Medicine

Telling people they’re getting a placebo does not stop it from working

Does giving a placebo require lying to a patient? This study concludes...no! Placebos still work even when the patient knows, at least for emotional distress.


Horseshoe crabs are critical to the biotech industry

Did you know that the modern US biomedical industry is built around the baby blue blood of horseshoe crabs? Come find out what scientists are doing to help…


Diet and exercise can shape how your mind ages

Dementia is a condition that many of us are all too familiar with within friends and family. Dementia itself is a blanket term that describes several conditions…


Can a Chinese medicinal herb Psoralea fructus build healthy bones?

Osteoblasts are cells that are responsible for bone formation. A lack of osteoblasts will cause osteoporosis – a disease that occurs when the body has too…


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Nitrogen pollution is a big problem in standing water such as lakes and ponds. The nitrogen comes from many sources, often agricultural fertilizers. Some of this nitrogen is in the water, but the rest of it is actually trapped in the sediment at the bottom of the lake. You can see evidence of this pollution when a…

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A group of agricultural researchers at West Virginia University wanted to find out if it was possible to grow lettuce year round using high tunnel aquaponics instead of traditional greenhouse methods. Aquaponics is a term that combines “aquaculture,” the practice of farming fish as livestock in managed bodies of…

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A new international study casts doubt on the leading theory of what causes ice ages around the world — changes in the way the Earth orbits the sun. The researchers found that glacier movement in the Southern Hemisphere is influenced primarily by sea surface temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide rather than…

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For more than 250 million years, four-limbed land animals known as tetrapods have repeatedly conquered the Earth’s oceans. These creatures–such as plesiosaurs, penguins and sea turtles–descended from separate groups of terrestrial vertebrates that convergently evolved to thrive in aquatic…

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Surface meltwater regularly travels to the bottom of the Greenland Ice Sheet and lubricates the flow of the ice into the ocean, but new research indicates that future increasing volumes of this meltwater are unlikely to speed the flow of the ice sheet. How is the Greenland Ice Sheet like an oil drill site?  They both…

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Plumes seen reaching high above the surface of Mars are causing a stir among scientists studying the atmosphere on the Red Planet On two separate occasions in March and April 2012, amateur astronomers reported definite plume-like features developing on the planet. The plumes were seen rising to altitudes of over 250 km…

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Disagreements in how we use words can cause major confusion. Sometimes, someone uses the word “far” to mean 50 miles, and other times people use the word far to mean “the tv remote is too far” when it’s a mere 3 ft away. This can lead to lots of issues between people no matter their trade. This happens…

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For several decades scientists have been interested in the ability of psychrophilic (cold- loving) microbial communities to degrade the various components of crude oil, which is a process known as bioremediation. Because temperature has a direct impact on enzyme activity there is a concern that, at very low…

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A new analysis of geologic history may help solve the riddle of the “Cambrian explosion,” the rapid diversification of animal life in the fossil record 530 million years ago that has puzzled scientists since the time of Charles Darwin. A paper by Ian Dalziel of The University of Texas at Austin’s…