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Altering gut bacteria can shield liver from medicine

Modulating gut bacteria could enhance the therapeutic value of a drug, research with the Alzheimer’s medication tacrine suggests.

Teen neglect and aggression often mean separation from family

Nearly half of all teenagers investigated for neglect by child welfare agencies and exhibiting signs of aggression experience a separation from their family, research in Ontario, Canada finds.

Belief in success predicts how kids do in math and reading

When kids believe they can achieve success in math and reading, they are more likely to achieve high test scores in those subjects, new research suggests.

We need a mosquito emoji for public health

The world really needs a mosquito emoji, and not just so hikers and backyard barbequers can complain in text messages and Facebook posts.

Scorching hot Mercury has more ice than we thought

There could be much more ice on Mercury’s surface than previously thought, a new study suggests. The scorching hot surface of Mercury seems like an unlikely place to find ice, but research over the past three decades has suggested that water is frozen on the first rock from the sun, hidden away on crater floors that are permanently shadowed from the sun’s blistering rays.

Why some 19th century immigrants went back to Europe

Moving back to Europe after emigrating to the United States was one strategy Norwegian immigrants used to lessen their poverty, research suggests.

For hospitals, full cybersecurity may be impossible

In a new essay, medical and legal experts outline steps that hospitals can take to secure themselves against dangerous and damaging hacking attacks.

It’s now tougher (and more expensive) to find big ideas

Big ideas are getting harder and harder to find, and innovations have become increasingly massive and costly endeavors, according to new research.

Lasers could make beer and bread even better

Researchers have used a supercontinuum laser to analyze whole grains with long near-infrared wavelengths.

Health gains after 65 mostly go to certain groups

Older Americans report feeling dramatically healthier than they did 14 years ago but that good health isn’t evenly distributed, with much of the gain going to the wealthiest, most highly educated, and whites.

Why some people’s bad sleep doesn’t turn into depression

Poor sleep is both a risk factor for, and a common symptom of, depression. But not everyone who tosses and turns at night becomes depressed.

Therapy rides for veterans don’t stress out horses

Therapeutic horseback riding programs for veterans with PTSD don’t stress out the horses involved, research shows.

Being unpredictable pays off for rodent on two legs

When bipedal desert rodents called jerboas are being chased, sudden changes in direction, gait, and speed help them elude hungry predators and likely give them a competitive edge over their quadrupedal neighbors, a new study suggests.

Without much rain, roots dive deep to find water

The amount of water in soil and the climate of a region affect the depth of root systems, a new study suggests.

Super hot, really dark exoplanet ‘eats’ starlight

An exoplanet outside our solar system observed by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope looks as black as asphalt because it “eats” light rather than reflecting it back into space, new research suggests.

This enzyme controls body fat but we can’t just delete it

The enzyme phosphatidic acid phosphatase plays a crucial role in regulating the amount of fat in the human body—and controlling it is of interest in the fight against obesity.

How ‘true frogs’ buck assumptions about evolution

New research into frogs contradicts scientific assumptions about the evolution and diversification of species as they colonize different environments.

Does lack of veggies up obesity risk for Mexican-American kids?

A potential disparity in fruit and vegetable intake may be placing Mexican-American children at greater risk for obesity and related health problems, a new study suggests.

Bacterial ‘aphrodisiac’ can trigger protist sex swarms

To the surprise of scientists, bacteria can act as an aphrodisiac for the one-celled marine organisms that are the closest living relatives of all animals.

Preeclampsia permanently alters blood vessels

Preeclampsia may permanently change the blood vessels of women who suffer from the condition during pregnancy—and could boost their lifelong risk for cardiovascular disease.