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It's not disputed that long necked sauropod dinosaurs were the largest land animals ever to walk the Earth, but why they got so large is a debate.

Was it the nature of the food they ate?  While that was considered, skepticism remained.  But a group of researchers now argues that the plant ecologists from South Africa who suggested a plant food cause for big dinosaurs were onto something; but scientists confused two different issues in thinking about this problem; namely how much energy is in the plant with how much nitrogen is in the plant – the South African ideas were based on nitrogen content not the total energy in the plant food. 

Drs. David Wilkinson and Graeme Ruxton of  
Liverpool John Moores University

Why do people think that a $25 flu shot is more likely to still have them getting the flu than a $125 flu shot?

It isn't that they think a $25 flu shot is less effective, it's that they worried they had a greater need for it because the cost is low.  Yes, the flu is perceived as more of a threat from an illness because the vaccine is cheap and not that some company is just charging a lot more when they can.

Emotion can help us recognize words more quickly, just like the context of a sentence can. But a new paper about the role of emotion in word recognition memory says we do not remember emotionally intoned speech as accurately as neutral speech - and if we do remember the words, they have acquired an emotional value.

Words spoken with a sad voice are more negative. In anger, sadness, exhilaration or fear, speech takes on an urgency that is lacking from its normal even-tempered form - louder or softer, more hurried or delayed, etc. This emotional speech immediately captures a listener's attention and so Annett Schirmer and colleagues from the National University of Singapore looked at whether emotion has a lasting effect on word memory.

Rose madder, a natural plant dye once prized throughout the Old World to make fiery red textiles, might be cool once again. 

Chemists have developed a non-toxic and sustainable lithium-ion battery powered by purpurin, a dye extracted from the roots of the madder plant (Rubia species).

Over 3,500 years ago, civilizations in Asia and the Middle East first boiled madder roots to dye fabrics in orange, pink and red but the climbing herb might also lay the foundation for an eco-friendly alternative to traditional lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries in the 21st century.  Lithium-ion batteries are great for consumers but costs to the environment for production, recycling and disposal are high.

A gel similar to the amino acid that enables mussels to resist the power of churning water can be painted onto the walls of blood vessels and stay put, forming a protective barrier with potentially life-saving benefits. 

Mussels have a knack for clinging to rocks, piers and boat hulls and now have inspired a gel that
can withstand the flow of blood through arteries and veins. 

Sliman Bensmaia, PhD, assistant professor of organismal biology aat the University of Chicago, studies the neural basis of tactile perception -  how our hands convey this information to the brain. In a new study, he and colleagues found that the timing and frequency of vibrations produced in the skin when you run your hands along a surface, like searching a wall for a light switch, plays an important role in how we use our sense of touch to gather information about the objects and surfaces around us.