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19,501 articles from ScienceNOW

Bad news for Paxlovid? Coronavirus can find multiple ways to evade COVID-19 drug

Prescriptions for Pfizer’s blockbuster drug Paxlovid have skyrocketed in recent weeks. That’s good news for many COVID-19 patients, as the pill has been proven to reduce severe disease from SARS-CoV-2 infections. But a bevy of new lab studies shows the coronavirus can mutate in ways that make it less susceptible to the drug, by far the most widely used of the two oral antiviral drugs...

Pentagon UFO study led by researcher who believes in the supernatural

When the U.S. government released a much-anticipated report on UFOs a year ago, many were perplexed that it couldn’t explain 143 of the 144 sightings it examined. (In the single closed case, the report concluded the mystery object was a large, deflating balloon.) "Where are the aliens?" cracked one headline. The truth was still out there. So was...

Humans tamed the microbes behind cheese, soy, and more

The burst of flavor from summer’s first sweet corn and the proud stance of a show dog both testify to the power of domestication. But so does the microbial alchemy that turns milk into cheese, grain into bread, and soy into miso. Like the ancestors of the corn and the dog, the fungi and bacteria that drive these transformations were modified for human use. And their genomes have...

Ancient wolves give clues to origins of dogs

Where and when dogs arose is one of the biggest mysteries of domestication . To solve it, researchers have tried everything from analyzing ancient dog bones to sequencing modern dog DNA—all with inconclusive results. Now, researchers have tried a new tack: figuring out where the ancient wolves that gave rise to dogs lived. The new study doesn’t close the case, but it...

Scientists pinpoint new brain target for antinausea drugs

Whether we’ve got the flu or have had too much to drink, most of us have experienced nausea. Unlike other universal sensations such as hunger and thirst, however, scientists still don’t understand the biology behind the feeling—or how to stop it. A new study in mice identifies a possible key player: specialized brain cells that communicate with the gut to turn off the feeling of...


TUESDAY 28. JUNE 2022


Is the pediatric hepatitis outbreak real? A top WHO physician weighs in

It has been 3 months since the United Kingdom reported severe, unexplained hepatitis was sending young children to hospitals in unusual numbers. The initial handful of cases reported in Scotland on 31 March were soon joined by dozens and then hundreds, primarily from Europe, the United States, and the United Kingdom. As of 22 June, the global total, from 33 countries, has swollen to...

Does warfare make societies more complex? Controversial study says yes

War is hell. It breaks apart families, destroys natural resources, and drives humans to commit unspeakable acts of violence. Yet according to a new analysis of human history, war may also prod the evolution of certain kinds of complex societies. The twin developments of agriculture and military technology—especially cavalries and iron weapons—have predicted the rise of empires....

U.K. set to abandon Europe’s top science funding program, go it alone

A few months ago, Teresa Thurston, a cellular microbiologist at Imperial College London, could not have imagined losing her €1.5 million European research grant. But the United Kingdom’s role in the European Union’s €95 billion Horizon Europe funding program is now crumbling thanks to lingering Brexit disputes, forcing many U.K. grant winners like Thurston to give up grants they...

Artificial intelligence could spot baby chickens in distress

Chickens make more sounds than most of us realize. They cluck when content, squawk when frightened, and sing “buk, buk, ba-gawk” when laying an egg. Their chicks vocalize too, and they can vary that simple sound to signal pleasure or distress. Now, scientists have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) program that automatically identifies these SOS calls, an advance that could...


MONDAY 27. JUNE 2022


Warmer winters could wipe out Antarctica’s only native insect

The Antarctic midge might be smaller than a pea, but it’s the continent’s largest land animal–and only native insect. The midge has clearly evolved to survive in extreme conditions, yet a warming climate could threaten its existence, a new study finds. Unlike temperate-zone midges that swarm around water, the Antarctic midge ( Belgica antarctica ) is...

NIH’s vaunted program for solving puzzling medical cases is running out of money

Ten years ago, an athletic 12-year-old from Affton, Missouri, named Mitchell Herndon began to experience muscle weakness that eventually led to him using a wheelchair. After years of visits to specialists failed to diagnose his neurological symptoms, he enrolled in a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded program that studies patients with debilitating mystery diseases. Researchers...

