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Showing posts from January 3, 2017

Anxiety May Give Dogs Gray Hair

"Based on my years of experience observing and working with dogs, I've long had a suspicion that dogs with higher levels of anxiety and impulsiveness also show increased muzzle grayness," study lead researcher Camille King, who earned her doctorate at Northern Illinois University's Adult and Higher Education program in 2011 and now has her own animal behavior practice in the Denver area, said in a statement.


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Molten 'Jet Stream' Discovered Deep Inside Earth

A band of molten iron is churning slowly deep inside Earth, much in the same way as a jet stream, a new study finds. Scientists discovered the so-called molten jet stream while analyzing data from a trio of European satellites, called Swarm. In this case, Swarm's observations helped create a view akin to an X-ray of the planet, the researchers said.


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'Klingon Newt' and 'Ziggy Stardust' Snake: New Species Found in Asia

A newt that resembles a Klingon from "Star Trek" and a snake with iridescent rainbow scales that calls to mind David Bowie's colorful extraterrestrial alter ego Ziggy Stardust are two of 163 new species recently discovered in Southeast Asia. Amphibians, reptiles, plants and mammals that were previously unknown to science were found during expeditions to some of the most remote areas in the Greater Mekong — a region that encompasses Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar — where researchers explored dense jungles, caves, rivers and forest canopies.


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Lavish Carpet Fragments Recovered from 17th-Century Dutch Shipwreck

Fragments of a carpet that had been buried at the bottom of the sea for nearly 400 years are now on display in the Netherlands. Based on the patterns, colors and weaving techniques, art historians concluded that the fabric was likely manufactured in Lahore, in present-day Pakistan, during the second quarter of the 17th century, according to the Kaap Skil museum on Texel Island, which started exhibiting the rare textile this week. During the Dutch Golden Age, ships traveling to and from Amsterdam would stop around Texel Island in the Wadden Sea.


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Colorful Hawaiian Fish Named in Honor of President Obama

Next time he's vacationing in Hawaii, President Barack Obama might just bump into his new namesake: a pink, yellow and blue coral-reef fish that researchers have named in the president's honor. Researchers discovered the previously unknown fish species, now dubbed Tosanoides obama, during a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) expedition to Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in the remote Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in June 2016. "We decided to name this fish after President Obama to recognize his efforts to protect and preserve the natural environment, including the expansion of Papahānaumokuākea," the study's lead author, Richard Pyle, a scientist at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii, said in a statement.


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Weird Dinosaur Species Had Teeth Only in Youth

By the time they were 3 years old, ostrich-like dinosaurs called Limusaurus inextricabilis had lost all of their pointy teeth, and lived the rest of their lives as toothless beasts, a new study finds. The finding is based on years of research, said study co-author James Clark, a professor of biology at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. From 2001 to 2011, he and study co-author Xu Xing, a scientist at the Key Laboratory of Vertebrate Evolution and Human Origins at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, periodically traveled to the far western Gobi Desert to excavate fossils from the Jurassic-age Shishugou Formation.


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Harbor Near Ancient Corinth Turned It Into a Trading Hotspot

When nautical visitors sailed into the ancient Grecian city of Lechaion, they would have first encountered a monumental entrance leading to several inland canals, all of which were connected to no fewer than four harbor basins, Greek and Danish archaeologists reported in an announcement last week. These findings, discovered by underwater divers over the course of three excavation seasons, indicate that Lechaion — one of two harbor towns used by the people of ancient Corinth — was a far more important town than historians previously realized, the researchers said. During the excavations, the researchers did topographical and geophysical surveys to help them chart the canal zone between the inner and outer harbors, said Bjørn Lovén, the co-director of the Lechaion Harbour Project and an associate professor of archaeology at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.


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Magnetic Supersense Could Inspire Ultrasensitive Prosthetic Limbs

Robots that are capable of "feeling" their way around the world, thanks to hairy electronic skin, could be one step closer to reality, according to a new study. Teensy electronic hairs, which sense minute vibrations through changes in their magnetic field, not only give robots a supersense of touch, but could also give people with prosthetic limbs a better feel for their surroundings, the researchers said. "We are interested in integrating the sensor into robotic arms for people with disabilities to give them the capability to feel a complex environment and handle things more easily," said study co-author Lifeng Hao, a researcher at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China.


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CRISPR 'Kill' Switch Could Make Human Gene Editing Safer

A weapon that viruses use in their neverending war with bacteria could be used to turn off the world’s most powerful gene-editing tool. "It's just basically a single protein that we can make in the cell or deliver to the cell that will turn off Cas9, [and] stop it from binding and cutting DNA," said study author Joseph Bondy-Denomy, a microbiologist at the University of California, San Francisco. When a virus infiltrates a bacterial cell, the bacteria mobilize a sequence of DNA, called CRISPR, or  "clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats." The DNA consists of short blocks of repeating base pairs separated by spacer DNA.


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One Breath Into This Breathalyzer Can Diagnose 17 Diseases

A single breath into a newfangled breathalyzer is all doctors need to diagnose 17 different diseases, including lung cancer, irritable bowel syndrome and multiple sclerosis, a new study found. The breathalyzer could identify each person's disease with 86 percent accuracy, the researchers said. The technology works because "each disease has its own unique breathprint," the researchers wrote in the study.


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This Brainless Blob Learns — and Teaches, Too

New research finds that slime molds, goopy and rather uncharismatic organisms that lack a nervous system, can adapt to a repulsive stimulus and then pass on that adaptation by fusing with one another. The research suggests that learning may predate the evolution of the nervous system, Toulouse University researchers David Vogel and Audrey Dussutour wrote Dec. 21 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Slime molds are truly bizarre.


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