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Chromosomes Aren't the Only Determiners of a Baby's Sex

The concept of being able to predict the sex of a baby during early pregnancy or even influence it by eating or doing certain things when trying to conceive has been the subject of public fascination and debate for many centuries.

In Search of a Universal Flu Vaccine

No one wants to catch the flu, and the best line of defense is the seasonal influenza vaccine. But producing an effective annual flu shot relies on accurately predicting which flu strains are most likely to infect the population in any given season.

We Got The Mesentery News All Wrong

Earlier this week, a story begging to go viral fell onto writers’ laps: We have a new organ called the mesentery, which is a broad, fan-shaped fold that lines the guts.

When Astronauts ‘Saved’ the Worst Year in American History (Not 2016)

You know it’s been tough times when a Dumpster fire is the meme of the year. Indeed, 2016 has been rough: pop culture icons died, police and activists squared off in major cities, we survived a cutthroat presidential election, Syria burned, terrorists attacked around the globe.

Welcome to the Hotel Automata

The train ride from Nagasaki to the Huis Ten Bosch theme park in Japan takes about two hours. Along the way, I pass rice paddies and sleepy towns; this is not the place you’d expect to find the country’s first hotel staffed by robots.

Pew! Pew! Paleontologists Harness the Power of Lasers

When in possession of a priceless dinosaur skeleton, it’s always a good idea to fire a super-charged photon beam at it.

Real-Life Rogue One: How the Soviets Stole NASA’s Shuttle Plans

In the decrepit ruins of a Cold War-era Kazakhstani hangar, buried beneath decades of detritus, there’s a spaceship that was once the last hope of the Soviet space empire.

When Nausea During Pregnancy Is Life-Threatening

Most women experience some type of morning sickness during pregnancy, but some women develop a far more serious condition.

A Brave New World of Human Reproduction

Advances in reproductive technology may radically change the options we have for starting a family. We’re not too far from fundamentally redefining what it means to start a family.

A History Recalled, One Symbol at a Time

(This post originally appeared in the online anthropology magazine SAPIENS. Follow @SAPIENS_org on Twitter to discover more of their work.)  Time.

Lacking Funding and Data, Gun Policy Researchers Soldier On

Every year, the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control allocate more than $35 billion to researchers to study diseases, treatments and public health.

British Squirrels Are Suffering from Leprosy

For many people, leprosy brings to mind Biblical stories of diseased people cast out from society. It’s a condition that today is largely found in developing countries, whereas in other, mostly Western nations it’s a pestilence of the past that was eradicated decades ago.

Outsmarting the Art of Camouflage

When the American painter Abbott H. Thayer published his book Concealing-Coloration in the Animal Kingdom in 1909, he put forth the hypothesis that animals’ colors served one function and one function only: to camouflage.

Is It Time for Medicine to Ditch Lab Mice?

"Cancer has been cured a thousand times." So says Christopher Austin, the director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health.

Sherlock Holmes, Spirit Hunting and a Great Hoax

Back in August, it seemed that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, was cleared of playing any role in one of the greatest hoaxes in scientific history.

Ever Feel Like You're Being Watched?

You’ve felt it at one time or another. You’re standing on a crowded train platform, or in the park, and suddenly, your alertness spikes: you’re being watched.

Could a Corpse Seed Life on Another Planet?

One day, it's bound to happen. An astronaut dies in space. Maybe the death occurred en route to Mars.

Wanted: Stem Cell Super Donors

Our bodies’ cells didn’t evolve to flourish in a petri dish. Even fast-growing skin cells stop dividing and turn thin and ragged after a few weeks outside the body.

Can Science Save the Banana?

The banana is the world’s most popular fruit crop, with over 100 million metric tons produced annually in over 130 tropical and subtropical countries.

Why Our 'Procrastinating' Brains Still Outperform Computers

Automated financial trading machines can make complex decisions in a thousandth of a second. A human being making a choice – however simple – can never be faster than about one-fifth of a second.


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