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Mercury, DDT and other contaminants in fish are at a four-decade low

Fish in today's oceans contain far lower levels of mercury, DDT and other toxic substances than at any time in the last four decades, according to a major review by scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla. The researchers looked at nearly 2,700 studies of pollutants found...

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Science Now

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  • BMI mislabels 54 million Americans as 'overweight' or 'obese,' study says

    BMI mislabels 54 million Americans as 'overweight' or 'obese,' study says

    Good news for some in the high-BMI crowd: A new study from UCLA finds that some 54 million Americans who are labeled as obese or overweight according to their body mass index are, when you take a closer look, actually healthy. The findings, published in the International Journal of Obesity, reveal...

  • CDC to younger women: Better take your birth control before you drink that glass of wine

    CDC to younger women: Better take your birth control before you drink that glass of wine

    Attention ladies: The CDC is trying to kill your buzz. You may think you're just another carefree young woman, casually sipping mimosas at brunch or having a glass of wine at the end of a long day. But you're not. According to the CDC's new recommendation, you're a potential fetal incubator --...

  • Social contagion: Women more likely to yawn in response to others, study says

    Social contagion: Women more likely to yawn in response to others, study says

    Italian scientists who documented humans interacting in everyday situations have found that women are more susceptible to catching the urge to yawn from others than men are. The findings, published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, may shed light on this social contagion and on the differences...

  • After Texas stopped funding Planned Parenthood, low-income women had more babies

    After Texas stopped funding Planned Parenthood, low-income women had more babies

    The state of Texas’ sustained campaign against Planned Parenthood and other family planning clinics affiliated with abortion providers appears to have led to an increase in births among low-income women who lost access to affordable and effective birth control, a new study says.The analysis, published...

  • Why doctors are swiping C-section babies with their mom's microbiome

    Why doctors are swiping C-section babies with their mom's microbiome

    Are babies that are born by caesarean section at a disadvantage when it comes to future health risks? And can doctors do anything about it? A new study in Nature Medicine aims to answer those two questions. ------------ FOR THE RECORD An earlier version of this story said the study was published...

  • Scientists 3D-print a 'brain' to learn the secret behind its folds

    Scientists 3D-print a 'brain' to learn the secret behind its folds

    By 3D-printing a fake gel brain and watching it “grow,” scientists at Harvard University have discovered how the human cortex develops its creepy, classic folds. The discovery, published in the journal Nature Physics, may solve a longstanding mystery about the structure of our gray matter and could...

Health & Medicine

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Space

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  • Rapper B.o.B. says the Earth is flat; Neil deGrasse Tyson drops diss track in response

    Rapper B.o.B. says the Earth is flat; Neil deGrasse Tyson drops diss track in response

    Spoiler alert: The Earth is not flat. That said, the topic is certainly a fresh one for Twitter beef. Scientists have recognized the curvature of the Earth for more than 2,000 years. But rapper B.o.B. challenged that view on Sunday when he began tweeting images and diagrams that he said were proof...

  • 'Pluto killer' calls on other astronomers to help find a ninth planet

    'Pluto killer' calls on other astronomers to help find a ninth planet

    The scientists who brought you "Planet Nine" want you — and your giant fancy telescope — to help catch the mysterious world in action. This week, two Caltech scientists announced that an unseen giant planet some 10 times the mass of Earth may lie beyond the Kuiper belt, the icy ring of debris where...

  • The best places to see this weekend's five-way planetary alignment

    The best places to see this weekend's five-way planetary alignment

    Keep your eyes on the skies, stargazers! Starting Saturday morning, five planets will be visibly aligned in a cosmic assembly that hasn't happened in more than a decade. As you can see in the diagram above, the string of planets includes Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter. The only planets...

Environment

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Nutrition & Obesity

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  • New Dietary Guidelines spark intense debate among nutrition experts

    New Dietary Guidelines spark intense debate among nutrition experts

    A week after the federal government released its latest recommendations for healthful eating, the 2015-20 Dietary Guidelines have touched off a food fight. Acknowledging that the "scientific integrity" of the drafting process has been called into question, Congress has asked the National Academies...

  • Weight-loss surgery may reduce depression in some patients, study suggests

    Weight-loss surgery may reduce depression in some patients, study suggests

    For some severely obese patients, a new study hints that bariatric surgery might potentially do good for both body and mind. Patients seeking and undergoing such weight-loss procedures were more likely to suffer from depression and binge-eating than the general population -- but those with depression...

  • New Dietary Guidelines for Americans: Watch your sugar, but enjoy the eggs and coffee

    New Dietary Guidelines for Americans: Watch your sugar, but enjoy the eggs and coffee

    For all you health-conscious eaters who have your eggs and coffee with a side order of guilt, get ready to celebrate the latest government advice: It's OK to eat foods rich in cholesterol, drink as many as five cups of joe daily and enjoy a range of long-disparaged fats. That pronouncement is part...

Human Behavior

  • What a 10,000-year-old massacre can tell us about the origins of human violence

    What a 10,000-year-old massacre can tell us about the origins of human violence

    On the banks of an ancient lagoon in Kenya, researchers have found evidence of a massacre that occurred 10,000 years ago. The skeletal remains of 12 adult victims discovered in Nataruk, near Lake Turkana, tell a grim story of merciless violence by one group of hunter-gatherers against another --...

  • Access to safer guns is favored by most in U.S., poll finds

    Access to safer guns is favored by most in U.S., poll finds

    Nearly 6 in 10 Americans — including 42.8% of gun owners — say that if they were to buy a new firearm, they would choose one equipped with technology that prevents it from being fired by an unauthorized user, a new national survey has found. The survey suggests an openness to so-called smart guns,...

  • On job applications and dating websites, it's better to reveal than to hide

    On job applications and dating websites, it's better to reveal than to hide

    If a potential employer asks about your prior drug use, pleading the fifth may not be your best bet. A new study finds that most people would prefer to hire and date a person who is forthcoming about his or her unsavory behaviors rather than someone who chooses to withhold information.   "When...

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