Category: Environment

Parents, teachers and caregivers have long sworn by the magic of storytelling to calm and soothe kids. Researchers working in pediatric intensive care units have now quantified the physiological and emotional benefits of a well-told tale. “We know that narrative has the power to transport us to another world,” says Guilherme Brockington, who studies emotions

The magnetic fields in our solar system are surprisingly diverse—Jupiter’s and Saturn’s are extremely strong, but Mercury’s is puny. Uranus’s and Neptune’s are out of whack with the direction of their rotation, although others are closely aligned. And each has a unique set of conditions that gives rise to a dynamo—the engine thought to activate

Editor’s Note (10/19/21): On October 19, 2021, LHCb physicists unveiled two more small anomalies that continue a curious pattern of “missing” muons, which collectively hint that these exotic subatomic particles are being produced at lower-than-expected rates. With further validation, these results could become the most promising pathway toward new physics beyond the Standard Model. If

Gene therapy has come a long way since its first human proof-of-concept trials in the 1990s. The approach—which involves fixing or replacing a disease-causing gene or changing its activity—has recorded some remarkable successes and some devastating missteps. In the past decade those extreme ups and downs have leveled off, and now gene therapy, in a

Three decades after its first, faltering steps in humans, gene therapy is emerging as a treatment option for a small but growing number of diseases. Although the concept faced scientific and ethical uncertainty when it was floated in the 1970s, the foundation of the approach—replacing or fixing a single, disease-causing gene—has proved solid. Researchers have

In most countries, cardboard cigarette packages display imagery or text that warns smokers of the increased risks of heart attacks, cancer and pregnancy complications that accompany lighting up. Many of these risks are associated with the inhalation of tobacco smoke through the mouth. But what is less often spotlighted is the effect smoking can have