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Showing posts from January 16, 2016

Tapping the Human Microbiome (Kavli Hangout)

Late last year, 48 scientists from 50 U.S. institutions proposed the "Unified Microbiome Initiative," a national effort to decipher the nature, and applications, of microbiomes, ecosystems of microscopic life forms such as bacteria, viruses, archaea and fungi. Scientists can now identify microbes by the organisms' DNA, and have thereby discovered that microbiomes are far more diverse than anyone ever imagined. Each microbiome potentially includes hundreds of thousands of microbial species, all interacting with one another.

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Butchered Mammoth Suggests Humans Lived in Siberia 45,000 Years Ago

The slashed and punctured bones of a woolly mammoth suggest that humans lived in the far northern reaches of Siberia earlier than scientists had previously thought, a new study finds. Before the surprising discovery, researchers thought that humans lived in the freezing Siberian Arctic no earlier than about 30,000 to 35,000 years ago. Now, the newly studied mammoth carcass suggests that people lived in the area, where they butchered the likes of this giant animal about 45,000 years ago.


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A Look at Alex: NASA Satellite Spies Oddball January Hurricane

It's rare to see a hurricane in January, but Hurricane Alex formed yesterday (Jan. 14) in the Atlantic Ocean — well after the end of the hurricane season — and a NASA satellite caught a glimpse of the menacing storm. It marks the first time a hurricane has formed in the Atlantic in the month of January since 1938, according to NASA's Earth Observatory. NASA's Terra satellite spied the hurricane yesterday as it was developing.


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West Africa Is Not 'Ebola Free' After All, New Case Shows

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is not over — just one day after the region was declared "Ebola-free," a new case of the virus was confirmed in Sierra Leone. The new case involved a 22-year-old woman, who was found dead in northern Sierra Leone and tested positive for the disease today (Jan. 15), according to The New York Times. Just yesterday, the World Health Organization declared the end of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, because the three hardest-hit countries in the region — Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — had not reported a new Ebola case for at least 42 days.

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