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January 24 2015

NASA Finds Mysterious Bright Spot on Dwarf Planet Ceres: What Is It?


A strange, flickering white blotch found on the dwarf planet Ceres by a NASA spacecraft has scientists scratching their heads.

The white spot on Ceres in a series of new photos taken on Jan. 13 by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, which is rapidly approaching the round dwarf planet in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. But when the initial photo release on Monday (Jan. 19), the Dawn scientists gave no indication of what the white dot might be.

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January 24 2015

Bizarre Antarctic fish lives below 2,500 feet of ice


In a cold and dark underwater world, where a never-ending rain of rocks keeps the seafloor barren, researchers were startled to find fish, crustaceans and jellyfish investigating a submersible camera after drilling through nearly 2,500 feet (740 meters) of Antarctic ice.


Alt: Fish Under Ice-Cap Suggest Europa Life May Be Possible | Video

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January 24 2015

Jellyfish 'can sense ocean currents'


Jellyfish can sense the ocean current and actively swim against it, according to a study that involved tagging and tracking the creatures.

The research, by an international team, could help scientists work out how jellyfish form "blooms".

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January 24 2015

Why animals eat psychoactive plants


Johann Hari, author of Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs, learns about drunk elephants, the stoned water buffalo, and the grieving mongoose.

The United Nations says the drug war’s rationale is to build “a drug-free world — we can do it!” U.S. government officials agree, stressing that “there is no such thing as recreational drug use.” So this isn’t a war to stop addiction, like that in my family, or teenage drug use. It is a war to stop drug use among all humans, everywhere.

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January 24 2015

Can beet juice ‘de-stiffen’ the arteries?


If you’ve been drinking beet juice before going to the gym, the results of a new study may surprise you.


Related: Study finds plant-based diets lead to weight loss
Related: Experts zero in on pizza as prime target in war on childhood obesity
Related: Revolutionary device found to lower blood pressure

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January 24 2015

‘Lobster shell’ cancer is too stiff to spread


Instead of killing tumor cells outright, doctors are exploring a new anti-cancer strategy that subtly hardens the cells so they can’t invade new areas of the body.

Scientists have identified a compound called 4-HAP that shows promise for stiffening pancreatic cancer cells. They now expect to use the new screening method that found the potential drug to look for agents that make other types of cancer too rigid to spread.

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January 24 2015

Ancient Peruvians Were Skilled Surgeons


Trepanning, the process of drilling holes into the skull, is the earliest example of surgical treatment among humans. Holes were bored into the patient’s skull in order to relieve physical ailments and psychological problems. Examples of trepanning conducted on other bones have never been discovered however, until now.

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January 24 2015

Tonal languages require humidity


The weather impacts not only upon our mood but also our voice. An international research team including scientists from the Max Planck Institutes for Psycholinguistics, Evolutionary Anthropology and Mathematics in the Sciences has analysed the influence of humidity on the evolution of languages. Their study has revealed that languages with a wide range of tone pitches are more prevalent in regions with high humidity levels. In contrast, languages with simpler tone pitches are mainly found in drier regions.

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January 24 2015

Genghis Khan's genetic legacy has competition


The Mongolian leader left a strong footprint in the Y chromosomes of modern descendants — but he was not the only one.

Millions of men bear the genetic legacy of Genghis Khan, the famously fertile Mongolian ruler who died in 1227. Researchers have now recognized ten other men whose fecundity has left a lasting impression on present-day populations. The team's study1 points to sociopolitical factors that foster such lineages, but the identities of the men who left their genetic stamp remains unknown.

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January 23 2015

King Tut's beard snaps off, is hastily glued back on


The famed 3,000-year-old mask of Tutankhamun has been damaged, after conservators attempted to glue the ancient Egyptian pharaoh's distinctive blue beard back on with epoxy.

The blue and gold braided beard on the burial mask of famed pharaoh Tutankhamun was hastily glued back on with epoxy, damaging the relic after it was knocked during cleaning, conservators at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo said Wednesday.

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January 23 2015

Early humans got a grip on tools 3 million years ago


Move over Homo habilis, you're being dethroned. A growing body of evidence – the latest published this week – suggests that our "handy" ancestor was not the first to use stone tools. In fact, the ape-like australopithecus may have figured out how to be clever with stones before humans even evolved.


Alt: Human-Like Hands Came Before Actual Humans

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January 23 2015

Can the Siberian Tiger Make a Comeback?


In Russia’s Far East, an orphaned female tiger is the test case in an experimental effort to save one of the most endangered animals on earth

From its origins in Russia’s remote Primorsky Province, the Krounovka River wends northeast, passing through ridges red with willow trees and barren stretches of grassland, before finally joining a larger river known as the Razdolnaya.

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January 23 2015

The Benefits of a Lunch Hour Walk


To combat afternoon slumps in enthusiasm and focus, take a walk during the lunch hour. A new study finds that even gentle lunchtime strolls can perceptibly — and immediately — buoy people’s moods and ability to handle stress at work.

It is not news, of course, that walking is healthy and that people who walk or otherwise exercise regularly tend to be more calm, alert and happy than people who are inactive.

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January 23 2015

LSD Could Decrease Suicidal Thinking, Attempts


Classic psychedelics, such as LSD, mushrooms and mescaline might be protective with regard to suicidal thoughts and behaviors, according to a recent study led by University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health.

Previous studies suggests that psychedelics have lasting improvements in mental health.


Related: Is pot as bad as LSD? Heroin? Judge to rule on 1970 law

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January 23 2015

Ketamine research reports 75pc success rate in treatment of long-term depression


Researchers looking into the use of horse tranquiliser and 'party drug' ketamine say they have had a 75 per cent success rate in using it to treat long-term depression.

"The results are startling," says Melbourne University neuroscientist Associate Professor Graham Barrett, who has been studying depression for 30 years.


Related: Depression Tweaks the Brain's Disappointment Circuit

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January 23 2015

Extroverts may have stronger immune systems


OUR personality literally shapes our world. It helps determine how many friends we have, which jobs we excel in and how we cope with adversity. Now it seems it may even play a role in our health – and not just in terms of any hypochondriac tendencies we harbour, but also how prone our bodies are to getting sick in the first place. It is a provocative idea but one that has been steadily gaining traction.

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January 23 2015

Toward a cocaine vaccine to help addicts kick the habit


In their decades-long search for vaccines against drugs of abuse, scientists have hit upon a new approach to annul cocaine's addictive buzz. They report that their strategy, which they tested on mice, harnesses a bacterial protein to trigger an immune system attack on the drug if it enters the body. This response could dull cocaine's psychotropic effects and potentially help users of the drug kick the habit.

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