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NEWS
February 25, 2014 | By Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON -- President Obama said Tuesday he was proud of the four manufacturing innovation institutes his administration has launched over the last year, but he said Congress needs to step in to expand the effort. Obama announced two new research hubs in Chicago and Detroit, where the government will join universities and businesses to train workers and develop new technologies. The White House tapped existing funds for the two sites and two others already underway in Ohio and North Carolina.
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SCIENCE
February 25, 2014 | By Mary MacVean
If there's no caramel cheesecake, you are not likely to eat any. But plop one down on a table among a group of friends and forks are likely to come out. That's a simple scene that embodies some of the complex mechanisms that make it so hard for people to lose weight and keep it off. Researchers in England who were trying to sort out what makes dieters tempted and what makes them give into temptation looked at a group of 80 people -- mostly women...
NEWS
February 25, 2014 | By Stacey Leasca
After combing through 656,000 photos on Instagram from five global cities, a team of data researchers has come to a conclusion: Selfies say more about you than you think. The science of selfies is serious business, says Lev Manovich, project coordinator behind SelfieCity.net. “Selfies, you know we have interesting opinion, but they are just based on maybe a few thousand selfies we look at,” said the Russian-born researcher and author in heavily accented English. “We thought, why don't we take a more objective look.” To study the selfie phenomenon, Manovich -- a computer science professor at City University New York -- and a team of seven researchers scanned the globe.
OPINION
February 25, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The manipulation of human genes could lead to profound advances in our ability to cure or prevent terrible diseases. But in some cases, it might also mean introducing genetic material that could be passed from one generation to the next, changing the human gene pool in a manner that could inadvertently harm peoples' health. Such "inheritable" DNA is a hotly debated issue among bioethicists, and one that an advisory committee of the Food and Drug Administration will review Tuesday and Wednesday as it considers whether human trials should be allowed for a new therapy that could prevent a rare but devastating inherited disorder.
SCIENCE
February 24, 2014 | By Mary MacVean
A vegetarian diet may help lower blood pressure, researchers who reviewed data from 39 previous studies said Monday. The researchers suggested that a vegetarian diet could be an alternative to drugs for people whose blood pressure is too high -- a condition known as hypertension and one that is a risk factor for heart disease and other problems.  About a third of Americans have high blood pressure. Seven clinical trials, with 311 participants, and 32 observational studies, including 21,604 people, were analyzed by researchers from Japan and the Physicans Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, which advocates for plant-based diets.
SCIENCE
February 24, 2014 | By Melissa Healy
Pregnant women have long been assured that acetaminophen can treat their aches, pains and fevers without bringing harm to the babies they carry. Now researchers say they have found a strong link between prenatal use of the medication and cases of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in children. The results, published Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, add to growing evidence that the active ingredient in Tylenol may influence brain development in utero. But they do not provide clear answers for mothers-to-be or their doctors about whether acetaminophen is safe during pregnancy.
SCIENCE
February 19, 2014 | By Mary MacVean
It's not enough for people to get regular moderate exercise as they age. Researchers say it's also important not to spend the rest your time sitting too much. In fact, for every hour of sedentary behavior, the odds were 46% greater that people older than 60 would have some disability in ordinary skills such as getting around the house and feeding themselves, according to the study published Wednesday in the Journal of Physical Activity & Health. Being sedentary will lead to problems “independent of time spent in moderate or vigorous activity,” concluded the researchers, from Northwestern's Feinberg Medical School, Rush University Medical Center, Harvard School of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 19, 2014 | By Larry Gordon
UC San Diego graduate student Alex Piel is studying the family dynamics and habitats of chimpanzees in Tanzania's savanna. The research requires tracking animals, retrieving fecal samples and then testing to confirm genetic links. It does not come cheap. So after tapping traditional funding help from UC and other sources, Piel and Fiona Stewart, his wife and collaborator, recently decided to try their luck on the Internet. They posted a description of their project and an appeal to the public for money on Experiment , an online crowdfunding site devoted to science.
SCIENCE
February 19, 2014 | By Karen Kaplan
Stress is known to trigger headaches. Now it gets worse: Researchers have found that the more intense a person's stress, the more time he or she will spend in pain. The findings are based on data from the German Headache Consortium Study. Researchers interviewed 5,159 adults about their headache history and other health factors once every three months from 2010 to  2012. Among other things, volunteers were asked to rate the intensity of their stress on a 100-point scale. Tension headaches - the most common type - were the most sensitive to stress, the researchers found.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 16, 2014 | By Larry Gordon
SAN DIEGO - Above the water line, the Point Loma wharf at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography is impressive: large, high-tech ships dock there before cruising off to research sea life and climate conditions around the world. The skyline of downtown San Diego skyscrapers looms across the bay. Underwater, however, is a much less glamorous view of the concrete pier and wharf, with rotten and broken pilings, exposed rebar and dangling wooden supports. It is a glimpse, scientists say, of the worrisome decay that could threaten their efforts to better understand tsunamis, seismic faults and the effect of pollution on fish.
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