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Karen Kaplan
Works at Los Angeles Times
Attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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Karen Kaplan

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Scientists have identified and named nearly 2 million species on Earth, but they estimate they've got 10 million more to go. Here are some of the new ones they've named in the past year.
Saturday is the 308 th birthday of Carolus Linnaeus , the Swedish botanist who took it upon himself to classify all plants and animals on Earth. Taxonomists at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry celebrate the occasion by highlighting 10 fascinating species that were discovered in the last year.
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Scientists looked at daily temperature data for many years in nearly 400 cities in 13 countries. Then they figured out which temperatures were least deadly in each place. From that they could estimate excess deaths due to weather that was too cold or too hot. The results are kind of surprising.
Extreme heat waves like the one that ; killed more than 70,000 Europeans in 2003 may be the most visible examples of deadly weather, but cold days actually cause more deaths than hot ones, a new study says.
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Is this a good example of science's self-correcting process in action? Two students from UC Berkeley truth-squad a high-profile study in Science that claimed to show it was relatively easy to change people's minds about same-sex marriage -- especially if person doing the persuading was gay. Now one of the study's authors says it should be retracted.
A highly publicized study that purported to show how face-to-face interactions can change people's views on same-sex marriage is being disavowed by one of its authors who now says he has doubts about the data.
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Americans get more cancer screening tests than anyone else on Earth. Now a task force from the American College of Physicians makes the case that they shouldn't. Here are their new guidelines for five common types of cancer -- breast, ovarian, cervical, prostate and colorectal.
Americans get too many tests to screen for common types of cancer, and the American College of Physicians wants them to stop.
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The good news: When health officials have targeted pathogens that cause food-borne illnesses, the incidence of those illnesses has fallen. The bad news: Other pathogens have filled in the gap. Bottom line: The health toll of food-borne illnesses in 2014 was about the same as in 2006.
The risk of infection from eating food tainted with a common type of Salmonella or a dangerous strain of E. coli fell significantly in 2014, according to a report published Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
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Gay men get one step closer to being able to donate blood in the US. The FDA unveils its proposed rules removing its blanket ban and says healthy men who have not had sex with another man for at least a year should be eligible.
The Food and Drug Administration proposed new rules Tuesday that would allow gay and bisexual men to donate blood in the U.S. for the first time in decades.
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Karen Kaplan

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Dogs may have been man's best friend for a lot longer than previously believed, according to a new analysis. "DNA can provide direct evidence that a Siberian husky you see walking down the street shares ancestry with a wolf that roamed northern Siberia 35,000 years ago," one researcher said.
A new analysis of ancient wolf DNA has shed new light on the murky early history of man's best friend, suggesting that dogs split from wolves as many as 27,000 to 40,000 years ago -- not 11,000 to 16,000 years ago, as earlier genome research had proposed.
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This preliminary study offers some real, practical advice: If you have sleep apnea or excessive daytime sleepiness, you may want to get screened for depression.
Sleep problems are often a symptom of depression, but a new study raises the possibility that they could cause depression as well.
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The prevalence of metabolic syndrome in the U.S. stands at around 35%, and the good news is that it's essentially stable over the past five years. (For women, it's actually decreased.) This might be a payoff of the nation's hard work to get a handle on obesity. But since risk of metabolic  syndrome rises with age, this might be a temporary lull.
As U.S. obesity rates have leveled off in recent years, one side benefit appears to be that the prevalence of metabolic syndrome has stabilized as well.
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Researchers asked whether dance classes provided the same workout as sports practices. Answer? It wasn't even close. Only 6% to 8% of kids who took a dance class got at least 30 minutes of moderate or vigorous exercise, as is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Only 8% of kids enrolled in after-school dance programs got enough exercise during class to meet federal guidelines for moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, a new study finds.
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In the past 20 years, alcohol consumption in OECD nations has dipped slightly, by 2.5%. Yet risky drinking -- including binge drinking and heavy drinking -- are on the rise, especially among women and younger people.
In most of the world’s richest nations, 20% of the people are doing 50% to 75% of the drinking, according to a new report on alcohol consumption in 34 countries.
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ICYMI: Millennials are less promiscuous than their Baby Boomer parents.
Millennials may have popularized hookup culture and the notion of “friends with benefits,” but social scientists have made a surprising discovery about the sex lives of these young adults — they’re less promiscuous than their parents’ generation.
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Have her in circles
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  • Los Angeles Times
    Editor for Science & Medicine, present
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Editor for Science & Medicine at the Los Angeles Times. Many of my posts appear on Booster Shots and Science Now.
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  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Economics
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Political Science
  • Columbia University
    Journalism
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Karen Kaplan's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Welcome to Elephant Heart Jewelry - Beautiful Hand-Made Necklaces, Earri...
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Welcome to Elephant Heart Jewelry. Our newly enhanced website features over 120 beautiful, hand-made necklaces, earrings and bracelets.

