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Extra sleep may help us feel better faster

When we get sick, it feels natural to try to speed up our recovery by getting some extra shuteye. New research with fruit flies suggests it’s a good idea.

More brains don’t always lead to better decisions

We tend to think that a group decision is more likely to be accurate when there are more brains involved—but that might not be true in all situations.

Talking about social class eases college achievement gap

New research finds that talking about social class helps first-generation college students reduce the social-class achievement gap by as much as 63 percent.

To get a better workout, get a virtual exercise buddy

A cyber buddy might just give exercise enthusiasts—and those who are less than “enthused”—the extra nudge they need during a workout, new research suggests.

Lung cancer patients report feeling smoker stigma

A new study with lung cancer patients, mostly smokers between the ages of 51 to 79 years old, sheds new light on the stigma often felt by these patients, the emotional toll it can have, and how health providers can help.

No fish during pregnancy doesn’t cover all contaminants

Women who stop eating fish shortly before or during their pregnancy may only lower their child’s exposure to contaminants known as POPs by 10 to 15 percent.

Team builds ‘reliable’ array for quantum computing

Physicists are closer to making a quantum computer a reality by demonstrating a new level of reliability in a five-qubit array.

Educated brains recover better after injury

Better-educated people appear more likely to fully recover from traumatic brain injury, suggesting that “cognitive reserve” may help their brains to mend, research shows.

Did cougars survive by not being picky eaters?

Cougars may have survived the mass extinction that took place about 12,000 years ago because they were not particular about what they ate, unlike their more finicky cousins–the saber-tooth cat and the American lion.

Moths raise concerns about hidden harm of climate change

A study of subarctic forest moths in Finnish Lapland suggests that scientists may be underestimating the effects of climate change on animals and plants because much of the harm is hidden from view.

How Google Earth images could help save Amazonian tribes

Monitoring the populations of “uncontacted” tribes via Google Earth satellite images may be a noninvasive way help insure the survival of indigenous Brazilian villages.

Alcohol brands in songs may encourage teens to binge

Binge drinking by teenagers and young adults is strongly associated with liking, owning, and correctly identifying music that references alcohol by brand name.

Nanoreporters go underground to check oil for sulfur

Chemists have created nanoparticles that can sample crude oil and natural gas for hydrogen sulfide before pumping.

Touch lets babies pick out words to learn

Tickling a baby’s toes may be cute, but it’s also possible that those touches could help babies learn the words in their language.

Can boosting retromers keep Alzheimer’s at bay?

Cellular processes are not perfect. Sometimes, the by-products of their mistakes are harmless. Other times, they can lead to disease or even death.

‘Upside-down planet’ turns out to be self-lensing stars

Astronomers have discovered the first “self-lensing” binary star system. Like so many interesting discoveries, they say this one happened largely by accident.

Team invents probes to watch neurons fire in real time

Two new tools are letting scientists see brain activity as it happens live. The probes involve proteins that light up as an electric current sweeps down the long tendrils that link nerves together.

‘Molecular tweezer’ wards off protein clumping

A small “molecular tweezer” keeps proteins from aggregating, which is often the first step in neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Huntington’s disease.

Forgetful rats take more risks

A new study finds that rats with impulsive tendencies tend to have poorer working memories. Scientists define working memory in people as the ability to hold details like a name or phone number in mind.

Giant planets orbit close but don’t crash into star

Astronomers say they have a clearer picture why two giant planets are able to orbit close to their star without getting flung into the star or colliding into each other.