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Humans & Health

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Scientists have identified all of the genes that lie within our DNA, depicted here. Now they’re probing what all of those genes do — and often using RNAi to find out.


Lots of work? Lots at stake? Instead of giving into fear that you won’t get it all done — or done well — scientists say we should embrace the anxiety and use it to keep us focused and on our A-game.


Live chickens for sale at a market in China’s Sichuan province. Market chickens, such as these, sparked a new wave of bird flu in 2014, new data show.

Humans & Health

  • 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.
  • Silencing genes — to understand them

    Hijacking a cell process called RNA interference can let scientists turn off a selected gene. Its silencing can point to what genes do when they’re on — and may lead to new treatments for disease.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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