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Humans & Health

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Scientists ID the virus that’s likely behind the 2014 paralysis of U.S. kids.

A 3-D image of enterovirus D68 (center) was created from electron microscope images (background). This virus might be responsible for a polio-like illness in U.S. kids.

fracking water

This field of storage tanks (in yellow) holds fracking wastewater. At one point, an estimated 760,000 gallons of watery wastes were being stored at this Lamb's Farm Storage Facility, in Pennsylvania.

student holding hagfish slime

Douglas Fudge (at right) studies the slime produced by hagfish, a sea creature that eats dead animals on the ocean floor.

Humans & Health

  • Secrets of slime

    student holding hagfish slime
    Mucus—snot—can be so gross. It’s also critical for many animals, including hagfish, snails and people. Snot can rid our bodies of nasty bacteria and viruses. In other creatures, it can smooth the road or rough up predators.
  • Stone Age stencils: Really old art

    Indonesian cave art
    Scientists thought that cave art started in Europe. New analyses now dash that assessment. Stencils in an Indonesian cave are every bit as old as the better-known drawings in caves in France and Spain.
  • Stress for success

    Stress and anxiety can lead to serious mental and behavioral problems. Identifying stressors can help people cope with anxiety. Even better, viewing stress as a strength can tone down anxious feelings and boost productivity.

    Blowing up the brain

    When added to brain tissue, a chemical like one found in baby diapers expands. And it expands that brain tissue too, giving scientists a better view of how its cells connect.
  • For better weight control, fiber up!

    Certain types of fiber suppress appetite, at least in mice. Found in fruits, vegetables, oats and barley, this fiber breaks down in the gut to release acetate. That travels to the brain, where the chemical prompts the release of hunger-fighting hormones.
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