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The Lead

Does Sperm Harpoon the Egg?

August 27, 2015 | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

Spiky filaments at the head of sperm cells may lash together, effectively allowing the swimming cells to harpoon an egg to facilitate fertilization. The new find could be a revelation in a fundamental process of life that is 14 years in the making.

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Study: Cold Weather Associated With Higher Risk of Severe Heart Attack

August 31, 2015 10:28 am | by European Society of Cardiology | Comments

Cold weather is associated with a higher risk of severe heart attack. The six year study found that each 10 C drop in temperature was associated with a 7% increased risk of ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the most severe form of heart attack.

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New 'Tissue Velcro' Could Help Repair Damaged Hearts

August 31, 2015 10:21 am | by University of Toronto | Comments

Engineers just made assembling functional heart tissue as easy as fastening your shoes. The team has created a biocompatible scaffold that allows sheets of beating heart cells to snap together just like Velcro.

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Tail as Old as Time: Researchers Trace Ankylosaur's Tail Evolution

August 31, 2015 10:09 am | by North Carolina State University | Comments

How did the ankylosaur get its tail club? According to research that traces the evolution of the ankylosaur's distinctive tail, the handle arrived first on the scene, and the knot at the end of the tail followed.

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Oliver Sacks, Neurologist and Writer, Dies at 82

August 31, 2015 10:05 am | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

Oliver Sacks, neurologist and writer, died on Sunday at age 82. Sacks cataloged the disease and diversity of human beings to respond to it over decades – and he again entered the public eye as he wrote about his own encounter with terminal cancer – conveying a simple sense of gratitude for life in a much-heralded New York Times piece.

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Food May Be Addictive

August 31, 2015 7:00 am | by European College of Neuropsychopharmacology | Comments

An international group of researchers have found that food craving activates different brain networks between obese and normal weight patients. This indicates that the tendency to want food may be “hard-wired” into the brain of overweight patients, becoming a functional brain biomarker.

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One Dose of Cocaine Alters Perception of Emotions

August 31, 2015 7:00 am | by European College of Neuropsychopharmacology | Comments

In a study, researchers took 24 students with light to moderate cocaine use, and gave them either 300 mg of oral cocaine, or a placebo. After one to two hours, each participant was then subject to a series of biochemical tests, as well as the facial emotion recognition test to measure response to a series of basic emotions. The subjects who took cocaine found it more difficult to recognize negative emotions.

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Laughs from Lab: August 31, 2015

August 31, 2015 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | Comments

The editors of Laboratory Equipment want you to start your week with a smile on your face. So, here’s a science joke you might like. Q: Why did hydrogen marry carbon?

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Raw Oysters Harbor Norovirus, Say Scientists – But Seafood Experts Shrug

August 28, 2015 2:24 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

Oysters serve as a major reservoir for noroviruses– the raw ones should be avoided, according to a new study. But seafood industry experts say the shellfish danger is overstated.

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Gut Microbes Play Role in Fish Oil Benefits

August 28, 2015 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Gothenburg | Comments

Diets rich in fish oil versus diets rich in lard produce very different bacteria in the guts of mice, reports a study. The researchers transferred these microbes into other mice to see how they affected health. The results suggest that gut bacteria share some of the responsibility for the beneficial effects of fish oil and the harmful effects of lard.

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Ignore TV: CPR Isn't a Surefire Lifesaver

August 28, 2015 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Southern California Davis School of Gerontology | Comments

A study found that two popular medical dramas show cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) successfully saving a “patient’s” life in nearly 70 percent of the scenes in which it was used. Half of the fictional patients who received CPR made enough of a recovery to eventually leave the hospital. That’s almost double the actual immediate survival rate of less than 37 percent and four times the real long-term survival rate of roughly 13 percent.

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There's More to Man than We Realize

August 28, 2015 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Pittsburgh | Comments

Among the many things that science is, it is a system of categorization. The human fossil record is rather poorly categorized, contends a professor, leading to a narrow view of what he believes to be a more complex and expansive evolutionary history than most anthropologists recognize.

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Laboratory Study Mimics Blast-induced Brain Trauma

August 28, 2015 2:00 pm | by Purdue Univ. | Comments

Researchers have developed a procedure to mimic in laboratory experiments a form of brain trauma commonly seen in combat veterans, and findings suggest a new diagnostic tool for early detection and a potential treatment.

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How Rain Cleans the Atmosphere

August 28, 2015 2:00 pm | by MIT, Jennifer Chu | Comments

As a raindrop falls through the atmosphere, it can attract tens to hundreds of tiny aerosol particles to its surface before hitting the ground. Now, atmospheric chemists have determined just how effective rain is in cleaning the atmosphere. Given the altitude of a cloud, the size of its droplets and the diameter and concentration of aerosols, the team can predict the likelihood that a raindrop will sweep a particle out of the atmosphere.

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Buzz Aldrin Goes to Florida Tech, Unveils Mars ‘Master Plan’

August 28, 2015 10:38 am | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | Comments

Buzz Aldrin has gone where no man had gone before, he’s gotten a doctorate, he’s a universally loved American icon and a star of Twitter and TV. Now, at 85, he’s starting a new adventure– in Florida.

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Method Enables Design of Hybrid Glasses, Revolutionizes Gas Storage

August 28, 2015 8:41 am | by Univ. of Cambridge | Comments

A new method of manufacturing glass could lead to the production of “designer glasses” with applications in advanced photonics, while also facilitating industrial scale carbon capture and storage. An international team of researchers has reported how they have managed to use a relatively new family of sponge-like porous materials to develop new hybrid glasses.

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