What's next: We're about to find out if there will be a way anytime soon to slow the course of Alzheimer's disease. Results are due in about a month from key studies of two drugs that aim to clear the sticky plaque gumming up patients' brains. A pivotal study of a third drug will end later this year, and results from a small, early test of it will be reported next week in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Oceans' rising acid levels have emerged as one of the biggest threats to coral reefs, acting as the "osteoporosis of the sea" and threatening everything from food security to tourism to livelihoods, the head of a U.S. scientific agency said Monday.
It was a provocative finding: strange bacteria in a California lake that thrived on something completely unexpected — arsenic. What it suggested is that life, a very different kind of life, could possibly exist on some other planet.
It has long seemed like a tidy story about human ingenuity: After people started farming about 10,000 years ago and were faced with the challenge of cooking plants and grains, pottery was invented.
Tai chi, the martial art that has become popular as a gentle mind-body workout, may have another benefit: Helping to increase the size of the brain. And brain growth, scientists hope, could unlock a clue to staving off and even preventing dementia.
About 460 light-years away in the constellation Centaurus, a thick disk of dust swirled around a young star named TYC 8241 2652 1, where rocky planets like our own were arising. Then, in less than two years, the disk vanished.
If you're one of thousands who have not fixed computers, you may lose Internet service late Sunday.
If you want to make sure you'll still be able to use the Internet when you wake up Monday, go to www.dcwg.org, click "Detect," and follow the instructions from there. That's the website of the DNS Changer Working Group, set up by court order to fix a bunch of servers that had been taken over by an Estonian crime ring to redirect millions of users to rogue websites. The FBI took over the servers and cleaned them up, but it doesn't want to be in the business of running DNS servers permanently -- so it's shutting them down Monday.
Long-sought Higgs boson seen as key to understanding how universe works.
The idea of the Higgs particle was proposed nearly 50 years ago. It was discussed almost as a curiosity, to get around some inconsistencies between predictions and theory at the time in particle physics, that if an otherwise invisible background field exists, permeating empty space throughout the universe, then elementary particles can interact with this field.
And then there were none. Lonesome George, known as the sole surviving Pinta Island tortoise, died in the Galapagos, possibly of heart failure. He was 100 or thereabouts. He may have been Earth's rarest creature, but Lonesome George's fate has been a common one for megafauna ever since humans came along. The Americas were once a dreamscape of giant mammals, from bears the size of Ford Explorers to giant sloths larger than today's elephants. They all disappeared around 10,000 B.C., not long after the first people are believed to have made their way down from the Bering land bridge.
In a group of women older than 65 who had gained weight over 4 years, those whose levels of the vitamin were low had gained a little more weight, researchers said in a study published online by the Journal of Women's Health. The researchers say more study is needed about any possible connection between weight and vitamin D.