This Week: 3-D printing: Wave of the future
In the News: Losing in politics & sports
Coming Thursday: Social media: Ultimate generosity?
Heart muscle is never replaced if it dies in a heart attack. Muscle cells grown from stem cells can briefly help broken hearts. Could new approaches make the healing long-term?
After Sandy’s soaking: How dangerous are molds and bacteria that grow in a soggy house? What is the best way to salvage a water-damaged home? Do you need expert help?
Think you can get away with an occasional high-fat junk food chow-down? A new study confirms that a single meal can harm your arteries. Eating the same number of calories in a Mediterranean-diet meal is benign or beneficial to the arteries.
Viruses can act like “intelligent agents” against cancer. Some viruses home in on cancer cells; others can only reproduce in them. While making more virus, the tumor cell dies. Then the new virus infects more cells. Is this real progress in the war on cancer?
Mosquitoes spread a lot of disease, but they are not just “flying hypodermic needles.” As we rush to protect ourselves against a virus that can cause permanent brain damage, how can we understand and control the mosquitoes that spread West Nile?
Advances in genetics raise the stakes in genetic counseling, but the genetic role in disease can be complicated, elusive. What role do faith, personality and knowledge play in the complex discussions over genetic disease?
Population growth, climate change and development are all focusing attention on water shortages. Theoretically, water can be recycled forever, but can we possibly clean sewage to make it drinkable? Yes, and a number of projects around the country are doing exactly that. Bottoms up!
The green revolution fed billions, but population keeps rising, water is short and the climate is changing. How will Africans feed themselves despite poor soil and widespread poverty? Could small projects that fit the environment and culture make farmers an engine of prosperity and a big source of food?
Bacteria can help or harm their hosts. Now we hear how one genus of bacteria can multiply fly reproduction. In this symbiosis, both parties benefit. This bacterium also alters insect immunity, and could lead to new tactics for killing horrific parasites.
Contaminated injection blamed for mini-epidemic. Why are hospitals running out of generic drugs, anesthetics and antibiotics?
Ultra sports are exploding! Why would anybody bike 508 miles across the desert – or run 135? What are the rigors of training, the satisfaction of finishing, the dangers of competing? Are we the ultimate endurance animals?
New instruments are giving a better view of how those astonishingly strong lightning bolts form inside clouds – and we are also getting a better picture of the many ways that lightning can harm us.
Could soil help? One-third of soils are degraded. In fighting desertification, erosion and nutrient loss, some soil-restoring techniques solve multiple problems.
Fish contamination was rare after the giant oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, with levels of dangerous hydrocarbons well below “levels of concern.” But nobody looked systematically at heavy metals, the Gulf still has a lot of oil, and the many different hydrocarbons may have unpredictable impacts.
Mother is your first — and most important — relationship. What does science tell us about the effects of mothering? What happens when groups of monkeys are raised without a mother? How does a “fragile family” affect young people? What are “social risk factors,” and why should we care about them?