Deborah Scherr-Freedman

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NC toxicologist: Water near Duke's dumps not safe to drink

WASHINGTON (AP) — North Carolina's top public health official acted unethically and possibly illegally by telling residents living near Duke Energy …

Earth hit record high for global heat levels in 2015 | Toronto Star

WASHINGTON—Earth’s fever got worse last year, breaking dozens of climate records, scientists said in a massive report nicknamed the annual physical …

Smoke signals: DNA adaptation helped early humans deal with toxic fumes

A genetic mutation may have helped early humans fend off toxic fumes that wafted into the air from ancient cave fires, a team of researchers claim.<p>The scientists say the altered DNA was found in humans but not Neanderthals, and may have given our early human ancestors an edge over our extinct …

Evolution

Discovery of male-harming DNA mutation reinforces 'mother's curse' hypothesis - Scienmag: Latest Science and Health News

There is new evidence that the “mother’s curse” – the possibility that moms may transmit genes to their children that harm their sons but not their …

Harvard scientists created a 'bionic leaf' that's better at converting the sun's energy than real plants

Researchers at Harvard University have created a system that allows them to store the energy of the sun, converting solar energy into chemical energy using a hybrid mechanism of inorganic chemistry and living organisms.<p>Comparing their invention with the natural process of photosynthesis, they refer …

"Genetic Scissors" Could Completely Eliminate HIV From Cells

A snipping enzyme edits DNA with no mistakes<p>Thanks to the cocktail of drugs that make up antiretroviral therapy, HIV is no longer a death sentence. But there are downsides to antiretroviral therapy—taking the treatment for many years is expensive, increases drug resistance, and could cause adverse …

Spring Cave #2

Super strong, lightweight metal could build tomorrow's spacecraft

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- A new metal, a combination of magnesium and ceramic silicon carbide nanoparticles, is promising to change how …

El Niño: why predictable climate event still has the scientists guessing

El Niño is one of the most predictable climate events on the planet, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, but it also has a way of keeping climate scientists guessing.<p>In March the oceanographers predicted the current event could be the weakest on record, but in …

Climate Change

Dog Cognition: How Do Dogs Perceive The World?

Dogs and humans share one of the strongest bonds between two different species on Earth. The connection has grown so deep, it’s literally become coded into our genes. And a wave of new research is shedding more light on these all-important dog-human relationships and what our furry friends are …

Gone in 2015: Commemorating 10 Outstanding Women in Science

Marking the passage of kin is among humanity’s most time-honored endeavors. And yet, so often those noted in year-end remembrances are known to us as …

Polymer breakthrough could revolutionize water purification

We’ve all seen the Febreze air fresheners, which employ a derivative of corn starch to trap invisible air pollutants in the home and remove unwanted …

Scientists have developed a super-fast water purification method that’s inspired by Febreze

Water purification can be performed in a number of different ways. You can vapor distill it, treat it with chemicals, or even pump it through an …

Air Purifiers

Horses had stripes like zebras until humans broke them in, scientists say

Study reaches black and white conclusion: mankind had a direct impact on horses after domesticating them to run, work or be ridden<p>Nature experts have revealed that most horses and ponies resembled zebras with stripes until man changed their colour by taming them.<p>They lost their "wild" camouflage - …

Zoology

Oil Production Fuels Earthquake Surge In Oklahoma

NPR's Audie Cornish talks with Todd Halihan, a professor in the school of geology at Oklahoma State, about how Oklahoma has now surpassed California for seismic activity.<p>Transcript<p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:<p>With the way things have been going in Oklahoma, this didn't come as a surprise. The state opened …

Four elements earn permanent seats on the periodic table

The seventh row of the periodic table is officially full.<p>On December 30, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry announced that a …

The Ten Greatest Steps Of The Last Ten Decades

As 2016 dawns, it’s important to recognize that just a century ago, our perception of the Universe was that:<p>the stars, star clusters and nebulae in our Milky Way made up the entire Universe,<br>• all matter was made up of atomic nuclei and electrons,<br>• the only two forces were gravitation and …

Universe

We are surrounded by tiny particles, and scientists have no idea how they are affecting us

In recent years, efforts to develop the Next Big Thing—whether in medicine, computer technology, pollution prevention, or high-performance materials—have turned to some really, really small things: nanomaterials.<p>Working at the nanoscale—which can mean the near-atomic scale, with substances a …

Here's How Your Dog Really Feels About You, According To Science

Image: Yaisin Bulut via Getty Images<p>Let’s talk about puppy love. Not youthful romance, but the love between a person and his or her pooch. As every dog lover knows, canine companions make for some of the best friends we could wish for. They play with us, cuddle with us, listen to us and make us …

Solar energy from discarded car batteries

MIT researchers have developed a simple procedure for making a promising type of solar cell using lead recovered from discarded lead-acid car …

Tardigrades Survive Intense Dehydration By Coating Themselves in Glass

Tardigrades are tough little critters, and now one of their secrets for longevity has been revealed. It might sound like something out of a sci-fi …

Biology

Nature's Warning Signal

Complex systems like ecological food webs, the brain, and the climate all give off a characteristic signal when disaster is around the corner.<p>Nestled in the northern Wisconsin woods, Peter Lake once brimmed with golden shiners, fatheads, and other minnows, which plucked algae-eating fleas from the …

Gardening

Women who changed science in 2015

<p dir="ltr" class="heading intro"><p><p dir="ltr" class="heading intro">2015 has been full of scientific and technological innovation. From …

Yellowstone supervolcano: Facts we learned about the active volcano in 2015

We discovered a lot about Yellowstone National Park and the supervolcano it is home to in 2015, including how much prior warning we would have before …

Here's Yet Another Alarming Effect Of Melting Arctic Sea Ice

Scientists reveal why the influence melting sea ice has on precipitation could be bad.<p>Scientists have long known that the melting sea ice in the Arctic leads to more heat being absorbed by our planet, which can disturb the ecosystem.<p>However, according to a new study, published Tuesday in the …

The science behind why we eat chicken noodle soup when we’re sick

Although researchers have not been able to determine the cause of the alleged positive effects of chicken soup, several studies have confirmed that it helps to unblock congested noses and throats.<p>Archaeological evidence shows that people started using poultry to make soups soon after they …

Researchers develop fermentation process to produce biofuels from waste biomass

Imagine a world where vehicles run on beer. Some might think of this as a devastating waste of good hops, but a University of Maryland (UMD) team …

University of Maryland

'Underwater Christmas trees' help restore key habitat

<b>Australian researchers are encouraging people to buy "underwater Christmas trees" to help restore seaweed that suddenly disappeared in the 1980s.</b><p>Poor water quality was blamed for the loss of crayweed from 43 miles (70km) of coastline around Sydney.<p>But as the water quality has improved, scientists …