‘Zombie papers’ just won’t die. Retracted papers by notorious fraudster still cited years later

Alison Avenell spent years collecting evidence that Yoshihiro Sato, a now-deceased nutritional researcher in Japan, was among the most prolific fraudsters known to science. After journals investigated the findings by Avenell, a clinical nutritionist at the University of Aberdeen, and her colleagues, they retracted more than two dozen papers Sato had co-authored . Many had...


SUNDAY 26. JUNE 2022


WHO declines to label monkeypox a global emergency

After 2 days of deliberation, an advisory panel convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) has concluded the monkeypox outbreak that has spread to more than 50 countries does not yet warrant the declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), its highest alert level. WHO currently has PHEIC declarations for polio and COVID-19, and many infectious disease...

WHO declines to label monkeypox a global threat

After two days of deliberation, an advisory panel convened by the World Health Organization has concluded the monkeypox outbreak that has spread to more than 50 countries does not yet warrant the declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), its highest alert level. WHO currently has PHEIC declarations for polio and COVID-19,  and many infectious disease...


FRIDAY 24. JUNE 2022


In the Balkans, researchers mobilize to protect a wild river

Five years ago, researchers from across Europe converged on a cold, fast-moving river in the highlands of Albania for a week of intensive fieldwork. Their mission: to kick off a multiyear effort to assemble a detailed ecological portrait of the Vyosa River, one of Eastern Europe’s last free-flowing waterways. They hoped to draw public attention to the river’s rich wildlife and...

Poliovirus in London sewage sparks alarm

Yesterday, declaring a “national incident” after poliovirus was detected in London sewage, public health officials in the United Kingdom asked physicians to be on alert for polio cases and urged residents to check whether they are up to date with their vaccinations for the now-rare disease. The source of the virus is still a mystery, but was likely someone from outside of the United...


THURSDAY 23. JUNE 2022


Hidden carbon layer may have sparked ancient bout of global warming

There is no perfect parallel in Earth’s past for present-day climate change—human-driven warming is simply happening too fast and furiously. The closest analog came 56 million years ago, when over the course of 3000 to 5000 years, greenhouse gases soared in the atmosphere, causing at least 5°C of warming and pushing tropical species to the poles. The cause of the...

Gravitational wave radar could probe deep space for tiny stellar objects

Theoretical physicists have hit on a new way to test Albert Einstein’s theory of gravity, or general relativity, and—just maybe—probe the distant universe for tiny, hard to detect objects. Gravitational waves —ripples in space set off when massive objects such as black holes whirl together and collide—should bounce off other massive objects to produce echoes of...

U.S. science agencies would see budgets rise under draft budget bills

Spending panels for the U.S. House of Representatives kicked off the 2023 federal budget cycle this week by recommending healthy increases for several research agencies. In some cases, however, those increases fall below the much larger boosts President Joe Biden has requested. At the same time, lawmakers bucked that trend by adding to Biden’s meager request for the National Institutes...

U.S. universities fight Senate innovation bill targeting foreign gifts to faculty

The shape of U.S. research is at stake as Congress tries to reconcile competing versions of a massive bill, 2 years in the making, aimed at bolstering U.S. competitiveness with China in research and high-tech manufacturing. The bills would not only authorize spending hundreds of billions of additional dollars on research, but also set out new policies on...


WEDNESDAY 22. JUNE 2022


Electrical stimulation of the brain may help people who stutter

When Guillermo Mejias was 7 years old, his parents sent him out to buy bread during a family holiday in southern Spain. Mejias still remembers his growing anxiety as he walked to the bakery, repeating what he would say over and over in his head. But when the moment arrived, he was unable to produce a single word. He recalls returning empty-handed, ashamed, and wondering what to tell his...

‘The complexities are staggering.’ U.S. plans huge trial of blood tests for multiple cancers

Tests that screen seemingly healthy people for many kinds of cancer by analyzing a blood sample are starting to enter the clinic—worrying some physicians and scientists that they could do more harm than good. Now, as part of President Joe Biden’s reignited Cancer Moonshot, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is laying plans to evaluate the promise of such tests. Last week,...

Modern city dwellers have lost about half their gut microbes

Deep in the human gut, myriad “good” bacteria and other microbes help us digest our food, as well as keep us healthy by affecting our immune, metabolic, and nervous systems. Some of these humble microbial assistants have been in our guts since before humans became human—certain gut microbes are found in almost all primates, suggesting they first colonized a common ancestor. But...

