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Can internet access keep local government honest?


When citizens have easy and constant access to government information, that’s called government transparency.

Is Harper Lee’s ‘Go Set A Watchman’ really a shock?


HarperCollins published Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman last month, some 60 years after she wrote it and amid controversy over whether the author, who is 89 and in frail health, fully supports its publication.

This cluster of cells lets us gain motor skills


It takes a surprisingly small cluster of brain cells deep within the cerebellum to learn how to serve a tennis ball, or line up a hockey shot.

Milky Way is full of wandering stars


In the Milky Way galaxy, you have two kinds of stars: those that stay put and stars that like to travel far from home.

Neurons like you’ve never seen them before


Around the turn of the 20th century, a Spanish neuroscientist named Santiago Ramón y Cajal created intricate images of intertwined neurons that changed brain science forever.

Watch: Clumps of particles mimic how planets form


For the first time physicists have observed how highly charged dust-sized particles attract and capture others to build up clusters particle by particle.

Skin cells offer clues to brain tumor disorder


A new study of one of the most common inherited causes of brain tumors may help doctors diagnose and treat the learning disabilities that often accompany the condition.

Are too many governments using offsets to renege?


Interest in biodiversity offsetting—creating a similar environment or habitat in a different location to replace ones damaged through development—has surged during the past decade.

Aging brains can’t clear out Alzheimer’s ‘trash’


The greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease is advancing age. After 65, the risk doubles every five years, and 40 percent or more of people 85 and older are estimated to be living with the devastating condition.

We judge based on character, not just payoff


Our impressions of other people’s characters can trump our assessments of how they might benefit us, new research suggests.

Gay teachers have to ‘split, knit, or quit’


A new book about LGBTQ teachers calls for a radical rethinking of classroom culture. Catherine Connell, an assistant professor of sociology at Boston University, wrote School’s Out: Gay and Lesbian Teachers in the Classroom (UC Press, 2014) after teacher interviews and observations in California and Texas—the former bans discrimination against gays statewide, the latter does not.

2 local factors raise odds of smoking during pregnancy


Women are more likely to smoke during pregnancy when they live in areas where socioeconomic resources are lower but also where smoking is more socially accepted, a study finds.

Here are top 5 priorities for Alzheimer’s funds


More than $100 million in federal funding was spent last year in the search for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

‘Star-tar’ could explain why Pluto is red


On June 3, 2015, more than a month before New Horizons, flying faster than speeding bullet, reached its rendezvous with the Pluto system, an astronomer at the Southwest Research Institute who is also a space artist posted a “final guess” at what the planet might look like.

How toddlers learn to recognize a joke


Joking around and playing pretend can teach toddlers important life skills, new research reveals. The study shows that children as young as 16 months old naturally learn the difference between joking and pretending by picking up on their parents’ cues.

Thought-controlled prosthesis offers more ‘tap precision’


A new brain-controlled prosthesis is designed to continuously correct brain readings to give people with spinal cord injuries a more precise way to tap out commands.

Synthetic ribosome can keep bacteria alive


Scientists have engineered a tethered ribosome that works nearly as well as the real thing—an organelle that produces all the proteins and enzymes within the cell.

Electric fields may mess with fruit fly wings


Static electric fields can disturb the wings and alter the behavior of fruit flies, new research shows.

What gives? Scientists try to predict generosity


Are human beings intrinsically selfish? Or are we only selfish when we take time to realize we can get away with it?

Hurricane Sandy still taking a toll nearly 3 years later


Hurricane Sandy continues to affect the lives of tens of thousands of New Jersey residents, who are still dealing with unfinished repairs, disputed claims, and recurrent mold—after-effects that are linked to an increased risk of mental health distress, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression.


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