We've all been there, late at night and early in the morning, forcing any and every last morsel of knowledge into our weak and exhausted brains. But when the test flops down on our desk, we just stare blankly at the forbidding blue book page. All that knowledge, gone. Either it didn't stick, or it has hid in some inaccessible crevasse deep in the brain.
Memory problems related to sleep deprivation have stymied everyone from college students getting ready for a biochemistry test to Army interrogators probing a tired detainee. Now, scientists have discovered that the memory loss associated with lack of sleep comes down to a single neurological pathway, opening up the possibility of a drug that fixes the memory of a tired brain.
Last month, scientists reported that a clinical trial for an HIV vaccine showed the first-ever success in preventing transmission of the virus. However, a number of HIV researchers believe that the enthusiasm for last month's vaccine results should be dampened in light of a more comprehensive review of the data.
A second Green Revolution can't come soon enough for UK scientists, who say that their government should invest $3.3 billion in crop research to help feed the world. That world will only grow hungrier, and will require a 50 percent boost in food production over the next 40 years.
A new genetic database for 100,000 elderly Californians is slated to come online within two years, and marks the first time that genetic data becomes available for such a large and diverse group.
Health-care provider Kaiser Permanente will hand over patient data that includes electronic health records, lifestyle surveys, and info on air and water quality in patients' neighborhoods. The effort draws on $25 million from the National Institutes of Health, and also involves researchers from the University of California, San Francisco.
Tired of Jack Frost knocking out your power? Victor Petrenko, an engineering professor at Dartmouth College, has developed de-icing technology that could save power lines from ice storms.
Until now, the only answer to frozen lines has been to hope that they don’t break or pull down poles under the weight of the ice. A single ice storm in early December left more than 1.25 million people in Pennsylvania, New England and New York shivering in the dark after ice storms snapped power lines.
What does it take to prep humans for a trip to an asteroid or a martian moon? Starvation? Isolation? Recycling feces for food? NASA's newest astronauts begin a grueling training regimen this fall to find out
By Dawn Stover
Though we do it without thinking, keeping track of time is integral to the brain's function, keeping our senses and our actions ordered in a chronology that we then recall in the form of memory. But important as it is, researchers have never understood the mechanism by which humans index the happenings of everyday life. Now, two macaque monkeys may have helped MIT researchers solve the time tracking puzzle.
As it turns out, the end is not near after all. While you can't keep a good doomsday rumor down, NASA Senior Scientist David Morrison is trying to dispel widely circulated rumors that cosmic events will lead to the end of life on Earth, if not outright destroy the planet, on Dec. 21, 2012.
In a development that gives Acme Labs and NIMH a run for their money, scientists in Georgia and China have collaborated to create the world's smartest rat. The genetically engineered rat, Hobbie-J, over-expresses a gene that regulates neuron communication, greatly enhancing the rat's ability to navigate mazes and remember toys.
Meet PopSci's annual Brilliant 10--a selection of the brightest young researchers in the country. They're helping to keep us healthy, prevent disasters, and make green energy cheaper than coal. Lucky for us, our future is in their capable hands
We have a credo around here: The future will be better. It may sound optimistic in light of our wheezing environment and limping economy, but then you haven't met the Brilliant 10, PopSci's annual selection of the nation's most promising young researchers.