Researchers claimed they built a breakthrough superconductor. Social media shot it down almost instantly.

Researchers claimed they built a breakthrough superconductor.  Social media shot it down almost instantly.

In July, South Korean scientists posted a paper finding they had achieved superconductivity - a claim that was debunked within days.

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Harsh Mathur was a graduate physics student at Yale University in late 1989 when faculty announced they had failed to replicate claims made by scientists at the University of Utah and the University of Wolverhampton in England.

Such work is routine. Replicating or attempting to replicate the contraptions, calculations and conclusions crafted by colleagues is foundational to the scientific method. But in this instance, Yale’s findings were reported globally.

“I had a ringside view, and it was crazy,” recalls Mathur, now a professor of physics at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio.

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Ron Shinkman
Ron Shinkman is a veteran journalist whose work has appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine publication Catalyst, California Health Report, Fierce Healthcare, and many other publications. He has been a finalist for the prestigious NIHCM Foundation print journalism award twice in the past five years. Shinkman also served as Los Angeles Bureau Chief for Modern Healthcare and as a staff reporter for the Los Angeles Business Journal. He has an M.A. in English from California State University and a B.A. in English from UCLA.
Breast cancer patients can now remove their tumors with ice instead of surgery

A woman receives a mammogram, which can detect the presence of tumors in a patient's breast.

When a patient is diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer, having surgery to remove the tumor is considered the standard of care. But what happens when a patient can’t have surgery?

Whether it’s due to high blood pressure, advanced age, heart issues, or other reasons, some breast cancer patients don’t qualify for a lumpectomy—one of the most common treatment options for early-stage breast cancer. A lumpectomy surgically removes the tumor while keeping the patient’s breast intact, while a mastectomy removes the entire breast and nearby lymph nodes.

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Sarah Watts

Sarah Watts is a health and science writer based in Chicago.

A new oral vaccine could prevent urinary tract infections for years

Urinary tract infections account for more than 8 million trips to the doctor each year.

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Few things are more painful than a urinary tract infection (UTI). Common in men and women, these infections account for more than 8 million trips to the doctor each year and can cause an array of uncomfortable symptoms, from a burning feeling during urination to fever, vomiting, and chills. For an unlucky few, UTIs can be chronic—meaning that, despite treatment, they just keep coming back.

But new research, presented at the European Association of Urology (EAU) Congress in Paris this week, brings some hope to people who suffer from UTIs.

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Sarah Watts

Sarah Watts is a health and science writer based in Chicago.