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May 29 2015

Dinosaurs May Have Been Warm-Blooded


Dinosaurs were warm-blooded animals that had many traits in common with mammals, finds controversial new research.

The study, published in the journal Science, counters other popular theories, which say that dinosaurs were either cold-blooded and reptile-like, or occupied a unique intermediate category of animals that were neither fully cold nor warm-blooded.

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May 29 2015

Ancient DNA May Provide Clues into How Past Environments Affected Ancient Populations


A new study by anthropologists from The University of Texas at Austin shows for the first time that epigenetic marks on DNA can be detected in a large number of ancient human remains, which may lead to further understanding about the effects of famine and disease in the ancient world.

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May 29 2015

Why hating creepy crawlies is a sign you're healthy


Do cockroaches and rats make you flinch? That doesn't necessarily make you a wimp - it could mean you're less likely to become ill.

The reason we flinch is down to a mechanism called the behavioural immune system. It is stimulated by sensing unwelcome objects via sight, sound, touch and smell, and makes us react to threats so we avoid them before they come into contact with our bodies.

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May 29 2015

'Purring' Wolf Spiders Softly Serenade Mates


Male wolf spiders use "purring" vibrations to serenade their sweethearts, but this wooing only works if the females can feel these vibrations, new research finds.

For the females to feel these vibrations, the courting couple must be standing on a suitable surface that can vibrate, like dry leaves, the researchers said in the new study.

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May 29 2015

Glowing millipede a surprise find


The faint blue-green glow of this millipede redefines how we look at the evolution of bioluminescence across the tree of life.

Not seen for nearly 50 years, the small, blind millipede Xystocheir bistipita, was recently rediscovered in the foothills of San Luis Obispo, California by entomologist Dr Paul Merek of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

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May 29 2015

Butterflies Have an Extra Stomach Attached to Their Vaginas


One thing you won’t find in the story of the Very Hungry Caterpillar is the part where after transforming into a butterfly, he mates with a female who has a Very Hungry Reproductive Tract waiting to devour his sperm. She has a special digestive organ just for this purpose. It’s so powerful that it could even compete with the gut that let the caterpillar, in his more innocent days, chew through those five oranges.

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May 29 2015

Empathetic budgies yawn when they see their peers do the same


The common pet budgerigar is loved for its ability to mimic its owners. But it has another special trick – it can catch yawns from other budgies, suggesting it has some kind of empathy.

"Practically all vertebrates yawn," says Ramiro Joly-Mascheroni of City University, London. In 2008, he showed that dogs can catch yawns from humans. The only other species shown to yawn contagiously are humans, chimpanzees and a type of rodent called the high-yawning Sprague-Dawley rat.

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May 29 2015

Hopes raised for treatment of severe amnesia after scientists retrieve lost memory – using light


Lost memories have been retrieved with the help of light in a study that could further the understanding and treatment of patients with severe amnesia following injury or disease.

A study on laboratory mice has found that a lost memory is still stored within the brain cells even though the animals had apparently lost their ability to retrieve it, scientists said.


Alt: 'Lost' Memories Restored in Mice

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May 29 2015

Gender and racial bias can be 'unlearnt' during sleep, new study suggests


In Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, the overlords use “sleep teaching” to condition children to submit to their sinister moral values. Now scientists have found a more noble purpose for the technique in a study that suggests deep-rooted biases about race and gender could be “unlearnt” during a short nap.

The findings appear to confirm the idea that sleeping provides a unique window for accessing and altering fundamental beliefs – even prejudices that we don’t know we have.

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May 28 2015

Homosexuality could be an evolutionary advantage - according to a genetic study of fruit flies


A study of fruit flies has hinted that inherited "gay genes" could be linked to fitness traits which help survival.

Research into flies exhibiting male-to-male courtship behaviour has hinted that these genes might exist in the male Y chromosome.

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May 28 2015

Magic mushrooms 'less harmful than thought' and should be reclassified, says leading psychiatrist


Psychedelic drugs including LSD and magic mushrooms are much less harmful than has been claimed, and should be reclassified to make it easier for scientists to research their potential benefits, a leading psychiatrist has said.

Promising medical research into psychedelics ground to a halt as long ago as 1967, when they were made illegal amid widespread concern about their psychological and social harms.

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May 28 2015

Charlie Charlie Challenge Is A Social Media Attempt To Summon A Mexican Demon


Got a couple of pencils? Then you, too, can try to summon a Mexican demon, freak out your friends and post your own #CharlieCharlieChallenge on social media.

But if you're the superstitious type, or just easily spooked, the Charlie Charlie Challenge might not be for you.


Related: The Weird Case of Demons on Trial

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May 28 2015

Bizarre UFO lights seen by thousands over Chinese cities lead to fear of aliens arriving


Some were just curious or puzzled, while others terrified at the blazing object, which experts said was not a meteorite.

The unusual trail left many speculating that it might have been a UFO of an extra-terrestrial origin.


Related: VIDEO: Bizarre hovering 'UFO' lights are the 'REAL DEAL', claim alien chasers

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May 28 2015

New Mathematics Could Neutralize Pathogens That Resist Antibiotics


Bacteria that make us sick are bad enough, but many of them also continually evolve in ways that help them develop resistance to common antibiotic drugs, making our medications less effective or even moot. Doctors try to reduce the evolution by cycling through various drugs over time, hoping that as resistance develops to one, the increased use of a new drug or the widespread reuse of an old drug will catch some of the bugs off guard.

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May 28 2015

Nearly indestructible virus yields tool to treat diseases


By unlocking the secrets of a bizarre virus that survives in nearly boiling acid, scientists at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have found a blueprint for battling human disease using DNA clad in near-indestructible armor.

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May 28 2015

Virotherapy: skin cancer successfully treated with herpes-based drug


Patients with aggressive skin cancer have been treated successfully using a drug based on the herpes virus, in a trial that could pave the way for a new generation of cancer treatments.


Related: Scorpion venom has toxic effects against cancer cells

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May 28 2015

Modern Human Leg Mummified Using Ancient Egyptian Methods


The ancient Egyptians famously mummified the dead to preserve their loved ones in perpetuity, and now, scientists have mummified fresh tissue from a human corpse to gain insight into these ancient preservation techniques.

The team adhered to ancient Egyptian techniques to mummify part of the human body, which had been donated to science. They placed the tissue in a salt solution, and measured the progress of preservation using state-of-the-art microscopy and imaging techniques.

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