Riviste scientifiche

Orca deaths found to be a result of human activity

New Scientist - Me, 02/12/2020 - 20:00
A team that looked at how 55 orcas in the Pacific Ocean died found cases linked both directly and indirectly to human activity

Heat inside Mars may have melted ice and made watery habitats for life

New Scientist - Me, 02/12/2020 - 20:00
Geothermal energy on Mars may have melted ice below the planet’s surface billions of years ago, creating an environment that could have been suitable for life

The Scandinavian secrets to keeping positive in a covid-19 winter

New Scientist - Me, 02/12/2020 - 19:00
Lockdown restrictions in winter might seem something to dread, but we can combat this by embracing the mindset of people used to long, dark winters, says health psychologist Kari Leibowitz

Watch Dogs: Legion review – The perfect antidote to lockdown

New Scientist - Me, 02/12/2020 - 19:00
In Watch Dogs: Legion you can play as or team up with any of the characters of the game, and strolling around its digital version of London is a real treat, says Jacob Aron

Does a halo of mysterious dark matter swirl around every galaxy?

New Scientist - Me, 02/12/2020 - 19:00
Many galaxies seem to have bubbles of dark matter enveloping them, but finding out if every galaxy is like this is an ongoing area of research, writes Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

There are weird volcanoes everywhere we look in the solar system

New Scientist - Me, 02/12/2020 - 19:00
Bizarre volcanoes that ooze ice magma or explode like geysers reveal the geological rumblings beneath other worlds. Some might even provide the spark for alien life 

The absurd logic of ‘this notice board is not in use’

New Scientist - Me, 02/12/2020 - 19:00
How the pandemic forced a notice board to proclaim it is not in use, plus the best way to keep grounded according to pseudoscience and the court battle over if a bee is a fish, in Feedback’s weird weekly round-up

Christmas gift ideas: The 13 best science and technology books of 2020

New Scientist - Me, 02/12/2020 - 19:00
From The End of Everything by Katie Mack and How to Argue with a Racist by Adam Rutherford to Martha Wells’s Murderbot sc-ifi series, New Scientist’s 2020 gift guide has a book for everyone

Arecibo Observatory telescope in Puerto Rico collapses after 57 years

New Scientist - Me, 02/12/2020 - 17:27
The Arecibo Observatory telescope in Puerto Rico has collapsed, just weeks after the US National Science Foundation revealed plans to decommission the 57-year-old structure

Google's AI can keep Loon balloons flying for over 300 days in a row

New Scientist - Me, 02/12/2020 - 17:00
An artificially intelligent pilot created by Google and Loon can keep huge stratospheric balloons in the air for hundreds of days at a time to act as floating cell towers in remote areas

Simon Baron-Cohen: Why autism and invention are intimately related

New Scientist - Me, 02/12/2020 - 16:20
The prehistoric cognitive revolution that saw an explosion of inventions was driven by a new, pattern-seeking network in the brain – and that’s highly correlated with autism today, says researcher Simon Baron-Cohen

How is China beating covid-19 and are the reported numbers reliable?

New Scientist - Me, 02/12/2020 - 16:10
China, the country at the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, now sees few cases and deaths. How has it done it and are the official numbers trustworthy?

Did Europe's lockdowns work, and which countries got it right?

New Scientist - Me, 02/12/2020 - 15:50
Many European countries are exiting a second lockdown, but each had different strategies – did they work, and could they have been avoided?

UK approves Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for rollout next week

New Scientist - Me, 02/12/2020 - 13:00
The UK has become the first country to approve a coronavirus vaccine, with the first shots set to be administered to vulnerable people in the coming days

Covid-19 news: Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine authorised for use in the UK

New Scientist - Me, 02/12/2020 - 12:26
The latest coronavirus news updated every day including coronavirus cases, the latest news, features and interviews from New Scientist and essential information about the covid-19 pandemic

People experiencing a migraine climbed inside an MRI to find out why

New Scientist - Me, 02/12/2020 - 11:00
Noisy MRI machines are an unpleasant place to have a migraine, but scanning people in the middle of an attack has revealed which brain regions may be responsible for the condition

