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February 6, 2014 | By Geoffrey Mohan
A generic blood pressure drug could prevent hyperactive brain cell firing associated with early stages of autism spectrum disorder, according to a new study. Injecting pregnant mice with Bumetanide, a diuretic, appears to correct a developmental switch flipped during childbirth that reverses the firing characteristics of neurons in newborns, according to a study published online Thursday in the journal Science. Bumetanide mimics the effects of oxytocin, a hormone released during labor that helps protect newborns from the stresses and complications of birth, the study found.
February 5, 2014 | Patt Morrison
When you've been working since you were 8, as Alyssa Milano has, it takes a special kind of role to get you really excited. Using your birthday to raise money for clean water in Ethiopia, for instance. Or hunkering down with the beleaguered in Kosovo and Angola, as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador. Or getting help for African women and children with AIDS. Or her latest - creating "Hacktivist," a four-issue graphic novel/comic book whose heroes run a world-beating social media company by day and practice world-beating social activism by night.
February 3, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
U.S. manufacturing slowed in January as new orders and inventories plunged, according to data released Monday by the Institute for Supply Management. The group's purchasing managers index dropped to 51.3 last month, down more than 5 percentage points from a 56.5 reading in December. It's the lowest index reading since May 2013.  Still, a reading above 50 indicates expansion.  "A number of comments from the panel cite adverse weather conditions as a factor negatively impacting their businesses in January," said Bradley Holcomb, chair of the Institute for Supply Management's Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.
February 1, 2014 | By Cindy Carcamo
TUCSON - Arizona, which has tried to school the federal government in immigration enforcement, again wants to teach the U.S. a lesson. This time, a junior state lawmaker intends to take on the National Security Agency, which has been under fire for controversial data-collection tactics that include keeping records of every telephone number dialed in the U.S. for five years. State Sen. Kelli Ward, a tea party Republican who represents the Lake Havasu area, introduced a bill this month intended to limit NSA operations in Arizona.
January 31, 2014 | By David S. Cloud
WASHINGTON - Suicides among soldiers on active duty dropped steeply last year but went up among those in the National Guard and reserves, according to Army data, suggesting discrepancies in efforts to stem the epidemic of soldiers taking their own lives. About 150 active-duty soldiers committed suicide last year, down from 185 in 2012, the highest annual number on record, according to statistics provided Friday by the Army. But 151 members of the National Guard and Army Reserves not on active duty also took their own lives in 2013, up from 140 the previous year.
January 21, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - The future of public-sector labor unions may rest with conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court debated whether teachers and other public employees should continue to be required to pay union fees, even if they don't join or support its activities. Since a 1977 ruling, the high court has upheld such mandatory fees, known as "fair-share" dues. But in recent years, some justices have raised doubts about whether the practice violates the First Amendment, and during oral arguments several conservatives appeared ready to strike it down.
January 17, 2014 | By Dylan Hernandez
Even after signing Clayton Kershaw to a record-breaking deal, the Dodgers remain in active talks with Masahiro Tanaka's agent. General Manager Ned Colletti said he has spoken with agent Casey Close every day this week except Thursday. Tanaka is expected to land a contract worth more than $100 million. In addition to that, the team that signs Tanaka will owe a $20-million posting fee to his Japanese team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles. Close also represents Kershaw and Zack Greinke.
January 10, 2014 | By Eryn Brown
Following an uptick in flu activity across the state, California Department of Public Health officials said Friday that influenza activity here was “widespread,” and urged Californians to obtain a flu immunization if they hadn't done so already. Statewide, seven adults under the age of 65 are confirmed to have died from influenza thus far this flu season; another 28 deaths are under investigation, according to state epidemiologist Dr. Gil Chavez. He said the state should be able to confirm whether most of those deaths were also flu-related within the next week.
January 8, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
Massive sunspot AR 1944 is getting feisty, and doing some damage. Several Earth-lengths across, it is one of the largest sunspots seen in a decade. It is also complex, with dozens of dark cores. "Sometimes you see a nice, big simple brown sunspot, and even though it's big, it's boring," said Alex Young of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "But as soon as they start getting twisted and breaking apart and merging with each other, you know something exciting is going to happen.
January 8, 2014 | By Rong-Gong Lin II, Rosanna Xia and Doug Smith
New state geological maps released Wednesday show several major developments planned in Hollywood are much closer to an active earthquake fault than Los Angeles city officials initially said. The maps chart the course of the Hollywood fault, which runs from Atwater Village and Los Feliz, through central Hollywood and west along the Sunset Strip. The state accelerated completion of the maps last fall amid controversy over the Los Angeles City Council approving a skyscraper development on or near the fault.
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