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Sunday, December 8, 2019
Scientists discover simply 2 afflict pressures erased 30%-60% of Europe

Scientists discover simply 2 afflict pressures erased 30%-60% of Europe

Enlarge / Remains of human plague victims in a mass grave in Toulouse, France, dating back to the Black Death period. The Black Death ravaged medieval Western Europe, wiping out roughly one-third of the population. Now researchers have traced the genetic history of the bacterium believed to be behind the plague in a recent paper…
Single response mix can produce all 4 RNA bases

Single response mix can produce all 4 RNA bases

Simple chemicals can grow complex pretty quickly. There's a strong consensus that life on Earth got its start through RNA, a close chemical sibling of DNA. Over the last few decades, researchers have described how individual RNA bases can spontaneously polymerize, forming longer chains that could ultimately catalyze key chemical reactions, including building even longer…
Cubed wombat poop, why your left nut runs hot, amongst Ig Nobel winners

Cubed wombat poop, why your left nut runs hot, amongst Ig...

Enlarge / A "Moment of Science" in the 2017 Ig Nobel ceremony: Daniel Davis faces a Tesla coil. Mike Binveniste/Improbable Research Over the years, curious intrepid scientists have gleaned insight into why the wombat's poo is cube-shaped, explored the magnetic properties of living and dead cockroaches, and determined that a man's left testicle really does…
The genes of sexual preference have to do with as complicated as sexual preference

The genes of sexual preference have to do with as complicated...

Enlarge / A scene from the Copenhagen Pride Parade. Ole Jensen/Getty Images Homosexuality is widespread among animals, and it's present in every culture we've looked at. All of which suggests that it's in some way innate to the human species. But figuring out what "innate" means is a real challenge when it comes to a…
Elon Musk’s Neuralink: Both an advancement and a prepare for transformation

Elon Musk’s Neuralink: Both an advancement and a prepare for transformation

Elon Musk introduces the world to Neuralink Neuralink's magic will start with this small (4mm x 4mm) chip... ...which the company hopes to implant (along with its associated wiring) into the brain of patients/customers. When Elon Musk first started talking about launching a brain-computer interface company, he made a number of comments that set expectations…
Tiny tardigrades crash-landed on the Moon and most likely made it through

Tiny tardigrades crash-landed on the Moon and most likely made it...

Enlarge / SEM image of Milnesium tardigradum in active state. Totes adorbz. Tardigrades, more commonly known as "water bears," are microscopic creatures capable of surviving the harshest extreme conditions. In fact, they were the first animal to survive in the vacuum of space in 2007. Now, it seems, they might be ready to colonize the…
Transmittable cancer hasn’t done much over the last 4,000 years

Transmittable cancer hasn’t done much over the last 4,000 years

Enlarge / Does this dog look concerned because he realizes he can catch an infectious cancer? Cancer is a horrific disease, with its damage only limited by the fact that it only harms the individual in which it arises—except when it doesn't. In a few extremely rare cases, cancerous cells have evolved the ability to…
Safari traveler snaps might produce helpful preservation information

Safari traveler snaps might produce helpful preservation information

Enlarge / A pack of African wild dogs. Megan Claase Conservation efforts need data. To understand how a species is faring, it's essential to have information on roughly how many members of that species are living and where they're living. But this kind of information is fiendishly tricky and expensive to get. Wilderness areas cover…
When it pertains to ethical choices, testosterone does not appear to do much

When it pertains to ethical choices, testosterone does not appear to...

Enlarge / The trolley problem brought to (after) life. NBC The Trolley Problem is a staple of ethics courses and has even made its way into prime-time television. It's a problem because it forces people to decide between two options that are both considered highly ethical: not choosing to kill someone, and minimizing the total…
Zombifying fungi bypasses the brain to make ants its puppets, research study discovers

Zombifying fungi bypasses the brain to make ants its puppets, research...

Enlarge / A dead ant that has been taken over by a species of Cordyceps in the Rio Claro Reserve in Colombia. Pity the poor unsuspecting carpenter ant who unwittingly becomes infected with spores scattered by a parasitic fungus in the Cordyceps genus. The spores attach to the ant and germinate, spreading through the host's…

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