humans at Game Theory

As tough as it is to admit, chimpanzees are just better at some things than humans are. Scientists have previously revealed that our closest ape cousins beat us handily at short-term memory skills.
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