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The 2014-2015 flu vaccine didn't work as well compared to previous years because the H3N2 virus recently acquired a mutation that concealed the infection from the immune system. A study published on June 25 in Cell Reports reveals the major viral mutation responsible for the mismatch between the vaccine strain and circulating strains. The research will help guide the selection of viral strains for future seasonal flu vaccines.


Too much male sexual attention harms attractive females, according to a new Australian and Canadian study on fruit flies.

Associate Professor Steve Chenoweth from The University of Queensland's School of Biological Sciences said the study showed that male harassment of females hampered the species' ability to adapt to new environmental conditions.

"We found that sexually attractive females were overwhelmed by male suitors," he said.

"Female fruit flies with superior genes that allow them to lay more eggs were so attractive to male suitors they spent most of the time fending off male suitors rather than actually laying eggs. The end result was that these supposedly 'superior' genes could not be passed on to the next generation."


The Supreme Court seems poised to take on the abortion issue again, and with reason.

On June 29, by a five-to-four vote, the Court temporarily blocked a Texas law that would force many clinics to close, guaranteeing that the state’s new law would not take effect until the justices decide whether to rule on its constitutionality. And just today, June 30, the Court did not take action on a case involving a similar abortion restriction passed in Mississippi.


The first species of Yeti Crab from hydrothermal vent systems of the East Scotia Ridge in the Southern Ocean, Antarctica, has been described in a study by Sven Thatje from University of Southampton, and colleagues.

The species of Yeti crab Kiwa tyleri belongs to an enigmatic group of squat lobsters, known as Kiwaidae, that thrive in the hot waters surrounding the geothermally heated hydrothermal vents. It is the dominant species at these sites, occurring at extremely high densities exceeding 700 specimens per square meter.


In a new study, researchers found that neurons in a specific brain region play a key role in rapidly forming memories about every day events, a finding that may result in a better understanding of memory loss and new methods to fight it in Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases.

Specifically, the study examined neurons in the medial temporal lobe associated with episodic memory, the brain’s ability to consciously recall experienced events and situations like running into an old school friend at the opera. Episodic memory logs these unique experiences and relies on the very rapid formation of new associations in the brain.


Quantum computing is well into its second decade of hype with little progress being made. Computer chip companies have continued to optimize available physics and have left the quantum kind to the academic sandbox. It's not stable long enough to make calculations.

Perhaps what is needed is an intermediary to transmit information, say researchers at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST).