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July 21 2014

Woman Grows A Nose On Her Spine After Stem Cell Experiment


Eight years ago, doctors took nasal tissue samples and grafted them onto the spines of 20 quadriplegics. The idea was that stem cells within the nasal tissue might turn into neurons that could help repair the damaged spinal cord, and the experiment actually worked a few of the patients, who regained a little bit of sensation. But it didn’t go well for one woman in particular, who not only didn’t experience any abatement in her paralysis, but recently started feeling pain at the site of the implant.

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July 21 2014

New gene discovered that stops spread of deadly cancer


A gene responsible for stopping the movement of cancer from the lungs to other parts of the body has been discovered by researchers, indicating a new way to fight one of the world’s deadliest cancers. By identifying the cause of this metastasis, which often happens quickly in lung cancer and results in a bleak survival rate, scientists are able to explain why some tumors are more prone to spreading than others.

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July 20 2014

Science May Finally Explain Why This Family Walks On All Fours


Scientists may finally have an answer for why members of a family in a remote region of Turkey use both their hands and feet to walk.


Related: Family That Walks On All Fours Not A Product Of 'Reverse Evolution'

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July 20 2014

The Creativity Pill


Neurologist Rivka Inzelberg recently noticed that her patients with Parkinson’s disease seemed to be authoring more novels than older people tend to author.

Looking closer, poems and paintings also seemed to be pouring out of afflicted patients, in a relative sense—specifically those treated with a synthetic dopamine-precursor pill, levodopa (L-DOPA).

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July 20 2014

Full moon looms large over your sleep


Some folk stories and superstitions hold that a full moon affects people's sleep, and new research lends support to this idea.

In the study, researchers found that people slept for 20 to 25 minutes less on average on nights with a full moon, compared with how long they slept on nights with a quarter moon.

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July 20 2014

Effects of starvation can be passed to future generations, through small RNAs apparently without DNA


A new study, involving roundworms, shows that starvation induces specific changes in so-called small RNAs and that these changes are inherited through at least three consecutive generations, apparently without any DNA involvement.

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July 20 2014

Baboons Trade Morning Favors for All-Day Payoffs


Primates basically invented “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” Baboons, for example, trade grooming for favors from other troop members. Social relationships are important to the monkeys. But it seems they put more effort into certain relationships depending on the time of day: in the morning, lower-ranking baboons invest more energy in grooming animals who can make the rest of their day go smoothly.

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July 20 2014

Cat Poop Parasite Shows Promise in Treating Cancer


A kitty poop parasite has led to a treatment that wipes out cancer in lab tests, including aggressive melanoma and ovarian cancer, preliminary studies have found.

By itself, the single-celled parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, is bad news because it can cause illness in infected people and cats. It thrives in the intestines of cats and then comes out the other end.

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July 20 2014

The mystery behind starling flocks explained


The mystery behind the movements of flocking starlings could be explained by the areas of light and dark created as they fly, new research suggests.

The research, conducted by the University of Warwick and published in the journal PNAS, found that flocking starlings aim to maintain an optimum density at which they can gather data on their surroundings. This occurs when they can see light through the flock at many angles, a state known as marginal opacity. The subsequent pattern of light and dark, formed as the birds attempt to achieve the necessary density, is what provides vital information to individual birds within the flock.

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July 20 2014

The Big Mystery Behind the Great Train Robbery May Finally Have Been Solved


Gordon Goody is the type of gentleman criminal celebrated by George Clooney’s Oceans trilogy. In the early 1960s, Goody was a dashing, well-dressed, seasoned thief who knew how to manipulate authority. At the height of his criminal game, he helped to plan and execute a 15-man heist that resulted in the largest cash theft in international history. Scotland Yard’s ensuing investigation turned the thieves into celebrities for a British public stuck in a post-war recession funk. Authorities apprehended Goody and his team members, but they failed to uncover one important identity: that of the operation’s mastermind, a postal service insider. Nicknamed “The Ulsterman” because of his Irish accent, the informant has gone unnamed for 51 years.

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July 20 2014

Higgs boson glimpsed at work for first time


The world's largest particle collider has given us our first glimpse of the Higgs boson doing its job.

For 50 years, the Higgs boson was the final missing piece in the standard model of particle physics, which elegantly predicts how fundamental particles and forces interact. The ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland, was one of the detectors that helped discover the Higgs in 2012.

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July 20 2014

Does an icy Jupiter moon harbor life? NASA seeking ideas for Europa mission.


Under its icy crust, Jupiter's moon Europa could harbor a vast ocean of potentially life-supporting liquid water, and NASA has issued a call for proposals for science instruments for mission that aims to study the mysterious moon like never before.

Scientists have found evidence of giant waterspouts taller than Mount Everest on Europa and think the moon could hold a potentially habitable ocean with more water than all of Earth's oceans.

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July 20 2014

Rover images hint at a warm and wet Mars


Images from the Mars rover Curiosity show ancient fossilized Earth-like soils that suggest the possibility of microbial life.

The data and images gathered at the bottom of the Gale impact crater date to some 3.7 billion years ago and provide evidence that Mars was once a much warmer and wetter place.

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July 20 2014

Russian meteorite sheds light on dinosaur extinction mystery


A long-standing debate about the source of the asteroid that impacted the Earth and caused the extinction of the dinosaurs has been put to rest thanks to the Chelyabinsk meteorite that disintegrated over Russia in February 2013, a new paper published in the journal Icarus shows.

Astronomers have debated whether the dinosaur killer was linked to the breakup of a large asteroid forming the Baptistina Asteroid Family (BAF) beyond Mars, some of which ended up on Earth-crossing orbits.

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July 20 2014

Dogs Were a Prehistoric Woman's Best Friend, Too


Women in a forested area 8,000 years ago were not only in close contact with dogs, but they were also eating the same food the dogs ate and suffering from one or more illnesses the dogs had.

A new study published in the Journal of Archaeological Science reveals that dogs weren’t just prehistoric man’s best friend. At least some women during the Early Neolithic period, and likely their children too, also lived very canine-centric lives.

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July 20 2014

Archaeologists Find Evidence of Significant Plant Use Before Agriculture


At a prehistoric site called Al Khiday, set along the White Nile in Central Sudan, archaeologist have uncovered evidence that shows prehistoric inhabitants there consumed significant quantities of a plant that contains both nutritional and medicinal qualities.

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July 20 2014

Could Giant Viruses Be the Origin of Life on Earth?


Chantal Abergel and Jean-Michel Claverie were used to finding strange viruses.

The married virologists at Aix-Marseille University had made a career of it. But pithovirus, which they discovered in 2013 in a sample of Siberian dirt that had been frozen for more than 30,000 years, was more bizarre than the pair had ever imagined a virus could be.

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