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The goal of science is to explain the world according to natural laws - and then sometimes to break those rules.

And there is no greater rule than that people age and die. 

But we mitigate and prevent life-threatening diseases and we have increased life spans in  a quest to find a metaphorical "Fountain of Youth."

Ponce de León thought it might literally be a spring, but biologists are searching a little deeper.  But they may still find it in St. Augustine some day - in the structure and function of cells within the palm.  

Celiac disease, defined as a 'chronic small intestinal immune-mediated enteropathy precipitated by exposure to dietary gluten in genetically predisposed individuals', affects about one percent of the population but occasional 'epidemics' have been noticed along with a seasonal variation in number of cases diagnosed. 

Sweden has noticed an "epidemic" of celiac disease in children below two years of age but since celiac disease is considered multifactorial not much is known about potential risk- or protecting factors. But Swedish researchers now say repeated infections early in life increase the risk for getting it.

Recently, more than 100 cosmologists, particle physicists and observational astrophysicists at least agreed that dark matter is important. Of course, you are not getting invited to a colloquium on dark matter sponsored by the University of Chicago and the National Academy of Sciences unless you have something positive to say about how close we are to detecting it.  

So where do things stand?

Archaeologist William Mills found a treasure-trove of carved stone pipes in southern Ohio a century ago - buried almost 2,000 years earlier.

The Native American site became famous as Tremper Mound. Mills said the pipes had been carved from local stone and that has been accepted to this day. 

But a new analysis spanning nearly a decade tested the stone pipes and pipestone from quarries across the upper Midwest, and concluded that those who buried the pipes in Tremper Mound got most of their pipestone, and perhaps even the finished, carved pipes, from Illinois.

While the overall population of Greece benefits from government services and doesn't want those to change, the people who pay the most also evade the most, says a paper.  If their estimates are accurate, at a tax rate of 40 percent the 28 billion Euros in unreported taxable income could be responsible for up to one-third of Greece's deficit in 2009 or almost 50 percent of the deficit in 2008, according to bank data on household borrowing, which finds that highly paid, highly educated professionals are at the forefront of tax evasion in Greece: doctors, engineers, accountants and lawyers. 

Mandating equality is difficult. 

Synchrotron-based imaging techniques of a 50 million-year-old lizard skin have identified the presence of teeth which are invisible to visible light, demonstrating for the first time that this fossil animal was more than just a skin moult. 

Researchers used Synchrotron Rapid Screening X-ray Fluorescence at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource in California to map the chemical make up of a rare fossil lizard skin - powerful x-rays enabled the team to map the presence of phosphorus from teeth in this ancient reptile.