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If you are in the Western world, you likely know the tale of the Three Wise Men who brought gifts for the baby Jesus. The value of gold is still obvious today, but while people have heard of myrrh and frankincense, most don't know what they were for, or why anyone would bring them all that distance to give to a newborn.

Frankincense and myrrh are fragrances that were quite valuable at the time and just as impractical for a baby as gold - but they are also still big business today, though not quite as valuable as gold. Just in Ethiopia, frankincense is a 4,000 ton per year industry. One Boswellia papyrifera tree from which the resin for frankincense is harvested will typically yield about 200g per year.


 A report based on in vitro tests comparing the digestion of fresh human breast milk and nine different infant formulas found that free fatty acids created during the digestion of infant formula cause cellular death that may contribute to necrotizing enterocolitis, a severe intestinal condition that is often fatal and occurs most commonly in premature infants.


Experimental evidence by psychologists concludes that the negative effects of playing violent video games can accumulate over time.

The psychologists found that people who played a violent video game for three consecutive days showed increases in aggressive behavior and hostile expectations each day they played. Those who played nonviolent games showed no meaningful changes in aggression or hostile expectations over that period.

Other experimental efforts have shown that a single session of playing a violent video game increased short-term aggression but this is the first to show longer-term effects, according to Brad Bushman, co-author of the study and professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University.


Facial transplantation has ushered in a new era of craniofacial surgery but already surgeons are pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved. 

Most candidates for facial transplant have loss of soft tissues only, like skin, muscle, blood vessels, and nerves.  Although still a rare and relatively new procedure, facial transplantation now offers a reconstructive option for patients with severe facial deficits and so doctors are creating a roadmap for work on patients with extensive facial defects, including loss of the normal bone and soft tissue landmarks. 'Reverse craniofacial planning' approach can restore normal facial relationships.


Just because you can buy something doesn't mean it works. You can buy a home gym, for example, but it won't make you thin. However, there are some things you can buy that won't work even if you actually try to achieve a result.

You buy devices that control pests using ultrasonic frequencies - they are purported to work for mosquitoes, cockroaches, ants and now there are new versions targeting bed bugs, since those were in the news a lot.

A new paper reports the results of tests of four commercially available electronic pest repellent devices designed to repel insect and mammalian pests by using sound. 


In the constellation Taurus, astronomers have found the youngest still-forming solar system yet seen - an infant star called  L1527 IRS, surrounded by a swirling disk of dust and gas 450 light-years from Earth.

The star only has about one-fifth the mass of the Sun, but will likely pull in material from its surroundings and eventually match the Sun's mass. The disk surrounding the young star contains at least enough mass to make seven Jupiters, the largest planet in our Solar System.