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The mystery of the human butt

Take a look around the animal kingdom. Even our closest living relatives among the great apes (chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas), ...
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Rat magnets: Why did cats become attached to humans?

The exact relationship between early, semi-domesticated cats and humans isn’t clear cut. While there’s some evidence that people had personal ...
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Brain activation: How to help the blind see

[I]n a recent study at Baylor College of Medicine, researchers made the blind see. A team led by neurosurgeon Daniel Yoshor “drew” letters ...
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Greta could be the first wooly mammoth-elephant hybrid—and the loneliest animal in the world

The room is bright and her bath is warm. A clamp slides over her sides. She squeals as it hoists ...
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Sniff test: How our sense of smell appears to signal whether an unresponsive patient might recover consciousness

Even with more recent technologies, such as brain imaging, the rate of misdiagnosis in DOC [disorders of consciousness] patients could ...
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Repairing retinas and restoring vision: Generating photoreceptors directly from skin cells offers ‘quick and easy’ therapy

Damage to the retina can have serious consequences and lead to retinal diseases. Even cutting edge medicine like cell therapy ...
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Recreation of Earth’s ancient hydrothermal vents suggests life could emerge even on ‘hellish worlds’

One theory for how life emerged suggests that it originated in the sea, at alkaline hydrothermal vents. It’s impossible to ...
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Rise of the dinosaur may have been fueled by earlier mass extinction event

When it was alive, this large, crocodile-like reptile lurked in the swamps and rivers of the Triassic — a time ...
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Seeking the ‘secret ingredient’ that led to life on Earth. Researchers may have discovered it

Think of the RNA world as a pot of gazpacho. We prepare ingredients and then stir them into a single ...
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If we have difficulty defining ‘life’ on earth, how will we identify it on other planets?

What does it mean to be alive? Science, shockingly, still doesn’t have a consensus. For example, is it fair to ...
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While you sleep, your brain decides which memories to keep, and which ones go to ‘the garbage bin’

We don’t remember every detail of our lives: Our brains decide which events are important for long-term storage and which ...
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Biomarkers could be key to blood test for concussions

There is no single distinguishing feature of a concussion. Most of these symptoms can also be present in other types of injury ...
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Travel restrictions to stop the coronavirus? Here’s why they won’t work.

Travel restrictions, though not recommended by the WHO, are a tool that countries use in hopes of stopping the spread of ...
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Viewpoint: Protecting NFL players’ brains demands ‘unbiased researchers with good intentions’

As a spectator, it’s easy to forget the long term consequences of 300 pound humans crashing into each other at over 20 ...
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Stealth technology could offer ‘secure, selective and precise’ delivery system for cancer drugs

Earlier this year, researchers assembled an intelligent and autonomous nanostructure entirely out of DNA that delivered and released a cancer drug. Cancer ...
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Moderate drinking won’t shrink your brain, but people with smaller brains do drink ‘slightly’ more

Alcohol is one of the most widely used and abused drugs on the planet. It’s important for us to understand how it is, or ...
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Why virtual reality is a ‘far from perfect’ tool for studying how the brain works

Virtual Reality (VR) is not just for video games. Researchers use it in studies of brains from all kinds of ...
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These women are missing the ‘scent region’ of the brain. How do they still smell?

When Tali Weiss and her colleagues at the Weizmann Institute of Science found a patient that had an otherwise normal ...
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‘Strange’ twist for viral version of Parkinson’s: It may take decades for disease symptoms to appear

In recent years, a mysterious surge of a Parkinson’s-like disorder spread around the world, causing an estimated 10-15% of the ten million worldwide ...
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Do genetics determine our political beliefs? Why twin studies may not be able to answer the question

In the late 1960s, researchers began to consider the interaction between genes and environment as a possible basis for all ...
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Viewpoint: There’s a repeatability problem with CRISPR experiments. Only ‘self-governance’ can fix it

Many scientists assume that if a chunk of a gene is missing then the protein that it encodes will not ...
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We have a marijuana shortage. Bioengineered yeast could solve that problem.

Yeast are the linchpin of the beer and wine markets. So why not marijuana? ...
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Here’s the thing about hallucinations: They’re not ‘categorically good or bad’

As late as the 18th century, hallucinations in their various forms were considered independent diseases or syndromes. In 1821, Alexis ...
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Video: Ethical considerations when using CRISPR gene editing

This animation was produced by Massive and the Director of Sciences at Pioneer Works, Janna Levin. The beautiful animation was hand-cut and ...