Science and Technology  February 23, 2017
Fewer teen suicide attempts in states with gay marriage: study
States that legalized gay marriage saw a 14 percent decrease in suicide attempts among gay, lesbian and bisexual adolescentsUS states that implemented same-sex marriage legislation prior to its legalization at the federal level saw a drop in suicide attempt rates among high school students, new research shows.States that legalized gay marriage saw a 14 percent decrease in suicide attempts among gay, lesbian and bisexual adolescents, with a seven percent decline among st...  Full Story
Gene editing mulled for improving livestock
Artificial insemination, embryo transfer and genetic selection have led to significant improvements in animal breeding in recent yearsGene editing, which has raised ethical concerns due to its capacity to alter human DNA, is being considered in the United States as a tool for improving livestock, experts say.The technique is different than that used in genetically modified organisms (GMOs) because it does not introduce foreign genes, but rather alters already existing DNA.But sci...  Full Story
Smartphones are revolutionizing medicine
Researchers are finding new benefits to smartphone features such as camera and flash, which can help examine and diagnose patientsSmartphones are revolutionizing the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses, thanks to add-ons and apps that make their ubiquitous small screens into medical devices, researchers say."If you look at the camera, the flash, the microphone... they all are getting better and better," said Shwetak Patel, engineering professor at the University of Washingto...  Full Story
SpaceX poised to launch cargo from historic NASA pad
Space XAn unmanned SpaceX spaceship carrying food and equipment to the astronauts living at the International Space Station is poised to blast off from a historic NASA launch pad on Saturday.The launch of the Dragon cargo ship is scheduled for 10:01 am (1501 GMT) from Cape Canaveral's launchpad 39A, which was built and used for the US space agency's pione...  Full Story
Advances in imaging could deepen knowledge of brain
ObamaNew imaging techniques enable exploration of the brain in much more detail than ever before, opening the door to greater understanding of neurological problems and possibly new treatments, researchers say.Showcased this week at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting, the research and innovations are the product of th...  Full Story
Sea ice at poles hit record low for January
Unusually warm temperatures in January contributed to the melting of sea ice in the Arctic, where the average ice cover was 8.6 percent below the 1981‚Äď2010 averageThe amount of sea ice at the Earth's poles fell to a record low for January, while the planet's temperatures last month were the third highest in modern times, US government scientists said Thursday.The monthly report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is the first of its kind released in 2017, and comes on the heels of the thir...  Full Story
Broad Institute wins gene-editing patent case
The CRISPR-Cas9 process allows scientists to edit stretches of the genome by removing, adding or changing pieces of the DNA sequenceWhat many have described as the biotechnology trial of the century came to a close Wednesday, with the Broad Institute winning the patent to a popular gene-editing process known as CRISPR/Cas-9.The legal battle over who really invented the technology pitted Feng Zhang of the Broad Institute -- a research facility affiliated with Harvard University ...  Full Story
Merck halts trial of once 'promising' Alzheimer's drug
Merck decided to end trials on verubecestat for mild to moderate AlzheimerUS pharmaceutical giant Merck announced it is halting a clinical trial on a drug once touted as a promising treatment for Alzheimer's disease, saying studies show it does not work.The decision was made to end trials on verubecestat for mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease after an external study found there was "virtually no chance of finding a pos...  Full Story