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Jena's Roots In The Tree Of Life

Ernst Haeckel created the first phylogenetic ‘tree of life’ of organisms 150 years ago in Jena...

Australopithecus Afarensis: ‘Lucy’ Was A Tree Climber?

Evidence preserved in the internal skeletal structure of the famous Lucy fossil ( Australopithecus...

No Evidence For Age-based Mammography Cut-Off

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Neanderthals: Not So Dumb

Neanderthals modified their survival strategies even without external influences like environmental...

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Probiotics are the miracle product of the decade because of the belief they can help cultivate “intestinal flora”, whatever that is supposed to mean.  It's a $32 billion industry by 2014 but there is one species that scientists can confirm have a benefit - zebrafish.

The Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology found that feeding probiotics to baby zebrafish accelerated their development and increased their chances of survival into adulthood.


We can read words and phrases and even solve multi-step mathematical problems without conscious awareness, say a team of psychologists at the Hebrew University.

They conducted experiments which they say constitutes a challenge to existing ideas of unconscious processes; namely that reading and solving math problems, complex, rule-based operations, require consciousness. 

Two NASA satellites,  Terra and the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) , gathered data as a Super Typhoon passed over Bopha on Dec. 2nd, gathering valuable data for forecasters. Since then, Bopha's maximum sustained winds fluctuated up and down from its previous high of 155 mph and today, Dec. 3rd, the storm reached its strongest point - a Category 5 typhoon on the Saffir-Simpson scale, with sustained winds of 161 mph. Warnings are up for the Philippines as Bopha approaches.

Terra captured a visible image of Bopha showing the extent of the storm and revealing the eye of the storm while TRMM captured rainfall rates, identified areas of heavy rainfall, and measured cloud heights.


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.