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Showing posts from August 31, 2016

World's 1st Plague Pandemic Bacteria Gets New Genetic Analysis

With a single tooth from an ancient human skeleton found in Germany, scientists have now created the most complete genetic picture yet of the bacteria that caused the world's first plague pandemic. The new genetic analysis reveals that three of the genes of this bacteria likely contributed more to the spread of the plague than previously thought. In addition, the researchers found mutations that were unique to the strain of Yersinia pestis that caused the Justinianic Plague.


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New Drug Clears Abnormal Brain Proteins Tied to Alzheimer's

In people with Alzheimer's disease, a new investigational drug can dramatically reduce the amount of amyloid beta plaque, the tangled clumps of proteins that form in the brains of Alzheimer's patients, according to a new early study of the drug. "We believe that's a hint of efficacy," study co-author Dr. Alfred Sandrock, a neurologist and an executive vice president at Biogen, said during a news briefing. "We believe that needs to be confirmed with further studies." Biogen is the Cambridge, Massachusetts, company that funded the trial and applied to patent the drug.


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Parents' Mental Health Linked to Violence in Kids

Kids who have a parent who has been diagnosed with certain psychiatric disorders may be at increased risk for attempting suicide or committing a violent offense, a new study of people in Denmark suggests. The parents in the study had a wide spectrum of psychiatric problems, ranging from anxiety, bipolar disorder and depression to schizophrenia, substance abuse and suicide attempts. Of all the psychiatric conditions among the parents in the study, the strongest associations were seen in mothers and fathers who had a history of abusing marijuana, antisocial personality disorder or a prior attempted suicide.

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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome May Leave a 'Chemical Signature' in the Blood

People with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) can wait years before being diagnosed with the condition, and there is no single test for it. If this chemical signature is confirmed by future studies, it may help with the diagnosis of CFS, the researchers said. What's more, further study of these molecules may aid in future treatments.

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3.7-Billion-Year-Old Rock May Hold Earth's Oldest Fossils

Tiny ripples of sediment on ancient seafloor, captured inside a 3.7-billion-year-old rock in Greenland, may be the oldest fossils of living organisms ever found on Earth, according to a new study. The research, led by Allen Nutman, head of the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Wollongong in Australia, described the discovery of what look like tiny waves, 0.4 to 1.5 inches (1 to 4 centimeters) high, frozen in a cross section of the surface of an outcrop of rock in the Isua Greenstone Belt in southwestern Greenland, a formation made up of what geologists regard as the oldest rocks on the Earth's surface. The researchers said the ripples are the fossilized remains of cone-shaped stromatolites, layered mounds of sediment and carbonates that build up around colonies of microbes that grow on the floor of shallow seas or lakes.


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'Alien' Signal Had Earthly Cause, Russian Scientists Say

Sorry, ET fans: The mysterious signal detected by a Russian radio telescope last year probably had an Earthly cause. This past weekend, reports emerged that, in May 2015, a team of astronomers using Russia's huge RATAN-600 telescope had spotted an intriguing radio signal coming from the vicinity of the star HD 164595, which lies about 94 light-years from Earth. The signal was consistent with something an alien civilization might produce, astronomers said — but they stressed that there was probably a more prosaic explanation.


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Scientists find 3.7 billion-year-old fossil, oldest yet

Scientists have found what they think is the oldest fossil on Earth, a remnant of life from 3.7 billion years ago when Earth's skies were orange and its oceans green.


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Oldest fossils found in Greenland, from time Earth was like Mars

By Alister Doyle OSLO (Reuters) - The earliest fossil evidence of life on Earth has been found in rocks 3.7 billion years old in Greenland, raising chances of life on Mars aeons ago when both planets were similarly desolate, scientists said on Wednesday. The experts found tiny humps, between one and 4 cm (0.4 and 1.6 inches) tall, in rocks at Isua in south-west Greenland that they said were fossilized groups of microbes similar to ones now found in seas from Bermuda to Australia.

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Adorable American Pika Is Disappearing Due to Climate Change

The American pika, a pint-size rabbit relative, is feeling the heat: Hotter summers induced by climate change are threatening these cute creatures' habitats throughout the western United States. A new study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) found that whole populations of the tiny mammal are disappearing due to climate change. After studying the cute critters from 2012 to 2015, the USGS found that the pikas' range was shrinking in southern Utah, northeastern California and the Great Basin, the latter of which covers most of Nevada as well as parts of Utah, Oregon, Idaho and California.


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Salute! Stunning Microphotos Capture Boozy Beauty in Italian Cocktails

The images are created (without Photoshop) by Italian geologist Bernardo Cesare, who has long used light microscopes and polarizing filters to study the mineral structures in rocks. Now, Cesare has turned to photographing alcoholic drinks, capturing the sugars that crystalize as drops of the drink dry. Live Science talked with Cesare about snapping micro-photos of his mother-in-law's homemade limoncello and why rocks will always be his favorite subject.


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Egyptian Mummy's Face Recreated with 3D Printing

An Egyptian mummy's head and face have been reconstructed with forensic science and 3D printing, offering scientists a tantalizing glimpse of the individual's life and death. The mummified head was discovered by accident in the collections of the University of Melbourne in Australia. A museum curator happened upon the remains during an audit and, concerned about the state of the specimen, sent it for a computed tomography(CT) scan.


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New Pterosaur Species with Intact Skull Uncovered in Patagonia

A new species of pterosaur named for its "ancient brain" has been found in Patagonia. "Allkaruen, from the middle lower Jurassic limit, shows an intermediate state in the brain evolution of pterosaurs and their adaptations to the aerial environment," study researcher Diego Pol, a paleontologist at the Museo Paleontológico Egidio Feruglio in Argentina, said in a statement. The new pterosaur was found in a bone bed that contains many pterosaur remains.


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