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African Skeleton’s DNA Sheds Light on Human Origins

September 30, 2014 | by Garvan Institute of Medical Research | News | Comments

What can DNA from the skeleton of a man who lived 2,330 years ago in the southernmost tip of Africa tell us about ourselves as humans? A great deal when his DNA profile is one of the earliest diverged– oldest in genetic terms– found to date in a region where modern humans are believed to have originated roughly 200,000 years ago.

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Gov't Releases Drug Company Payments to Docs

September 30, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar | News | Comments

The Obama administration is releasing data on drug company payments to tens of thousands of individual doctors. The Open Payments program was intended to allow patients to easily look up their own doctors online. That function isn’t ready yet. Although the preliminary data released today is incomplete, it's expected to be useful for professional researchers.

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Populations Plummet for 3,000 Wild Species

September 30, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, John Heilprin | News | Comments

About 3,000 species of wildlife around the world have seen their numbers plummet far worse than previously thought, according to a new study by one of the world's biggest environmental groups. The study largely blamed human threats to nature for a 52 percent decline in wildlife populations between 1970 and 2010.

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Antioxidants May Lower Schizophrenia Risk

September 30, 2014 2:00 pm | by National Center of Competence in Research - Synapsy | News | Comments

In a new article, researchers have revealed that deficits related to schizophrenia can be corrected by protecting a specific group of vulnerable neurons from oxidative stress. The article has stirred major interest in the scientific and medical communities.

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Fat Influences Form, Function of Photosynthesis Protein

September 30, 2014 2:00 pm | by Purdue Univ. | News | Comments

A mysterious space within a protein critical to photosynthesis is filled with fat molecules that influence both the protein’s architecture and electrical properties, according to two recent studies.

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Nutritious Peanut Skins Can Be Incorporated into Butter

September 30, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Georgia | News | Comments

The U.S. grows about 3 million metric tons of peanuts per year and uses 60 percent of that amount to make nearly 1.2 billion pounds of peanut butter. Before the legumes are ground to a spreadable consistency, machines first shake off each peanut's thin, papery skin. A new study has found a way to incorporate peanut skins— which are high in antioxidants and dietary fiber— back into peanut butter.

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Researchers Model Shockwaves Through Brain

September 30, 2014 2:00 pm | by MIT, Jennifer Chu | News | Comments

Researchers have developed a scaling law that predicts a human’s risk of brain injury, based on previous studies of blasts’ effects on animal brains. The method may help the military develop more protective helmets, as well as aid clinicians in diagnosing traumatic brain injury— often referred to as the “invisible wounds” of battle.

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Plants Prepackage Useful Microbes in Seeds

September 30, 2014 2:00 pm | by American Society for Microbiology | News | Comments

Plants have a symbiotic relationship with certain bacteria. These “commensal” bacteria help the plants extract nutrients and defend against invaders. Now, scientists have discovered that plants may package their commensal bacteria inside of seeds; thus ensuring that sprouting plants are colonized from the beginning.

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Fingerprint in Biomolecules May Be from Early Sun

September 30, 2014 2:00 pm | by UC San Diego | News | Comments

Chemical fingerprints of the element nitrogen vary by extremes in materials from the molecules of life to the solar wind to interstellar dust. Ideas for how this great variety came about have included alien molecules shuttled in by icy comets from beyond our solar system and complex chemical scenarios. New experiments have shown that no extra-solar explanation is needed and the chemistry is straight forward.

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Young Women Don't Recognize Cervical Cancer Symptoms

September 30, 2014 7:00 am | by King’s College London | News | Comments

New research suggests that many women under 30 with cervical cancer are diagnosed more than three months after first having symptoms. In many cases, this is because they do not recognize the symptoms as serious.

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Blood Test Can ID Hay Fever

September 30, 2014 7:00 am | by The Univ. of Queensland | News | Comments

Researchers have developed a blood test that can accurately detect one of the commonest causes of hay fever, paving the way for new treatments. The research promises relief to the sufferers who endure the annual misery of sneezing, runny noses and itchy eyes when the pollen count climbs.

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Tobacco Firms Challenge Court Order

September 30, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Michael Felberbaum | News | Comments

The nation's largest tobacco companies are challenging court-ordered advertisements requiring the cigarette makers to say they lied about the dangers of smoking.

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Magnets Attract Dolphins

September 30, 2014 7:00 am | by Springer | News | Comments

Dolphins are sensitive to magnetic stimuli and they behave differently when swimming near magnetized objects. New research provides experimental behavioral proof that these marine animals are magnetoreceptive.

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Researchers Aim for 'Perfect' Solar Absorber

September 30, 2014 7:00 am | by MIT, David Chandler | News | Comments

The key to creating a material that would be ideal for converting solar energy to heat is tuning the material’s spectrum of absorption just right. It should absorb virtually all wavelengths of light that reach Earth’s surface from the sun— but not much of the rest of the spectrum, since that would increase the energy that is reradiated by the material, and thus lost to the conversion process.

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Ice Storm Babies Have DNA ‘Signatures’

September 30, 2014 7:00 am | by Douglas Mental Health Univ. Institute | News | Comments

The number of days an expectant mother was deprived of electricity during Quebec’s 1998 Ice Storm predicts the epigenetic profile of her child, a new study found. Scientists have detected a distinctive “signature” in the DNA of children born in the aftermath of the massive Quebec ice storm.

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Scientists Investigate Habitat of Listeria

September 30, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna | News | Comments

Listeria are extremely undemanding bacteria. In low amounts, they are present almost everywhere, including soil and water. In order to better understand how Listeria spread, a group of scientists collected soil and water samples throughout Austria. Their study revealed a higher detection of Listeria in soil and water samples during periods of flooding.

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