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Lab Daily

Malaria is Shaping the Human Genome

October 16, 2014 7:00 am | by The Univ. of Western Australia | News | Comments

For millennia, malaria has been a major killer of children in Africa and other parts of the world. In doing so, it has been a major force of evolutionary selection on the human genome.

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Changing Your Gait Can Change Your Mood

October 16, 2014 7:00 am | by Canadian Institute for Advanced Research | News | Comments

Our mood can affect how we walk— slump-shouldered if we're sad, bouncing along if we're happy. Now, researchers have shown it works the other way too— making people imitate a happy or sad way of walking actually affects their mood.

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Milky Way Ransacks Nearby Galaxies, Steals Star-forming Gas

October 16, 2014 7:00 am | by National Radio Astronomy Observatory | News | Comments

Astronomers have discovered that our nearest galactic neighbors— the dwarf spheroidal galaxies— are devoid of star-forming gas, and that our Milky Way Galaxy is to blame. New radio observations reveal that within a well-defined boundary around our Galaxy, dwarf galaxies are completely devoid of hydrogen gas; beyond this point, dwarf galaxies are teeming with star-forming material.

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Chimpanzees Have Favorite Tools for Hunting Food

October 16, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Cambridge | Videos | Comments

West African chimpanzees will search far and wide to find Alchornea hirtella, a spindly shrub whose straight shoots provide the ideal tools to hunt aggressive army ants in an ingenious fashion. The plant provides the animals with two different types of tool, a thicker shoot for digging and a more slender tool for dipping.

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Scientist of the Week: Calvin Miller

October 16, 2014 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | News | Comments

Calvin Miller and a team studying in Iceland found that conditions on Earth for the first 500 million years after it formed may have been surprisingly similar to the present day, not a hellscape as thought.

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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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