UK takes step towards world's first nuclear fusion power station

New Scientist - Me, 02/12/2020 - 01:01
The UK has embarked on a step to building the world’s first nuclear fusion power station, by launching a search for a 100-plus hectare site where it can be plugged into the electricity grid

Bird beak extra sense evolved more than 70 million years ago

New Scientist - Me, 02/12/2020 - 01:01
Some birds can detect the movement of hidden prey by plunging their beaks into soil or water – and the “sixth sense” may have begun to evolve in predatory dinosaurs

Health impacts of climate change have reached 'worrying' levels

New Scientist - Me, 02/12/2020 - 00:30
The impacts of climate change on people’s health around the world, including deaths due to heatwaves, are at their “most worrying” since an international initiative began tracking them five years ago

Effects of vitamin B<sub>12</sub> supplementation on neurodevelopment and growth in Nepalese Infants: A randomized controlled trial

PLoS Medicine - Ma, 01/12/2020 - 23:00

by Tor A. Strand, Manjeswori Ulak, Mari Hysing, Suman Ranjitkar, Ingrid Kvestad, Merina Shrestha, Per M. Ueland, Adrian McCann, Prakash S. Shrestha, Laxman S. Shrestha, Ram K. Chandyo


Vitamin B12 deficiency is common and affects cell division and differentiation, erythropoiesis, and the central nervous system. Several observational studies have demonstrated associations between biomarkers of vitamin B12 status with growth, neurodevelopment, and anemia. The objective of this study was to measure the effects of daily supplementation of vitamin B12 for 1 year on neurodevelopment, growth, and hemoglobin concentration in infants at risk of deficiency.

Methods and findings

This is a community-based, individually randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial conducted in low- to middle-income neighborhoods in Bhaktapur, Nepal. We enrolled 600 marginally stunted, 6- to 11-month-old infants between April 2015 and February 2017. Children were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to 2 μg of vitamin B12, corresponding to approximately 2 to 3 recommended daily allowances (RDAs) or a placebo daily for 12 months. Both groups were also given 15 other vitamins and minerals at around 1 RDA. The primary outcomes were neurodevelopment measured by the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development 3rd ed. (Bayley-III), attained growth, and hemoglobin concentration. Secondary outcomes included the metabolic response measured by plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) and methylmalonic acid (MMA). A total of 16 children (2.7%) in the vitamin B12 group and 10 children (1.7%) in the placebo group were lost to follow-up. Of note, 94% of the scheduled daily doses of vitamin B12 or placebo were reported to have been consumed (in part or completely). In this study, we observed that there were no effects of the intervention on the Bayley-III scores, growth, or hemoglobin concentration. Children in both groups grew on an average 12.5 cm (SD: 1.8), and the mean difference was 0.20 cm (95% confidence interval (CI): −0.23 to 0.63, P = 0.354). Furthermore, at the end of the study, the mean difference in hemoglobin concentration was 0.02 g/dL (95% CI: −1.33 to 1.37, P = 0.978), and the difference in the cognitive scaled scores was 0.16 (95% CI: −0.54 to 0.87, P = 0.648). The tHcy and MMA concentrations were 23% (95% CI: 17 to 30, P < 0.001) and 30% (95% CI: 15 to 46, P < 0.001) higher in the placebo group than in the vitamin B12 group, respectively. We observed 43 adverse events in 36 children, and these events were not associated with the intervention. In addition, 20 in the vitamin B12 group and 16 in the placebo group were hospitalized during the supplementation period. Important limitations of the study are that the strict inclusion criteria could limit the external validity and that the period of vitamin B12 supplementation might not have covered a critical window for infant growth or brain development.


In this study, we observed that vitamin B12 supplementation in young children at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency resulted in an improved metabolic response but did not affect neurodevelopment, growth, or hemoglobin concentration. Our results do not support widespread vitamin B12 supplementation in marginalized infants from low-income countries.

Trial registration

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02272842Universal Trial Number: U1111-1161-5187 (September 8, 2014)Trial Protocol: Original trial protocol: PMID: 28431557 (reference [18]; study protocols and plan of analysis included as Supporting information).

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