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Showing posts from February 9, 2017

Genetic study may make ancient Incas quinoa a grain of the future

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Quinoa, the sacred "mother grain" of the ancient Inca civilization suppressed by Spanish conquistadors, could become an increasingly important food source in the future thanks to genetic secrets revealed in a new study. Scientists on Wednesday said they have mapped the genome of quinoa and identified a gene that could be manipulated to get rid of the grain's natural bitter taste and pave the way for more widespread commercial use. Quinoa (pronounced KIN-wah) already grows well in harsh conditions such as salty and low-quality soil, high elevations and cool temperatures, meaning it can flourish in locales where common cereal crops like wheat and rice may struggle.


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E-Cig Risk: Teens Who Vape More Likely to Start Smoking Tobacco

Teens who "vape" in high school are at increased risk for using tobacco cigarettes in the future, a new study found. The study discovered that teens who use electronic cigarettes, a practice also referred to as vaping, in the 12th grade were four times more likely to start smoking tobacco cigarettes within the next year, compared with teens who didn't vape in the 12th grade. The findings "contribute to the growing body of evidence supporting vaping as a 'one-way bridge' to cigarette smoking among youth," the researchers wrote in their study, published online today (Feb. 7) in the journal Tobacco Control.


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Heavy Lifting at Work Linked to Decreased Fertility in Women

Heavy lifting at work may take a toll on women's fertility, a new study suggests. In the study, which involved women undergoing fertility treatment, lifting or moving heavy things at work was linked with a reduction in biological markers of fertility. "Our study suggests that women who are planning pregnancy should be cognizant of the potential negative impacts that non-day shift and heavy lifting could have on their reproductive health," study co-author Lidia Mínguez-Alarcón, a research fellow in the Department of Environmental Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, said in a statement.


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Male Contraceptive 'Hydrogel' Passes Test in Rhesus Monkeys

A new type of male contraceptive that blocks the flow of sperm effectively prevented pregnancy in female monkeys, a new study finds. The success of the contraceptive procedure in male monkeys means that human men may be up next in clinical trials, the researchers said in a statement.


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12th Dead Sea Scrolls Cave Found in Israel

A cave that held Dead Sea Scrolls before they were stolen in the mid-20th century has been discovered near Qumran. Inside the cave, archaeologists found a blank scroll along with the remains of jars, cloth and a leather strap. The researchers said they believe these items were used to bind, wrap and hold the scrolls.


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Swedish statistician and 'edutainer' Hans Rosling dies

By Johan Ahlander and Niklas Pollard STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Swedish academic Hans Rosling, a doctor and statistician who captured a worldwide audience with his witty style and original thinking on topics like population growth and development, has died at the age of 68. With humor, lively graphics and an impassioned rhetorical style, Rosling used forums like online TED talks to influence public debate. The Gapminder foundation, a self-styled "fact tank" he co-founded to fight misconceptions about global development, said in a statement that Rosling had died on Tuesday, a year after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.


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