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A New Way to Dispose of Corpses with Chemistry

8 April 2018 - 8:43am
Hayley Campbell, Wired
The Resomator stands monolithic in the corner of a room on the ground floor of a building at UCLA. It's as sterile as a hospital in here, but every patient is already dead. This is the penultimate stage of their time under the care of Dean Fisher, director of the Donated Body Program at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine.
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Huge Ancient Drawings Found in Peruvian Desert

8 April 2018 - 8:43am
Michael Greshko, Nat Geo
Etched into the high desert of southern Peru more than a millennium ago, the enigmatic Nasca lines continue to capture our imagination. More than a thousand of these geoglyphs (literally, 'ground drawings') sprawl across the sandy soil of Nasca province, the remains of little-understood ritual practices that may have been connected to life-giving rain.
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Neutrinos May Be Significant Part of Dark Matter

8 April 2018 - 8:43am
Ian McCarthy, The Conversation
Physicists trying to understand the fundamental structure of nature rely on consistent theoretical frameworks that can explain what we see and simultaneously make predictions that we can test. On the smallest scale of elementary particles, the standard model of particle physics provides the basis of our understanding.
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Brain Implant May Help Us Compete with A.I.

8 April 2018 - 8:42am
Kiki Sanford, Nautilus
Solar-powered self-driving cars, reusable space ships, Hyperloop transportation, a mission to colonize Mars: Elon Musk is hell-bent on turning these once-far-fetched fantasies into reality. But none of these technologies has made him as leery as artificial intelligence. At Code Conference 2016, Musk stated publicly that given the current rate of A.I. advancement, humans could ultimately expect to be left behindcognitively, intellectuallyby a lot.
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Is the Placebo Effect Genetic?

8 April 2018 - 8:42am
Ben Locwin, Genetic Literacy Project
Observed since the start of medical practice in ancient history, the placebo effect refers to the response people have to being treated even though the 'treatment' in the placebo sense is a sham (in most cases dummy tablets, capsules, and the like made to look like an actual drug therapy).
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The Tale of an Experiment that 'Proved' Relativity Wrong

8 April 2018 - 8:42am
Brian Koberlein, Forbes
Yesterday a gentleman posted a comment on an article I wrote about the luminiferous aether. For those who aren't familiar, the aether was an idea proposed in the 1800s to explain how light can travel through empty space. Several experiments trying to observe the aether were performed in the late 1800s, but weren't successful.
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Would You Give the Government Your Genome?

8 April 2018 - 8:42am
Allison Eck, PBS NOVA
Estonia, a former Soviet territory nestled in the Baltic region between Latvia and Russia, has become the first nation to provide state-sponsored genetic testing and adviceto 100,000 of its 1.3 million residents. Government knowledge of citizens' DNA architecture may sound like a scary prospectbut it's a complicated issue.
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The Psychology of Losing Your Religion

8 April 2018 - 8:41am
Christian Jarrett, Research Digest
For many, their religion is a core part of their identity, the meaning they find in life, and their social world. It seems likely that changing this crucial aspect of themselves will have significant psychological consequences. A devout person would probably predict these will be unwelcome increased emotional distress, isolation and waywardness.
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Clean Mice Could Be Ruining Research

8 April 2018 - 8:41am
Cassandra Willyard, Nature News
On an unseasonably warm February morning, Mark Pierson takes a 20-minute drive to one of Minneapolis's larger pet shops. Pierson, a researcher in an immunology laboratory at the University of Minnesota, often comes here to buy mice, so most of the staff know him. Today he asks for ten, and an employee fishes them out of a glass box.
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We Are Naive About Naive T Cells

8 April 2018 - 8:40am
Borghans, van Wijk, & van den Broek, The Scientist
The immune system is known for its ability to remember its response to pathogens, leading to more efficient clearance of the same pathogen upon reinfection. This immunological memory forms the basis of one of the most important medical achievements: infection prevention through vaccination.
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Homo Naledi May Not Have Buried Its Dead

