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Showing posts from July 20, 2016

Argentine fossils shed light on vicious group of dinosaurs

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Fossils of a carnivorous dinosaur unearthed in Argentina are shedding new light on an intriguing group of predators that apparently were just as happy to slash victims to death with sickle-shaped hand claws as to chomp them into an early grave. Scientists said on Wednesday the creature, called Murusraptor barrosaensis, lived about 80 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period, measured about 21 feet (6.5 meters) long and was a pursuit hunter more lightly built than some other predatory dinosaurs. Murusraptor was a member of a group of meat-eaters called megaraptors, meaning "giant thieves," that prowled Patagonia, although fossils of relatives have been discovered in Australia and Japan.


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Mind over gray matter: new map lays out brain's cerebral cortex

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Neuroscientists acting as cartographers of the human mind have devised the most comprehensive map ever made of the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain responsible for higher cognitive functions such as abstract thought, language and memory. Using MRI images from the brains of 210 people, the researchers said on Wednesday they were able to pinpoint 180 distinct areas in the cerebral cortex, the brain's thin, wrinkly outermost layer made of so-called gray matter. The map could assist in the study of brain maladies such as autism, schizophrenia, dementia and epilepsy, and shed light on the differences between the brains of people with such conditions and healthy people, the researchers said.


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Healthy Kids: Homemade Meals Not Always Best

Parents who prepare homemade baby food and meals for their toddlers can not only save money, but may also provide their kids with more nutrients, a new study suggested. The study, led by researchers in Scotland, found that home-cooked foods made based on recipes in cookbooks for infants and preschoolers provided up to 77 percent more nutrients than similar foods that were commercially prepared. However, the study also suggested that meals made from scratch were not necessarily better for babies and toddlers than store-bought counterparts: The data showed that the majority of cookbook recipes contained more calories and fat than are recommended for children ages 4 months to 4 years.

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Cutting the Weed: Joints Have Less Marijuana Than Thought

Exactly how much marijuana is in a typical joint may be less than previously thought, a new study finds. Researchers estimated that the average joint contains 0.32 grams (0.01 ounces) of marijuana. Figuring out precisely how much marijuana is in a typical joint can help researchers answer important questions about drug use and trafficking, the researchers said.

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Many Teens with Diabetes Don't Know They Have It

About a third of U.S. teens with diabetes don't know they have the condition, a new study finds. Researchers analyzed information from more than 2,600 adolescents ages 12 to 19 who were tested for diabetes at some point from 2005 to 2014, as part of a national health survey conducted by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Participants underwent three tests of their blood glucose levels, and a person was considered to have diabetes if at least one test showed the individual had the condition.

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Earth's Tides Can Trigger Earthquakes Along the San Andreas Fault

The same tides that affect ocean waves can trigger earthquakes along California's San Andreas Fault, and scientists unexpectedly find that these quakes are more likely to happen as tides are strengthening, not when they are at their strongest. Previous research found that the tidal effects on Earth's crust could trigger both tremors and earthquakes. The study?s scientists were interested in how the planet's tides might affect small, deep seismic events known as low-frequency earthquakes.


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Fish can recognise human faces, study finds

By Matthew Stock Scientists have shown for the first time how a species of tropical fish can distinguish between human faces. The archerfish used in experiments could demonstrate the ability to a high degree of accuracy; despite lacking the crucial neocortex part of the brain which other animals use for sophisticated visual recognition. ...

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NASA's new mission: improving food security in West Africa

By Nellie Peyton DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A drive by NASA to stream climate data to West African nations using its earth-observing satellites could boost crop production in a region hit hard by climate change, experts say. NASA last week launched a hub in Niger's capital Niamey that will use space-based observations to improve food security and better manage natural disasters, said Dan Irwin, manager of the SERVIR project, named after the Spanish word meaning "to serve". The project, which will cover Burkina Faso, Ghana, Senegal and Niger, is one of four regional hubs worldwide, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).


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