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In 1972, a term related to the parts of a genome sequence that don't have a known function was introduced. Like physicists with the 'God particle', a lot of biologists wish they could take back the term 'junk DNA' because it has been colloquialized to mean something different to the public than what it means biologically. Sometimes it just takes time to know what things do, if they do anything.  A 2004 Nature paper removed 'gene deserts' - 0.1% of the mouse genome - with no effect they could find.

It sounds as suspect as every other lie detector test, but psychologists have used thermography, a technique based on determining body temperature, to determine if someone is telling the truth.

They say a person telling a lie has been shown to undergo a "Pinocchio effect" - their nose changes. But it does not grow, instead they can detect an increase in the temperature around the nose and in the orbital muscle in the inner corner of the eye. Plus, they say when people exert a considerable mental effort the face temperature drops - and the opposite happens during an anxiety attack. 

If you can't afford heat during the ongoing economic malaise, there is some good news; psychology surveys show that students who think about happier times are warmer.

The results, published in Emotion, used college students in China and the Netherlands  to investigate the effects of nostalgic feelings on reaction to cold and the perception of warmth. 

Global carbon dioxide emission reductions that would be needed to limit global warming to 2°C aren't happening, according to new figures produced by the Global Carbon Project (GCP).

Global CO2 emissions have increased by 58% since 1990, they estimate, rising 3% in 2011, and 2.6% in 2012. The most recent figure is estimated from a 3.3% growth in global gross domestic product and a 0.7% improvement in the carbon intensity of the economy. They say the latest carbon dioxide emission estimates are at the high end of a range of emission scenarios, expanding the gap between current trends and the course of mitigation needed to keep global warming below 2°C.

Organophosphate pesticides were once commonly used in roach control and other applications but organiphosphates were originally developed as nerve-gas agents for chemical warfare. The human body converts organophosphate pesticides into altered forms called metabolites, and  organophosphates are toxic to the nervous system, known to cause memory and vision problems.

Neuroscientists think they have some insight for evolutionary biologists into how humans, and other mammals, have evolved to have intelligence. They say they have identified the moment in history when the genes that enabled us to think and reason evolved.

This point 500 million years ago provided our ability to learn complex skills, analyze situations and have flexibility in the way in which we think, says Professor Seth Grant of the University of Edinburgh, who led the research -  "One of the greatest scientific problems is to explain how intelligence and complex behaviours arose during evolution."