Mortality data show only the final result of opioid overdose, not why it happens.
Skyward Kick Productions/Shutterstock.com
The toll of the opioid epidemic is often derived from toxicology reports. These rely on drug tests. A medical historian explains these tests and how they fall short of capturing why people are dying.
Three Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee listen to testimony in the Brett Kavanaugh assault allegation hearings, Sept. 27, 2018.
Saul Loeb/Pool Image via AP
The Kavanaugh hearings have brought sexual assault to the forefront. A just-published study suggests that bystanders can help prevent it.
Scientists are now using evolution to create designer proteins for therapies and industrial processes.
Johan Jarnestad / The Royal Academy of Sciences
Nature doesn't always make the things we need so three Nobel Prize winners figured out how to fast-track evolution in the lab to create medicines, biofuels and industrial chemicals for modern life.
Trump celebrates a tentative deal to replace NAFTA with advisors and Mexican counterparts.
The US and Mexico announced a bilateral trade deal that pointedly excludes Canada. A economic law expert explains what it means.
Harry Potter books have captured the imaginations of entire generations.
Clark Jones/Courtesy of Scholastic, Inc./AP
A developmental psychologist explains how she uses Harry Potter books to make child development more relatable to first-year college students, many of whom grew up on the wildly popular books.
Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon smiles for the cameras during a 1968 news conference.
Fifty years ago, an insurance agent named Paul Simpson was convinced of rampant bias on the evening news. So he embarked on a project to record each broadcast and store them at Vanderbilt University.
Artist depiction of an asteroid on a collision course with Earth.
An asteroid on a collision course with Earth is inevitable. Astronomer Michael Lund explains how a new telescope under construction in Chile will become a vital tool for detecting objects that could devastate our planet.
As doctors have learned more about the types of pain, they can better tailor treatment.
As knowledge of pain and the highly addictive nature of opioids has grown, so has the knowledge grown about pain and its origins. A pain specialist explains the intricacies, and how treatment is changing as a result.
Panamanian golden frogs (
Atelopus zeteki) are listed as critically endangered, and may be extinct in the wild.
Chytrid fungus has caused a global "amphibian apocalypse," killing frogs worldwide. Now some appear to be evolving resistance – but a closely related fungus threatens newts and salamanders.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman at a news conference in New York in 2016.
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File
It's not shallow to be upset by the latest scandals. Learning about the bad behavior of people we admire can harm our very sense of self.
Sugar mama? Researchers are teasing out the benefits of various molecules in human milk.
A chemist explains how some molecules in human breast milk help fight infection. Understanding their properties could lead to better infant formulas that share the health advantages of breastfeeding.
An Islamic revolution ran the shah out of Iran in 1979. Now, his father’s mummified body has resurfaced.
A mummy unearthed during construction in Iran may be the body of a former shah. For the Islamic regime, the discovery is an unwelcome reminder of Iran's secular past. For protesters, it holds promise.
What role did you play?
Composite of Christos Georghiou and sdecoret/Shutterstock.com
The current reckoning with data has been a long time coming, a historian of privacy in the US writes.
Recounting very close races is not enough to ensure election integrity.
AP Photo/Ben Finley
The best way to protect elections is to plan and prepare for an audit of the results after the votes are cast.
We don’t automatically question information we read or hear.
Cognitive psychologists know the way our minds work means we not only don't notice errors and misinformation we know are wrong, we also then remember them as true.
What can a modern-day Creole language tell us about its first speakers in the 1600s?
New research suggests that hints left in Creole languages can identify where the original speakers came from – even hundreds of years after they migrated and mixed together.
A male and female in a bar, looking like they may hook up consensually.
A recent study found that one in three college-aged women prioritized their male partner's sexual pleasure over their own. Here's how that might lead to difficulties in saying no.
Could the yearly flu shot become a thing of the past?
AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File
Flu virus mutates so quickly that one year's vaccine won't work on the next year's common strains. But rational design – a new way to create vaccines – might pave the way for more lasting solutions.
People in the U.S. and the Caribbean share vulnerability to climate change-related disasters, but only in the Caribbean is the public truly worried. Why?
New research suggests politics and risk perception may explain why the US and Caribbean see climate change so differently, though both places are ever more vulnerable to powerful hurricanes.
First lady Melania Trump, Queen Rania of Jordan and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos talk with students at the Excel Academy Public Charter School last April. Principal Dana Bogle, on left.
AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos once called Excel Academy Public Charter School a 'shining example.' A Vanderbilt scholar explains why that description was woefully off target.