8 April 2018 - 8:39am
Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica
Every human culture has a special way of laying its dead to rest. Some cremate the remains, some lay them beneath the open sky, and others place them in the ground. Regardless of its form, that final ritual implies an understanding of our own mortality, one of the things that seems to clearly set humans apart from other animals.
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Lift Heavy Things to Solve Back Pain

8 April 2018 - 8:38am
Fiona Wilson, The Conversation
Most people think that the human spine is one of evolution's great flaws. After all, around 80% of adults suffer from lower-back pain. What more evidence do you need? The truth is, the spine is a robust structure. We're just using it incorrectly.Everybody knows that you put your back out if you lift objects that are too heavy. As a result, many workplaces have introduced lifting training and ergonomic equipment, such as hoists, in an effort to reduce back injuries.
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Why Noah's Flood Never Happened

6 April 2018 - 10:53pm
Lorence Collins, Skeptical Inquirer
Young-Earth creationists claim that the Paleozoic sedimentary rocks in the Grand Canyon and the Mesozoic sedimentary rocks of the Grand Staircase north of the canyon, in which Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks occur, were deposited during Noah's worldwide flood about 4,500 years ago (Hill 2002; Hill and Moshier 2009).
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The Scientific Paper Is Obsolete

6 April 2018 - 10:48pm
James Somers, The Atlantic
The scientific paperthe actual form of itwas one of the enabling inventions of modernity. Before it was developed in the 1600s, results were communicated privately in letters, ephemerally in lectures, or all at once in books. There was no public forum for incremental advances.
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Do You Weigh More at the Equator or at the North Pole?

6 April 2018 - 10:47pm
Rhett Allain, Wired
It's tough being a parent. Sometimes I try to help my kids with their physics homework because I like to pretend that I'm sort of OK with physics. Recently, my daughter wanted me to check her answer for this question.
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The Drake Equation Is Broken. Here's How to Fix It

6 April 2018 - 10:47pm
Ethan Siegel, Forbes
In 1961, scientist Frank Drake wrote down a simple-looking equation for estimating the number of active, technologically-advanced, communicating civilizations in the Milky Way. From first principles, there was no good way to simply estimate a number, but Drake had the brilliant idea of writing down a large number of parameters that could be estimated, which you would then multiply together.
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The Platypus is Even Weirder Than You Thought

6 April 2018 - 10:47pm
James MacDonald, JSTOR Daily
Platypuses. They're weird. But according to new research they might actually be lifesavers; proteins in their milk have potential to be a new and powerful antibiotic. The potential value comes from the sheer weirdness of the milk proteins; they are unlike any other on Earth. In fact, platypuses are so unusual that it took taxonomists more than eighty years just to decide what they are.
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What Does Any Part of the Brain Do?

11 March 2018 - 8:45am
Neuroskeptic, Discover
How can we know the function of a region of the brain? Have we been approaching the problem in the wrong way? An interesting new paper from German neuroscientists Sarah Genon and colleagues explores these questions.
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Are Humans Genetically Loaded for Extinction?

11 March 2018 - 8:44am
Andrew Porterfield, GLP
We humans have come a long way in the past 100,000 years. We've developed more complex societies, vastly increased our populations, literally taken over the world (and may have mated with a few Neanderthals along the way). Our genomes also have changed a lot over that time. Does that mean, evolutionarily, we're in for big trouble?
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Superconductors vs. Black Hole Information Paradox

11 March 2018 - 8:44am
Emily Conover, SciNews
Insights into a black hole paradox may come from a down-to-Earth source.Superconductors, materials through which electrons can move without freely without resistance, may share some of the physics of black holes, physicist Sreenath Kizhakkumpurath Manikandan of the University of Rochester in New York reported March 7 at a meeting of the American Physical Society. The analogy between the two objects could help scientists understand what happens to information that gets swallowed up in a black hole's abyss.
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