Health, Science and Environment

Fifteen years ago, psychologists Barbara Rogoff and Maricela Correa-Chavez ran a simple experiment. They wanted to see how well kids pay attention — even if they don't have to.

They would bring two kids, between the ages 5 to 11, into a room and have them sit at two tables.

Then they had a research assistant teach one of the kids how to assemble a toy.

The other kid was told to wait. Rogoff says they would tell the second child, "You can sit over here, and in a few minutes you'll have a turn to make this origami jumping mouse," — a different task altogether.

The world has one more extinct ape to mourn.

In a study published Thursday, scientists describe a new species of gibbon, long-extinct, that lived in China as recently as 2,200 years ago. Junzi imperialis is named for its imperial living situation, as the pet of a grandmother of China's first emperor.

A Worm That Can Really, Really Get Under Your Skin

Jun 21, 2018

It sounds like a scene straight out of a nightmare.

One morning you wake up and something is crawling beneath your skin. It wriggles and writhes across your face, seemingly ready to rip out of your skin at any second. (Anyone remember that one scene from the movie Alien?)

Two common herpes viruses appear to play a role in Alzheimer's disease.

The viruses, best known for causing a distinctive skin rash in young children, are abundant in brain tissue from people with Alzheimer's, a team of scientists reports Thursday in Neuron. The team also found evidence that the viruses can interact with brain cells in ways that could accelerate the disease.

One of the enduring mysteries of biology is why so much of the DNA in our chromosomes appears to be simply junk. In fact, about half of the human genome consists of repetitive bits of DNA that cut and paste themselves randomly into our chromosomes, with no obvious purpose.

A study published Thursday finds that some of these snippets may actually play a vital role in the development of embryos.

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