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Lab Daily

Weird Fossils Confirmed as Distant Cousins

October 16, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Adelaide | News | Comments

More than 100 years since they were first discovered, some of the world's most bizarre fossils have been identified as distant relatives of humans. The fossils belong to 500-million-year-old blind water creatures. Alien-like in appearance, they were filter-feeders shaped like a figure eight. Their strange anatomy has meant that no one has been able to place them accurately on the tree of life, until now.

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Today in Lab History: Anesthetic Demonstrated

October 16, 2014 7:00 am | by Today in Science History | News | Comments

On Oct. 16, 1846, American dentist, William T.G. Morton made the first public demonstration of the administration of ether anesthetic, which the patient inhaled from a blown glass flask, during an operation performed by John Collins Warren at Massachusetts General Hospital.

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Materials Make ‘Warmer’ LEDs

October 16, 2014 7:00 am | by ACS | News | Comments

Researchers have designed a family of materials to make LEDs that don’t include rare earths but instead are made out of copper iodide, which is an abundant compound. They tuned them to glow a warm white shade or various other colors using a low-cost solution process.

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Extinct Roos were Made for Walking

October 16, 2014 7:00 am | by Brown Univ. | News | Comments

A new paper posits that the Pleistocene members of the now-extinct family of sthenurine kangaroos were likely bipedal walkers. The scientists make their case based on a rigorous statistical and biomechanical analysis of the bones of sthenurines and other kangaroos past and present.

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Polyunsaturated Oil is a Healthier Option

October 16, 2014 7:00 am | by American Heart Association | News | Comments

Short-term modest weight gains in healthy, normal weight young adults was associated with more bad cholesterol levels in those who ate muffins cooked using saturated oil. However, individuals in the same study who ate muffins made with polyunsaturated oils had improved blood cholesterol profiles.

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Light Pollution Harms Fledglings

October 16, 2014 7:00 am | by PLOS | News | Comments

Turning street lights off decreases the number of grounded fledglings, according to a study. Thousands of birds are attracted to lights– sometimes referred to as light-pollution– every year worldwide during their first flights from their nests to the open ocean, a phenomenon called “fallout.”

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EPA OKs Weed Killer for GM Crops

October 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Mary Jalonick | News | Comments

The EPA has approved a new version of a popular weed killer to be used on genetically modified corn and soybeans. The EPA says that it will allow the use of a 2,4-D weed killer called Enlist Duo.

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Birds’ Wings Collapse to Counter Turbulence

October 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Oxford | News | Comments

Collapsible wings may be a bird's answer to turbulence, according to a study in which an eagle carried its own “black box” flight recorder on its back.

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Lake Erie Increasingly Susceptible to Blooms

October 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Michigan | News | Comments

Lake Erie has become increasingly susceptible to large blooms of toxin-producing cyanobacteria since 2002, potentially complicating efforts to rein in the problem in the wake of this year's Toledo drinking water crisis.

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Facebook, Apple to Pay for Employee Fertility Treatments

October 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Barbara Ortutay | News | Comments

Facebook and Apple will now give up to $20,000 in benefits to help employees pay for infertility treatments, sperm donors and even to freeze their eggs. The move comes amid stiff competition for skilled engineers, and as many of the biggest firms try to diversify their male-dominated ranks to include and appeal to more women.

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Nurses Cite Bad Planning in Ebola Spread

October 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Matt Sedensky, Martha Mendoza | News | Comments

An Ebola patient was left in an open area of an emergency room for hours, and nurses treating him worked without proper protective gear and faced constantly changing protocols, according to a statement released by the largest nurses' union. Among those nurses was Nina Pham, who now has Ebola. The CDC has said some breach of protocol probably sickened Pham, but the union says protocols were either non-existent or changing constantly.

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Cigarette Ash Finds Use as Water Cleaner

October 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by ACS | News | Comments

Arsenic, a well-known poison, can be taken out of drinking water using sophisticated treatment methods. Now, scientists have come up with a new low-cost, simple way to remove arsenic using leftovers from another known health threat— cigarettes.

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'Breathalyzer' May Help Monitor Dolphin Health

October 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by ACS | News | Comments

Alcohol consumption isn't the only thing a breath analysis can reveal. Scientists have been studying its possible use for diagnosing a wide range of conditions in humans— and now in the beloved bottlenose dolphin.

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Time in Orphanage Linked to Thinner Brain Tissue

October 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Washington | News | Comments

Children who began life in overcrowded orphanages with bleak conditions and minimal human contact show that early childhood neglect is associated with changes in brain structure. New research has found that children who spent their early years in these institutions have thinner brain tissue in cortical areas that correspond to impulse control and attention.

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Brighter, Energy-saving Flat Lights Based on Nanotubes

October 15, 2014 7:00 am | by American Institute of Physics | News | Comments

Electronics based on carbon, especially carbon nanotubes, are emerging as successors to silicon for making semiconductor materials. They may enable a new generation of brighter, low-power, low-cost lighting devices that could challenge the dominance of LEDs in the future and help meet society's ever-escalating demand for greener bulbs.

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