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Showing posts from December 17, 2015

MERS Vaccine Protects Camels, Which Is Good for People

A vaccine that protects against the virus that causes Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) has been shown to be effective in camels, a new study finds. The vaccine, which was developed by German scientists, reduces the amount of the virus found in the camels infected with the disease, according to the study. Camels are considered the primary host for the virus, said the study, published today (Dec. 17) in the journal Science.

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Targeting Gut Microbes Could Lower Risk of Heart Disease

For the first time, researchers find a compound in some red wines and olive oils can interfere with gut microbes in ways that could potentially help to prevent heart disease in humans. This new study, which was done in mice, also might reveal why the Mediterranean diet, which usually includes olive oil and red wine, is healthy for the heart, the scientists said. In the study, the researchers targeted the mice's gut microbes with a compound called DMB,— which naturally occurs in some cold-pressed extra virgin olive oils, red wines, balsamic vinegars and grape seed oils.

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Ancient 'Loch Ness monster' reptiles swam like penguins

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Plesiosaurs, marine reptiles that thrived in the world's seas when dinosaurs ruled the land, swam much like penguins by using their flippers to "fly" underwater, scientists said on Thursday, resolving a debate that began nearly two centuries ago. Plesiosaurs had four large flippers, and many had remarkably long necks. Nessie, Scotland's mythical Loch Ness monster, often is portrayed as looking like a plesiosaur.


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Glimpse of Possible New Particle Intrigues Physicists

The biggest particle accelerator in the world might have found a hint of an entirely new fundamental particle — or it might be seeing ghosts. But even if it turns out to be nothing, particle physicists have written a spate of studies to coincide with the new experimental results, proposing different ideas about what might have been found. Theories in the new research papers range from positing new flavors of the Higgs boson (the particle thought to explain how other particles get their mass) to proposing candidates for dark matter.


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Arctic Temperatures Rising at Breakneck Speed

Last year was the warmest on record for the Arctic, and sea ice extent was at an all-time low since record keeping began in 1979. "Warming is happening more than twice as fast in the Arctic than anywhere else in the world," said Rick Spinrad, the chief scientific officer a the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), here in a press briefing at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union. In addition, the sea ice extent during those months was the lowest since 1979, when record keeping began.


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Ancient Mouse-Size Creature Uproots Mammal Family Tree

Three-dimensional computer models of fossils from a tiny mouse-size creature that lived about 210 million years ago in what is now Greenland clear up a long-standing mammal mystery. The high-tech analysis of the fossils suggests that mammals originated more than 30 million years more recently than previously suggested, the researchers say. Paleontologists analyzed fossils of haramiyids, extinct relatives of modern mammals that lived about 210 million years ago.


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Got Calcium? Wild Parrots Use Tools During Snack Time

The black-feathered greater vasa parrot has a new skill to add to its resume — the use of tools to grind shells to create calcium powder, which it then proceeds to lick up with its pink tongue, a new study finds. The vasa parrot is now the only known species besides humans to use tools for grinding, the researchers said. The finding was an "entirely fortuitous discovery," said study lead author Megan Lambert, a doctoral student of psychology at the University of York.


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Marijuana's THC May Increase 'Noise' in Your Brain

Marijuana's main psychoactive compound, THC, may increase random neural activity — or neural noise — in the brain, according to a new study. In the study, researchers gave THC to study participants through an IV, and found that the participants showed increased levels of random neural noise after the compound was administered. "At doses roughly equivalent to half or a single joint, [THC] produced psychosis-like effects and increased neural noise in humans,” senior study author Dr. Deepak Cyril D’Souza, a professor of psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, said in a statement.

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Zombie Alert! Medical Journal 'Warns' of Walking Dead

In horror movies, "the way most zombie outbreaks happen is through an infection," Smith told Live Science. That's why Smith wrote the tongue-in-cheek piece for the BMJ's traditionally goofy Christmas issue. "We spread zombie science around the country," Smith said.

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