There has been a lot of news lately about the bacteria living in our gut—the human gut microbiome. Researchers are learning which bacteria live there, who is naughty and who is nice and even a somewhat distasteful way to replace naughty with nice (a fecal transplant). What gets lost in all of this is the […]
Mental illness is the last area of medicine where there are virtually no lab tests to indicate what’s wrong. This has become a major challenge across the field of psychiatry: to give those who suffer from mental illnesses like schizophrenia and depression the same sort of scientific certainty doctors have recently begun to provide to people with Alzheimer’s disease.
The state Assembly is due to vote this week on whether to ban the commercial trapping of bobcats around California's national and state parks and in conservation areas. The measure stems from an incident near Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California's desert. »
The past few years have seen the worst outbreaks of whooping cough since the pre-vaccine days. A recent study adds to other research suggesting that though the newer aceullar vaccines have fewer side effects than the old whole cell versions, they don't last as long.
Scientists at UC Berkeley are asking the public to help transcribe field notes from millions of insect specimens.
Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets are nesting in Alameda and have been observed using tools.
Archiving artifacts from the sea, a natural history museum preserves precious data for scientists. »
Like all mammals, the Neanderthals breast fed their babies. Scientists wanted to know: For how long? A team of researchers say they’ve answered that question by looking at the fossilized tooth of an eight-year old Neanderthal child discovered in a Belgian cave.
Journalist Jon Mooallem noticed that his young daughter was always surrounded by wild animals: butterflies on her pajamas, a stuffed toy owl, and beavers in her bedtime stories. But these romantic portrayals, he says, hid a harsh reality. Scientists estimate half of all species could be gone by the turn of the century. So he embarked on his own journey to track down three endangered animals, and discovered the extreme -- even futile -- lengths humans go to save them. Jon Mooallem discusses his book, "Wild Ones," and the complex intersections of man and nature. »
A new edition of the most widely used psychiatric guide to mental disorders -- "The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" -- was released this past weekend in San Francisco at a meeting of the American Psychiatric Association. The manual has a big impact on public health, including what insurance companies will cover, the drugs that regulators will approve, and even which children will receive special education services. But critics say that the manual is outdated and question the validity of several new diagnoses. »
The American chestnut was the king of the trees in forests in the eastern U.S. until a fungus from Asia brought them down. We are getting very close to making a resistant American chestnut. Now the question is whether or not we should plant it out in the wild. »
Traditional bioblitzes often include scientists intensively collecting specimens over a 24-hour period. That takes special equipment and, depending on the species and the park, special permits. But with help from smartphones, just about anyone can produce a remarkable quantity of usable data.
In her new book Animal Wise, Virginia Morell challenges us to recognize the evolutionary roots of animal cognition and to see their rich intellectual and emotional capacities as shaped by natural selection.
Seven Bay Area students are in Phoenix this week for the world’s largest high school science competition. One sophomore from Walnut Creek was inspired by his grandfather’s Type 1 diabetes. Sixteen-year-old Rohan Savoor said he has always been interested in science, but this is the first time he’s been ...
Sen. Barbara Boxer is joining with leaders of the organic food movement to grow support for a bill that would require new labeling for genetically engineered food. Boxer says the United States needs to follow the lead set in dozens of other nations.
Here's something to stop and consider: You are mostly not you. Ninety percent of the cells in your body don't have your DNA. They weren't in you when you were in the womb. Instead, they belong to trillions of tiny bacteria and other microbes that live in your stomach, your mouth ...
Scientists are starting to get a handle on what kinds of microbes live in the human body and, roughly, how those populations differ from one individual to another. A key question now is whether there is such a thing as an “ideal” microbiome. In the meantime, get to know some ...