Women scientists don’t get authorship they should, new study suggests

Poba/iStock Science is increasingly conducted by teams. But within those teams, credit isn’t always allocated equitably: Women are less likely to be authors than men in their research group at the same career stage , even accounting for the hours each individual worked on the project, according to a study published today in...


TUESDAY 21. JUNE 2022


Long-lasting HIV prevention drug too slow to reach Africa, activists say

KAMPALA, UGANDA— Melb Simiyu, an HIV prevention officer at a support organization for sex workers here, says most of her clients have asked when a drug called CAB-LA will become available. Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December 2021, the HIV prevention drug could drastically reduce infections among marginalized groups like the one she works...

Why the monkeypox outbreak is mostly affecting men who have sex with men

Ever since monkeypox started sickening thousands of people worldwide this spring, two big questions have loomed: Why is a virus that has never managed to spread beyond a few cases outside Africa suddenly causing such a big, global outbreak? And why are the overwhelming majority of those affected men who have sex with men (MSM)? A long history of work on sexually...


MONDAY 20. JUNE 2022


Why the monkeypox outbreak is mostly affecting men who have sex with men

Ever since monkeypox started to sicken thousands of people worldwide this spring, two big questions have loomed: Why is a virus that has never managed to spread beyond a few cases outside Africa suddenly causing such a big, global outbreak? And why are the overwhelming majority of those affected men who have sex with men (MSM)? A long history of work on sexually transmitted...

In Cambodia, researchers document the world's largest freshwater fish

Thanks to local fishers, a team of scientists on an expedition in Cambodia to tag Mekong River fish has discovered the largest freshwater fish ever documented--a 300-kilogram giant stingray that stretches nearly 4 meters from nose to tail. "It's almost inconceivable that a fish this large still occurs in a river as heavily fished and developed as the Mekong," says Zeb Hogan, a...


FRIDAY 17. JUNE 2022


Electrocuted birds are sparking wildfires

In 2014, a wildfire ripped through central Chile, destroying 2500 homes and killing at least 13 people . A year later, a blaze in Idaho burned more than 4000 hectares, an area nearly 12 times the size of New York City’s Central Park. Both conflagrations had one thing in common: Experts believe they were started by birds. Our feathered friends love to perch on...

Softening tough tissue in aging ovaries may help fight infertility

Would-be parents hoping to get pregnant face a ticking clock: The older potential mothers get, the more their fertility drops. A new study in mice may help explain why. Ovaries accumulate “stiff” tissue as they age, and researchers have found that reducing the amount of this tissue—“softening” the ovaries, as it were—restored fertility in the animals, raising the possibility...

NIH launches grant program aimed at closing the funding rate gap between Black and white investigators

After having one idea batted down last year, some National Institutes of Health (NIH) institutes are taking a new tack to bolster the success rate of Black scientists and researchers from other underrepresented groups seeking research grants. A program aiming to diversify the NIH workforce could award up to $20 million a year to neuroscience, drug abuse, and mental health investigators...


THURSDAY 16. JUNE 2022


Disgraced Italian surgeon convicted of criminal harm to stem cell patient

A surgeon who just a decade ago was celebrated around the globe as a pioneer in stem cell transplants has been convicted of one count of “causing bodily harm,” a felony, in a Swedish court. The district court in Solna today found Paolo Macchiarini not guilty on other charges, including aggravated assault, that could have carried prison sentences of up to 4 years, relating to three...

Arkansas scientist gets 1-year sentence in case stemming from China Initiative

U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Brooks today sentenced Simon Ang to 1 year and 1 day in prison for lying to FBI about his status as an inventor. He was also fined $5500. Ang, a former engineering professor at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, was ordered to report to federal prison on 20 July to begin serving his sentence, after which he will be on supervised release for 1...

Murders of women worldwide remain vastly undercounted. Activists are now filling in the gaps

An unknown number of women and girls are killed every year primarily because of their gender, murders known as “femicides” or “feminicides.” Although gender-related violence is a serious problem worldwide, official government data on the issue are often inaccurate, incomplete, or nonexistent. These “missing data” have real consequences, says Helena Suárez Val, a researcher at...

Newly identified population of polar bears survives on glacier slush, not sea ice

Polar bears typically depend on solid sea ice to hunt and keep their bellies full. To breathe, seals pop up in holes in the frozen seawater, and there the bears ambush and eat them. Now, however, scientists have discovered a group of polar bears in southeastern Greenland that does things differently, using a slushy mix of freshwater snow and ice as a platform to ambush seals. This new...