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Stress primes ‘teen’ rats for tough times later

Rats that experience frequent physical, social, and predatory stress during adolescence solve problems and forage more efficiently as adults—even when under high-threat conditions.

Crop fires are isolating rare monkeys in Africa

Human activities are driving an endangered monkey species into isolation in Tanzania, where the genetics of the Udzungwa red colobus monkey is undergoing troubling changes. The monkey (Procolobus gordonorum) is considered an indicator species of ecological change.

Why networking is a lousy way to build teams

Companies may want to think twice about hiring employees based on their business contacts. Researchers reached that conclusion after analyzing the signings and performance of every team in the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1977 to 2011. Teams who signed players through their managers’ contacts at his old clubs produced a lower winning percentage than those that didn’t.

Flocks of birds use ‘beautiful physics’ to save energy

Fish and birds, when moving in groups, use two “gears”—one slow and another fast—in ways that conserve energy.

Why bad bosses shouldn’t try to be funny

Conventional wisdom says leaders should avoid negative humor, though actual support for that belief is scarce and ambiguous.

Better ‘baby pictures’ from Milky Way nursery

A new star map includes the most comprehensive images anyone has ever seen of the Milky Way’s cold interstellar gas clouds where new stars are born.

Sticky mussels inspire nontoxic flame retardant

Researchers have taken a cue from marine mussels to create a flame retardant that is nontoxic and won’t accumulate over time in the environment and living animals.

Gut microbes differ in people with anorexia

People with anorexia nervosa have very different microbial communities living in their guts compared to healthy individuals, report researchers.

Can one gene predict a soldier’s suicide risk?

The statistics are grim: Veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have a 41 to 61 percent higher risk of suicide than the general US population.

Your ‘mind’s eye’ can make its own decisions

The part of the brain responsible for seeing can essentially make decisions just like the brain’s traditional “higher level” areas.

Having to ‘parent’ as a kid can hinder moms later

Mothers who took on burdensome caregiving roles as children—and weren’t allowed to just “be kids”—tend to be less sensitive to their own children’s needs, according to new research.

‘Glue’ trick grows bigger perovskite solar cells

Perovskite solar cells are cheaper to make than traditional silicon cells and the efficiency with which they can convert sunlight into electricity has been increasing rapidly in recent years.

Invasive plants roam the world via online trade

Goldenrod, Himalayan balsam, and Chinese windmill palm are all native to continents other than Europe, but arrived in Switzerland as garden or ornamental plants.

Did asteroid, volcano combo kill the dinosaurs?

Hundreds of thousands of years of volcanic eruptions in India—accelerated by a massive asteroid impact 66 million years ago—may have caused a perfect storm that led to the extinction of dinosaurs and other animals.

Are American parents too afraid of concussions?

A survey of US adults suggests the vast majority don’t know the definition of a concussion and many don’t know the injury is treatable.

Mini brains for testing drugs cost just 25 cents

If you need a working miniature brain—for drug testing, to test neural tissue transplants, or to experiment with how stem cells work—a new paper describes how to build one.

Cancer drug sharpens memory in rats

A drug commonly used to treat cancer may be a way to sharpen memory, make it easier to learn a language, and even help people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

No link between thimerosal vaccines and autism

Vaccines that contain thimerosal, a common preservative, don’t cause negative social behaviors or brain changes in infant primates, a new study shows.

‘Night owl’ teens may gain more weight

Teenagers and adults who go to bed late on weeknights are more likely to gain weight than those who get to sleep earlier.

‘Baby blues’ can strike expectant dads, too

A significant number of men experience depression during their partner’s pregnancy, according to new research in Canada.