A new study breaks through anti-vaxxer misinformation

Finally, a means for battling the anti-vaccination movement.

Photo by Friso Gentsch/picture alliance via Getty Images
  • Talking to people that have experienced vaccine-preventable diseases changes minds.
  • Seventy percent of Brigham Young University students shifted their vaccine-hesitant stance.
  • This research arrives during a year in which 880 measles cases have been identified in America.
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Surprising Science

Mother bonobos, too, pressure their sons to have grandchildren

If you thought your mother was pushy in her pursuit of grandchildren, wait until you learn about bonobo mothers.

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  • Mother bonobos have been observed to help their sons find and copulate with mates.
  • The mothers accomplish this by leading sons to mates, interfering with other males trying to copulate with females, and helping sons rise in the social hierarchy of the group.
  • Why do mother bonobos do this? The "grandmother hypothesis" might hold part of the answer.
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Surprising Science

Like the emperor’s new clothes, DNA kits are a tailored illusion

A DNA test promises to reveal your hidden history — but is it all smoke and mirrors?

JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images

Most people remember the emperor: a vain ruler, swindled into paying for a nonexistent magical garment, parades in public, only to be embarrassed by a little boy. To me, the story is really about the swindling tailors.

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Surprising Science

How A.I. will liberate doctors from keyboards and basements

Giving A.I. a role in health care can help both doctors and patients.

  • Machines can help doctors by spotting abnormalities in X-rays or MRA scans that the physicians themselves may have missed.
  • A.I. can also help physicians by analyzing data and, through the use of algorithms, produce possible diagnoses.
  • The freed up time, as doctors make their rounds, can help physicians establish better connections with their patients, which in turn can lead to better treatment plans.
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Nanotechnology vs. cancer: How tiny particles sniff out the deadly disease

We may be able to detect cancer soon by simply peeing on a stick.

  • Cancer is an aberrant function of a normal cell, where the regulators of that cell's dividing are broken and the cell starts to divide without regulation. Left to its own devices, that dividing without regulation will overcome the entire body.
  • Until we have a cure, early detection is the holy grail. MIT professor Sangeeta Bhatia is currently devising a simple urine test that works just like a pregnancy test to detect cancer the moment it starts.
  • How does it work? Nanoparticles are injected into the body that force specific peptides, previously invisible signs of cancer, to be easily detected in urine. In the future, this test may be part of your yearly physical check up.
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