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Category Archive for 'science'

From abcnews.go.com: Ecuadorean Dwarfs May Unlock Cancer Clues. Twenty years ago, when Guevara began treating and studying the dwarfs of southern Ecuador, it was because he wanted to help them. But an interesting and quirky pattern started to emerge. He realized that there has never been a single incidence of cancer or diabetes among them. […]

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Odorprints like fingerprints?

From Science Daily: Odorprints Like Fingerprints? Personal Odors Remain Distinguishable Regardless Of Diet. Scientists from the Monell Center present behavioral and chemical findings to reveal that an individual’s underlying odor signature remains detectable even in the face of major dietary changes. "The findings using this animal model support the proposition that body odors provide a […]

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Why Darwin would have loved Botox

From Discover Magazine: Why Darwin Would Have Loved Botox. During unconscious facial mimicry, Schilbach discovered, several regions of the brain become active. One of those, the left precentral gyrus, becomes active when people get the urge to move their facial muscles (such as when a song makes them sad). Other regions (the right hippocampus and […]

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Dry-ice martini and electric cake

From the New York Times: Dry-Ice Martini and Electric Cake. When does a recipe become a science project? Is it when the compulsion to create an edible electrical circuit keeps a cook up all night, wrapping Twizzler string licorice in pure silver? Is it when a baker decides to bake 20 equilateral-triangle-shaped pecan pies for […]

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From csmonitor.com: Iceland’s new island is an exclusive club – for scientists only. Buckled in? Check. Life jacket secure? Check. Noise-reduction headphones on? Check. No seeds in any of your belongings? Check. You sure? Yes. And up lifts the Icelandic Coast Guard’s Super Puma helicopter ferrying me to Iceland’s jealously guarded natural gem, Surtsey Island. […]

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From the Globe and Mail: Scientists target mouse memories to erase. It seems like a movie plot, but scientists have developed a way to erase specific memories in mice while leaving others intact and not damaging the brain. By manipulating levels of an important protein in the brain, certain memories can be selectively deleted, researchers […]

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New life found in ancient tombs

From Science Daily: New Life Found In Ancient Tombs. Life has been discovered in the barren depths of Rome’s ancient tombs, proving catacombs are not just a resting place for the dead. The two new species of bacteria found growing on the walls of the Roman tombs may help protect our cultural heritage monuments, according […]

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Best science images of 2008

From National Geographic: Best Science Images of 2008. Tiny green diatoms create the illusion of a fernlike forest as they attach to their marine-invertebrate hosts. [continue, see photos] Thanks to Marilyn of Intelligent Travel for writing to tell me about this.

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From the BBC: Body exhumed in fight against flu. The body of an aristocrat who died nearly 90 years ago has been exhumed in the hope that it will help scientists combat a future flu pandemic. Yorkshire landowner Sir Mark Sykes died in France in 1919 from Spanish flu. Sir Mark was buried in a […]

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From iol.co.za: Study may boost forecasts for Vesuvius blasts. The magma pool feeding the Italian volcano that destroyed Pompeii in AD 79 has shifted in the past 2 000 years, a discovery that could help in predicting future eruptions, researchers said in the journal Nature. Vesuvius is in southern Italy near Naples, one of the […]

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From Build a Tree-Ring Timeline If you’re the skeptical type, you might raise an eyebrow when you hear that a particular Viking ship was built in the year 819. How could anyone determine the age of such an aged object so precisely, especially when there are absolutely no records to verify the date? Well, tree-ring […]

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Chocolate teapot experiment

Now this is the kind of science I really like: How useless is a Chocolate Teapot? From The Naked Scientists: You have heard the saying, but it is meaningless unless you know exactly how useful a chocolate teapot actually is. We try to find out how thick the walls of a chocolate teapot would have […]

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From the Washington Post: In Our Genes, Old Fossils Take On New Roles. Over the past 15 years, scientists have been comparing the inherited genetic material — the genomes — of dozens of organisms, acquiring a life history of life itself. (…) It turns out that about 8 percent of the human genome is made […]

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From Science Daily: Tahitian Vanilla Originated In Maya Forests, Says Botanist. The origin of the Tahitian vanilla orchid, whose cured fruit is the source of the rare and highly esteemed gourmet French Polynesian spice, has long eluded botanists. Known by the scientific name Vanilla tahitensis, Tahitian vanilla is found to exist only in cultivation; natural, […]

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From discovery.com: Bees, Fish Analyzed to Understand Serial Killers. Studying species in the animal world helps police catch human criminals — and vice versa. Originally developed to catch serial killers, a method called geographic profiling is now being used to study great white sharks, bats and bees. In turn, criminologists expect that these biological studies […]

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From the New York Times: In the Summer Kitchen, the Thrill of the Chill. It lasted only a moment, but it was the most refreshed I’ve ever felt at the dining table. All of a sudden my mouth was shockingly cold, so cold that I could see my breath. As the cold dissipated I could […]

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From the Guardian: Face of fear: how a terrified expression could keep you alive. The evolutionary mystery of why our faces contort when we are scared has been solved by a team of Canadian neuroscientists. When our facial expression shifts to one of eye-bulging, nostril-flaring fear, our ability to sense attackers or other imminent danger […]

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This is from McMaster University , via EurekAlert: Mini subs to probe odd structures in BC lake. Single person submersibles have been called in to help scientists retrieve samples from a lake in northern British Columbia that may hold vital clues to the history of life on Earth and on other planets. Greg Slater, an […]

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Five things humans no longer need

From ABC News: Five Things Humans No Longer Need. Vestigial organs are parts of the body that once had a function but are now more-or-less useless. Probably the most famous example is the appendix, though it is now an open question whether the appendix is really vestigial. The idea that we are carrying around useless […]

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From EurekAlert: Sulfur in marine archaeological shipwrecks — the ‘hull story’ gives a sour aftertaste. Advanced chemical analyses reveal that, with the help of smart scavenging bacteria, sulfur and iron compounds accumulated in the timbers of the Swedish warship Vasa during her 333 years on the seabed of the Stockholm harbour. Contact with oxygen, in […]

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From Science Daily: Scientists Discover Why Plague Is So Lethal. Bacteria that cause the bubonic plague may be more virulent than their close relatives because of a single genetic mutation, according to research published in the May issue of the journal Microbiology. "The plague bacterium Yersinia pestis needs calcium in order to grow at body […]

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From the New York Times: Tests Confirm T. Rex Kinship With Birds. In the first analysis of proteins extracted from dinosaur bones, scientists say they have established more firmly than ever that the closest living relatives of the mighty predator Tyrannosaurus rex are modern birds. The research, being published Friday in the journal Science, yielded […]

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From discovery.com: Shroud of Turin’s Authenticity Probed Anew. The Shroud of Turin, the 14- by 4-foot linen believed by some to have been wrapped around Jesus after the crucifixion, might not be a fake after all, according to new research. The director of one of three laboratories that dismissed the shroud as a medieval artifact […]

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From discovery.com: Napoleon Poisoning Claims Debunked. Napoleon Bonaparte did not die from arsenic poisoning, a new examination of the French emperor’s hair has established. (…) Now, Italian scientists have repeated the hair testing using a small nuclear reactor. The study will be published in the March issue of the Italian journal Il Saggiatore. Researchers from […]

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From Science Daily: Viking Blood Courses Through Veins Of Many A Northwest Englander. The blood of the Vikings is still coursing through the veins of men living in the North West of England — according to a new study. Focusing on the Wirral in Merseyside and West Lancashire the study of 100 men, whose surnames […]

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