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Fossil Find Suggests Dinosaurs Crossed North America Before Extinction

Fossil Find Suggests Dinosaurs Crossed North America Before Extinction

Tooth of a horned dinosaur from Mississippi. | A single dinosaur tooth is helping paleontologists better understand what North America looked like right before non-avian dinosaurs went extinct. Prior to 68–66 million years ago, hefty horned dinosaurs migrated from western North America to the east. One such animal died sometime after the lengthy journey, perhaps falling victim to a bloodthirsty …

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Synthetically Produced Melanin Could Be the Ultimate Sunscreen

Synthetically Produced Melanin Could Be the Ultimate Sunscreen

The lab-produced material could have practical implications for the treatment of melanin-deficient disorders such as vitiligo and albinism. With summer quickly approaching, many of us are looking forward to beach vacations, picnics, and swimming at the local pool. But with increased sun exposure comes an increased risk of skin damage that sunscreen can’t always protect against. Last week, researchers at …

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Orphan Planet’s Huge Disk Shows That Planets Are More Like Stars Than We Know

Orphan Planet's Huge Disk Shows That Planets Are More Like Stars Than We Know

An artist’s impression of the gas and dust disk around the planet-like object OTS44. First radio observations indicate that OTS44 has formed in the same way as a young star. | The lonely life of OTS44, an orphan planet floating in space without a parent star, has taken a mysterious turn. New observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) …

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Himalayan powerhouses: how Sherpas have evolved superhuman energy efficiency

Himalayan powerhouses: how Sherpas have evolved superhuman energy efficiency

Sherpas have evolved to become superhuman mountain climbers, extremely efficient at producing the energy to power their bodies even when oxygen is scarce, suggests a new study led by University of Cambridge and UCL researchers, published today in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) . The findings could help scientists develop new ways of treating hypoxia – lack …

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We’re not getting Luke Skywalker’s prosthetics any time soon

We're not getting Luke Skywalker's prosthetics any time soon

In 1937, robot hobbyist "Bill" Griffith P. Taylor of Toronto invented the world’s first industrial robot. It was a crude machine, dubbed the Robot Gargantua by its creator. The crane-like device was powered by a single electric motor and controlled via punched paper tape, which threw a series of switches controlling each of the machine’s five axes of movement. Still, …

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Traffic Air Pollution Directly Damages DNA In Children, Research Finds

Traffic Air Pollution Directly Damages DNA In Children, Research Finds

Exposure to high levels of traffic-related air pollution is seemingly a direct cause of the type of DNA damage that is known as telomere shortening, according to new research from the University of California, Berkeley. Notably, young people with asthma also show evidence of telomere shortening, according to the researchers, meaning that: “Our results suggest that telomere length may have …

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After 9 months in space, mouse sperm yield healthy mice

After 9 months in space, mouse sperm yield healthy mice

Credit: martha sexton/public domain After nine months in space, mouse sperm has yielded healthy mice, Japanese scientists reported Monday. The freeze-dried sperm samples were launched in 2013 to the International Space Station and returned to Earth in 2014. The intense radiation of space caused slight DNA damage to the sperm. Yet, following in vitro fertilization on the ground, healthy offspring …

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Study shows how radioactive decay could support extraterrestrial life

Study shows how radioactive decay could support extraterrestrial life

A University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) team modeled a natural water-cracking process called radiolysis. They applied the model to the icy bodies around our solar system to show how radiation … "The physical and chemical processes that follow radiolysis release molecular hydrogen (H2), which is a molecule of astrobiological interest," said Alexis Bouquet, …

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Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections

Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections

Pseudomonas bacteria forming a biofilm. Credit: Vernita Gordon/U. of Texas at Austin. Microbial biofilms—dense, sticky mats of bacteria that are hard to treat and can lead to dangerous infections—often form in medical equipment, such as flexible plastic tubing used in catheters or in tubes used to help patients breathe. By some estimates, more than 1 million people contract infections from …

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3.3 million-year-old fossil reveals origins of the human spine

3.3 million-year-old fossil reveals origins of the human spine

A vertebrae of the Selam skeleton. Credit: Zeray Alemseged, University of Chicago Analysis of a 3.3 million-year-old fossil skeleton reveals the most complete spinal column of any early human relative, including vertebrae, neck and rib cage. The findings, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , indicate that portions of the human spinal structure that …

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