NASA's plans for human spaceflight, the subject of much hand-wringing since the curtains closed on the agency's space shuttle program in July, took a big step this week when the agency announced plans for a powerful new rocket to take astronauts into deep space...
By now, you're probably aware of the hype over a vaccine associated with these three letters: HPV. Designed to prevent people from acquiring human papillomavirus, some strains of which can lead to cervical, vulval, anal and vaginal cancer in women not to mention cancers of the anus and penis in men, the HPV vaccine has been thrust into the spotlight again during the recent debates among the GOP presidential candidates.The controversy centers on Texas Gov...
The Rooster Syndrome holds that the bird's crowing makes the sun edge up over the horizon. Beware post hoc ergo propter hoc , wail the logicians.People's brains are hard-wired for error, finding mental connections everywhere that none exist (e.g...
The market for at least one class of vital drug seems to have gone haywire. Certain types of generic cancer drugs are really hard to find. In August, of the 34 generic cancer drugs available to patients, there were 14 that could only be found with great difficulty...
The U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, the headquarters of NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Afghanistan, and other buildings in Kabul are under attack today by insurgents with guns and rocket-propelled grenades...
MALTA—Efforts to create a universal flu vaccine, one that would do away with the annual reformulations, is a hot topic these days in the infectious disease community.
First there were glow-in-the-dark fish, then rats, rabbits, insects, even pigs. And, now, researchers have inserted the jellyfish genes that make fluorescent proteins into Felis catus , or the common household cat.The goal was just to make sure that the researchers could successfully insert novel genes into the cats...
MALTA—Coming down with the flu—and slowly recovering from it—might seem straight forward enough. But a lot of what happens in your body on a molecular level during the time between initial infection and full recovery is still somewhat of a mystery to scientists.An improved capacity to track the course of an influenza infection could not only help in the development of more effective vaccines to protect against a much broader range of strains than just a few passing seasonal ones as are now included in annual flu shots, but it could also bring new understanding of the immune system as a whole.We still don't know "what maintains the size of the immune system" and keeps it in homeostasis, Peter Doherty, of the University of Melbourne's Department of Microbiology and Immunology, said September 11, at the European Scientific Working Group on Influenza (ESWI) fourth annual conference in Malta...
A reader asked whether an article from December 18, 1886, was fact-checked; the implied question was whether it was "a true story."
"The brain holds on to false facts, even after they have been retracted"—Valerie Ross , "Lingering Lies: The Persistent Influence of Misinformation," Scientific American MIND , July 2011Lingering lies and entirely false scientific statements sometimes make a bigger impact on the public, policy, elections and scientific practice than do the facts themselves...
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