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UCL (University College London) scientists studying face recognition in identical twins say the essential skill is largely determined by our genetics. Published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study found that identical twins were twice as similar to each other in terms of their ability to recognize faces, compared to non-identical twins.

Researchers also found that the genetic effects that allow people to recognize faces are linked to a highly specific mechanism in the brain, unrelated to other brain processes such as the ability to recognize words or abstract art.
Writing in the Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences, Harvard University researchers say they have demonstrated that simple changes in beak length and depth can explain the important morphological diversity of all beak shapes within the famous genus Geospiza. Broadly, the work suggests that a few, simple mathematical rules may be responsible for complicated biological adaptations.

Using digitization techniques, researchers found that 14 distinct beak shapes, that at first glance look unrelated, could be categorized into three broader, group shapes. Despite the striking variety of sizes and shapes, mathematically, the beaks within a particular group only differ by their scales.
New research from the University of California, Berkeley, suggest that a biphasic sleep schedule, sleeping several times a day, not only refreshes the mind, but can also make us smarter.

Conversely, the more hours we spend awake, the more sluggish our minds become, according to the findings. The results support previous data from the same research team that pulling an all-nighter – a common practice at college during midterms and finals –- decreases the ability to cram in new facts by nearly 40 percent, due to a shutdown of brain regions during sleep deprivation. 

The results were presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in San Diego.
Scientists from the University of Washington sent to collect seismic data and evaluate damage from the devastating magnitude-7 earthquake that struck Haiti have recently released a report documenting their results. The team  of civil and environmental engineers says that mass poverty, density of population and lack of building codes were responsible for the widespread devastation.

A survey of 107 buildings in a heavily damaged part of downtown Port-au-Prince found that 28 percent had collapsed and a third will require repairs. A survey of 52 buildings in nearby Léogâne found that more than 90 percent had either collapsed or will require repairs. The report indicates that many of the damaged structures will have to be destroyed and rebuilt.
Archaeological excavations conducted by researchers at Hebrew University of Jerusalem have revealed a section of an ancient city wall of Jerusalem possibly built by King Solomon during the tenth century B.C.E.

The section of the city wall revealed is 70 meters long and six meters high and located in the area known as the Ophel, between the City of David and the southern wall of the Temple Mount.

Uncovered in the city wall complex are: an inner gatehouse for access into the royal quarter of the city, a royal structure adjacent to the gatehouse, and a corner tower that overlooks a substantial section of the adjacent Kidron valley.
A new study by researchers at Indiana University suggests that there may be a link between the number of 'alcohol sales sites' in a neighborhood and the amount of violence that neighborhood experiences. The higher the former, the higher the latter, researchers say. The study also claims that the highest assault rates are associated with carry-out sites selling alcohol for off-premise consumption. The findings were released yesterday and presented as part of the Feb. 18-22 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Diego, Calif.