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Manufacturing, global trade impair health of people with no stake in either

(University of California - Irvine) The latest products may bring joy to people around the globe, but academic researchers this week are highlighting the heightened health risks experienced by people in regions far downwind of the factories that produce these goods and on the other side of the world from where they're consumed. Show More Summary

How to measure potentially damaging free radicals in cigarette smoke

(American Chemical Society) Smoking cigarettes can lead to illness and death. Free radicals, which are atoms or groups of atoms with unpaired electrons, in inhaled smoke are thought to be partly responsible for making smokers sick. Now...Show More Summary

Harnessing brain's internal reserves might help treat epilepsy

(Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology) Epilepsy is one of the most common chronic neurological disorders affecting humans that causes recurrent convulsive seizures. Along with their colleagues from MIPT, researchers from the Laboratory...Show More Summary

Social bees have kept their gut microbes for 80 million years

About 80 million years ago, a group of bees began exhibiting social behavior, which includes raising young together, sharing food resources and defending their colony. Today, their descendants—honey bees, stingless bees and bumble bees—carry stowaways from their ancient ancestors: five species of gut bacteria that have evolved along with the host bees.

From Beethoven to Bieber, why playing music to chimps is falling on deaf ears

Playing music to captive chimpanzees has no positive effect on their welfare, researchers have concluded.

Testing effects of 'noise' on the decision-making abilities of slime mold

Foraging abilities of the amoeboid slime mold Physarum polycephalum may be improved by "noise" in the form of intermittent light exposure, according to a study published March 29, 2017, in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Bernd Meyer from Monash University, Australia, and colleagues.

Researchers identify genes that give cannabis its flavor

UBC scientists have scanned the genome of cannabis plants to find the genes responsible for giving various strains their lemony, skunky or earthy flavors, an important step for the budding legal cannabis industry.

A bird's blind spot plays an important role in its vision

The width of a bird's visual binocular field is partially determined by the size of the blind area in front of its head, according to a study published March 29, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Luke Tyrrell and Esteban Fernández-Juricic from Purdue University, USA.

Trump’s pipeline permit is bad for both the US economy and the environment

8 hours agoAcademics : Nature

The US president’s approval of a controversial oil pipeline offers a disturbing glimpse of the future. But he will struggle to get things all his own way.

Forensics: Germany considers wider use of DNA evidence in criminal cases

8 hours agoAcademics : Nature

The country may lift its ban on the analysis of gene-coding regions in DNA samples.

An early start on tackling childhood cancers

8 hours agoAcademics : Nature

The most vulnerable cancer patients are drawing the attention they deserve.

Brexit must preserve advisory networks

8 hours agoAcademics : Nature

Policymakers in charge of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union have a duty to maintain benefits of collaboration, says James Wilsdon.

Animal behaviour: Playful call makes parrots merry

8 hours agoAcademics : Nature

Hearing laughter can make people laugh, and it seems that kea parrots react similarly, displaying play behaviour after hearing a particular call from fellow birds. This makes them the first non-mammals known to experience 'contagious' merriment.Raoul Schwing, now at the University of Vienna, and

The poisonous pee byproducts lurking in swimming pools.

Peeing in the pool, although considered a gross social faux-pas, seems harmless enough, right?  And so much easier that getting out of the pool, drying off, and trekking to the nearest toilet. But what happens when the uric acid in your...Show More Summary

Planetary science: Titan's electrified dunes

8 hours agoAcademics : Nature

The dunes of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, may be held together by static electricity.Grains of sand acquire electrostatic charge as they rub against each other, but on Earth this effect is generally negligible because gravity and a high density of heavy silicate particles minimize

When people know each other, cooperation is more likely than conflict

When anonymity between people is lifted, they more likely cooperate with each other. Playing nice can thereby become a winning strategy, an international team of scientists shows in a study to be published in Science Advances. The findings...Show More Summary

Flashback Friday: Scientists confirm that crowded parking lots turn people into jerks.

I've always suspected that crowded parking lots bring out the worst in people... and now we have the data to back it up. These brave scientists took to the streets (well, parking lots) and measured how long people took to leave their parking spaces. Show More Summary

Molecular biology: Drug stalls protein translation

8 hours agoAcademics : Nature

The discovery of a compound that interrupts the production of a specific protein could open up a fresh path to drug discovery.Cells rely on complex molecular machines called ribosomes to translate the genetic code and make proteins. Robert Dullea at Pfizer Worldwide Research and

A decorated raven bone discovered in Crimea may provide insight into Neanderthal cognition

The cognitive abilities of Neanderthals are debated, but a raven bone fragment found at the Zaskalnaya VI (ZSK) site in Crimea features two notches that may have been made by Neanderthals intentionally to display a visually consistent...Show More Summary

New research reveals how to make your (bad) jokes funnier.

We've all been there: you tell a joke, only to have it fall flat, leaving you standing there in the dead silence wishing the ground would just swallow you up. Well, these scientists must have experienced this as well, because they designed a series of experiments to determine the best way to save a joke. Show More Summary

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