Stephen Ornes' Articles
- A study on twins suggests that environmental factors can shape a person's immune system more than genes do.
- Scientists have found a compound in soil that can kill the microbes that cause anthrax, tuberculosis and other diseases.
- Scientists suspect the current Ebola outbreak started with bats that lived in a hollow tree in Guinea. The outbreak's first victim, a two-year-old boy, often played in the tree.
- Field guides often group birds together by similarities in appearance or behavior. But a new study, based on DNA, confirms earlier suspicions that such groupings are only skin-deep.
- A new study on mice suggests that when cancer cells strike out from a primary (first) tumor in groups, they have an especially good chance of creating new tumors elsewhere.
- Most scientists think an asteroid helped kill off the dinosaurs. But new calculations suggest that asteroid might have gotten some help from a long series of volcanic eruptions in what is now India.
- Electric eels wield remote control over their prey’s muscle movements. They do this by zapping their nervous system. Experiments suggest the creatures use these paralyzing bursts of energy to hunt, too.
- The energy produced by comets and asteroids that collide with Earth may have been strong enough to start life.
- Adjusting the electric charges in cells helped a transplanted eye reach out to its new host. The eye grew cells, which help transmit signals to other cells.
- Doctors typically use magnetic-resonance imaging, or MRI, to see tissues and organs inside the body. Physicists can harness a similar technology. And they did that to spotlight something even smaller — a single proton. But followup analyses, reported in January 2015, forced a retraction of their original claim.