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19,511 articles from ScienceNOW

There’s a shortage of monkeypox vaccine. Could one dose instead of two suffice?

As the monkeypox outbreak grows, the preferred vaccine to combat it is in short supply—a problem that’s only getting worse now that countries are expanding access to the vaccine. But there is a strategy that could double overnight the number of people who can be vaccinated: use a single shot instead of the recommended two. Compelling data from monkey and human studies suggest...

Did fuzzy coats help dinosaurs survive one of Earth’s worst extinctions?

Dinosaurs lived in an endless summer, surrounded by steaming jungles and lush swamps—at least if movies such as Fantasia and Jurassic World are to be believed. But that classic image is changing. Paleontologists now know some dinosaurs lived in comparatively chilly habitats with months of darkness and occasional snow on the ground. Frigid conditions like...

Ancient galaxy’s spin suggests universe’s first stars quickly coalesced into disks

Astronomers have detected the rotation of a galaxy dating back to just 550 million years after the big bang, when the universe was 4% of its current age. The rotation suggests this baby galaxy was not an amorphous blob but rather an organized disk, just like the Milky Way and similar galaxies that have had more than 13 billion years to mature. It’s yet more evidence that galaxies grow...


THURSDAY 30. JUNE 2022


When should U.S. research be stamped ‘top secret’? NSF asks for a new look at the issue

The U.S. academic community is gearing up for a new effort to convince national policymakers that the benefits of keeping government-funded basic research out in the open—and not stamping it classified—far outweigh any threat to national security from sharing scientific findings. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering,...

Female lineages anchored Pacific islands for 2000 years

Some 3000 years ago, people sailed toward the sunrise—and the last swatch of our planet uninhabited by humans: remote islands of the Pacific. By 1200 C.E. societies flourished from the Marianas to Rapa Nui, more than 12,000 kilometers apart. How the Pacific gradually became home to these groups—and just where they came from—has long been a mystery ....

Zika, dengue viruses make victims smell better to mosquitoes

The viruses that cause Zika and dengue fever can’t get from person to person on their own—they need to hitchhike inside a mosquito. A new study suggests how they hail these rides: They make their victims smell more attractive to the blood-sucking bugs. It’s "a big advance," says mosquito neuroscientist Laura Duvall of Columbia University, who wasn't connected to the...

WHO monkeypox decision renews debate about global alarm system for outbreaks

The World Health Organization (WHO) may have very high aspirations—“the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health”—but when a new human disease begins to spread, or a known one behaves in unusual, threatening ways, it has few levers to pull. One important decision it can make, however, is declaring a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC),...


WEDNESDAY 29. JUNE 2022


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...