A window to the brain? It's here, says UC Riverside team
www.latimes.com

Engineers fashion a zirconium based window pane and use it to optically scan a mouse's brain.

Ostrich necks provide clues to how sauropod dinosaurs moved, ate
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How did sauropod dinosaurs move their heads? When they stood, were their super-long necks stretched up high to the treetops like a giraffe's

Ants make tough choices better when working in groups, study says
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Our society often touts teamwork, but when faced with an easy task, groups may actually perform worse than individuals – at least when the g

Addiction expert weighs in on Mayor Bob Filner's therapy plan
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San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, 70, announced Friday that he will enter a “behavioral counseling clinic” on Aug. 5 to deal with issues relating

Tall women have higher cancer risk; are smoking, drinking to blame?
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The taller a postmenopausal woman is, the greater risk she faces of developing cancer, according to a new study.

Ramadan fast survival guide will help you stay fit and healthy
www.latimes.com

We're about halfway through the Islamic holy month of Ramadan . This is the time of year when an estimated 1.6 million Muslims worldwide abs

You may be safer living in the city than the country, study finds
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Want to keep your family safe? Then raise your kids in the city.

Are doctors passing the buck on healthcare costs?
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Physicians are concerned about skyrocketing healthcare costs -- but most don't think they have "major responsibility" for reducing those cos

Another way TV is harmful to kids: By falling on them
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The nation's pediatricians keep saying that television can be harmful for babies and toddlers, but this time, they mean it literally. A new

Teens inhaling blow-gun darts
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Don’t run with scissors, and don’t inhale homemade blow-gun darts.

Cassini takes inter-planetary portrait. What happens next?
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So you’ve waved at Saturn and had your picture taken by Cassini from nearly 900 million miles away. Now what?

It's time to 'Wave at Saturn' and smile for an interplanetary portrait
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It’s time to get ready for your not-so-close-up. NASA’s Cassini spacecraft on the far side of Saturn will snap a long-distance portrait of E

Why do cigarettes and booze go together? Stress may be the key
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Just in time for the summer cocktail season, there's a research finding that offers a new recipe for excessive alcohol consumption. Let's ca

Evolution not as unpredictable as thought, study says
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Say you could hop into a DeLorean and travel back to when life on Earth began. Would fish migrate from water to land? Would the dinosaurs go

Avoiding estrogen therapy proved deadly for nearly 50,000: study
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Hormone replacement therapy has plummeted among U.S. women since the Women’s Health Initiative cut short its Estrogen Plus Progestin Trial i

Attempt to steer McDonald's diners toward smaller meals backfires
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You might think that customers buying their lunch at McDonald’s would order meals with fewer calories if someone handed them a slip of paper

Dinosaurs had teeth to spare -- lots of them
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Dinosaurs almost bankrupted the tooth fairy. New research shows that the lumbering plant-eaters called sauropods produced new teeth as often

Scientists may have found the source of all the gold in the universe
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Astronomers panning the heavens for glints of gamma-ray bursts have struck gold. No, really. They found gold – so much of it, in fact, that

Florida man awakens in Palm Springs ER speaking only Swedish. Why?
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It's a story that is captivating people on both sides of the Atlantic.