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‘Snakebot’ takes a dive to go where other robots can’t

A snake-like robot can now slither its way through water, allowing it to inspect ships, submarines, and underwater infrastructure for damage. Researchers from the Biorobotics Lab in the School of Computer Science’s Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University tested the hardened underwater modular robot snake (HUMRS) last month in the pool, diving...

Cocoa powder eases liver disease in mice

Supplementation of cocoa powder in the diet of high-fat-fed mice with liver disease markedly reduced the severity of their condition, according to a new study. Researchers suggest the results have implications for people. Cocoa powder, most commonly used in the production of chocolate, is rich in fiber, iron, and phytochemicals reported to have positive...

1 in 4 parents say kids’ sports fell short on COVID-19 caution

One in four parents give their sports leagues low rankings for consistently enforcing safety guidelines, according to a new report. During the pandemic, the new normal for child athletes means temperature checks before practice, wearing masks through games, and a sparse in-person fan base. But that hasn’t kept children and teens from playing. Close...

Why masses of salamander eggs come in two colors

Two opposing evolutionary forces explain why a salamander species lays two different colors of egg masses, according to a new study. Understanding the processes that maintain biological diversity in wild populations is a central question in biology and may allow researchers to predict how species will respond to global change. Spotted salamanders...

Mindfulness can make you more selfish

New research shows the surprising downsides of mindfulness and offers easy ways to minimize those consequences. Downloads of mindfulness apps generate billions of dollars annually in the US, and their popularity continues to rise. In addition to what individual practitioners might have on their phones, schools and prisons, along with 1 in 5 employers,...

More fruits and veggies improves sleep for young adults

Eating more fruits and vegetables can help young adults, especially young women, sleep better, a new study shows. Young adults who reported eating less than five servings of fruits and vegetables per day reported a high prevalence of chronic insomnia symptoms, with over one-third reporting difficulties with falling asleep or maintaining sleep at least...

What you should know about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause

The pause in the rollout of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is the right course, but the vaccine’s benefits “without doubt outweigh the risks,” a vaccine researcher argues. On Tuesday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that states pause their rollout of the Johnson & Johnson one-shot COVID-19 vaccine, citing...

As groups mix, genetic ancestry and traits decouple

A new model has let biologists examine the relationship between physical traits and genetic ancestry in populations formed from the mixture of multiple founding groups. The relationship dissipates over generations, they find. “When two founding groups first come together, a visible physical trait that differed between those founders initially carries...

Black patients are less likely to receive heart transplants

Black patients with advanced heart failure are more likely to receive a left ventricular assist device later in their disease progression compared to white patients, according to a new study. That can ultimately result in worse health outcomes. Adrianne Frech, an associate professor in the University of Missouri School of Health Professions, is a...

No, floods didn’t bring down ancient city of Cahokia

Physical evidence contradicts a theory that people fled the pre-Columbian Native American city of Cahokia due to a self-imposed environmental mistake. Whatever ultimately caused inhabitants to abandon Cahokia, it wasn’t because they cut down too many trees, according to the research. Archaeologists excavated around earthen mounds and analyzed sediment...

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