25 September, 2014 – Episode 482 – This Week in Science

September 26th, 2014
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Ebola Set To Increase, Trees Are Unique Flowers, Black Holes Don’t Exist, Polyandry Without Promiscuity, Jealous Spider Lovers, Narwal Tuskiness, Interview w/ Mark McCaffrey of NCSE, Cut Grass Smell, Animals In Bushes, Cement Emissions, 2000 Liters, MAVEN Inserted, Quantum Transportation, Read A Book, And Much More…

Disclaimer disclaimer disclaimer!
Embody
In my body
I am bones and muscles
heart and lungs
vessels and intestines.
I am nerves and brain
senses and thoughts.
In my body
I feel my aches and pains
soft caresses.
I hear breath and beats
song and words.
I see light and color
frequency reflected.
I taste sweet and sour
bile and blood.
I imagine dreams and dragons
hopes and fears.
In my body
I am my shadow
dark in light.
I am the things I reach for
the things I touch.
In my body
I am me
I am my family
I am the world.
I am…
This Week in Science! Coming up next…

Ebola Set To Increase
Cases could reach 500,000 to more than a million by 2015.

Trees Are Unique Flowers
Research suggests that each tree species is host to a unique bacterial population.

Black Holes Don’t Exist
A physicist has mathematically determined that black holes do not form when massive stars die.

Earth Water Old
A recent analysis find much of Earth’s water was formed in interstellar space before the formation of the Sun.

Polyandry without promiscuity
Mice confuse paternal lines without having multiple partners, by sharing their nest with other lady-mice, and therefore preventing infanticide. Smart?!

Spiders are jealous lovers
Spiders guarded young females until they reached maturity so they could have first crack…. Aww?

Narwhal tusks are just for looks
They are due to sexual selection and not defense. Surprise, surprise…

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Interview with Mark McCaffrey, NCSE Programs and Policy director, and author of the recently released book, Climate Smart and Energy Wise.

That Fresh Cut Grass Smell
The odor of freshly cut grass might also be a signal for help that attracts beneficial insects to help protect the vegetation from attack.

All species prefer an unmown bush
Grass au-naturel is better for everyone, acording to a new study…

2000 Liters Of Beer
Xanthohumol, a flavonoid in beer, aids cognition in young but not old mice.

MAVEN Inserts
Into the upper atmosphere of Mars.

Quantum Transportation
25 kilometers is a long way, yo.

Reading real books is good for you
Reading a real-life book helps your memory, your emotional state, and your sleep patterns. Sorry, kindle…

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18 September, 2014 – Episode 481 – This Week in Science

September 19th, 2014
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Wiping Cell Memory, Not So Sweet, Three’s Company, Peacock Fools, Femme Fatale Bugs, Backyard Chickens, Hummers Got Sweet, Ape And Essence, Soft Robots Rule, Got Bags?, Psilocibin Or Cigs?, Nanobot Wine Test, A Baby’s Cry, And Much More…

Disclaimer disclaimer disclaimer!
It’s time again for a batch of good news. When it comes to our troubles as a species, it usually boils down to being our own fault. Our obsession with cars and gadgets and technology have brought us into an age of acidifying oceans, melting glaciers, bad air quality, and along with it an attitude that can only be described as “use it or lose it.” And where is that good news you ask? Science and technology has won one this week! Scientists in Australia, after just three years of experimentation, have successfully found a way to print solar panels on flexible plastic or metal, hardly thicker than a piece of printer paper. What’s more, they can print the equivalent of one panel every two seconds. This stuff could end up coating buildings, cars, or just about anything else that can be coated in a thin plastic sheet. It sounds like we are well on our way to renewable, clean energy that is affordable and easy to use. We can pull ourselves out of this mess, get us back to where we need to be, and maybe even get some new cool gadgets along the way? It all came from some experimentation and teamwork. We have the power – now we just need to band together to use it, support it, and spread knowledge of it far and wide. And do you know the easiest way to get started with that last bit? It’s called…
This Week in Science! Coming up next…

Wiping Cell Memory
Scientists have succeeded in creating the first human line of pluripotent stem cells to an embryonic state with no memory of their previous forms.

Not So Sweet
Research suggests bacteria might be the lynchpin in explaining how artificial sweeteners lead to obesity.

Three’s Company
DNA suggests Europeans came from three ancestral groups rather than just two.

Those peacocks have been playing us all for fools
Those decorative trains may not be the disadvantage biologists have always thought. Is it possible those fancy feathers don’t have so much of an effect on fitness?

Female decoys electrocute pests
Invasive emerald ash borer beetles are getting zapped by convincing female imposters – yay, science?

Backyard Chickens could poison you and your friends
Many medications prescribed to chickens could leech into the eggs if they are not specifically for egg-producing hens, or not dosed properly.

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Hummers Got Sweet
Hummingbirds re-evolved the mutation that allows perception of sweet taste.

Ape And Essence
Chimps are just aggressive.

Soft Robots Will Rule The World
Engineers have designed a soft, untethered quadruped robot that can maneuver and survive serious impact.

Nanobots testing out our wine!
Nanotechnology helps vintners to detect the proteins responsible for astringency, aka dryness, helping to make the wine better before it hits human lips.

It doesn’t matter what species, a crying baby is a crying baby
Deer mothers responded to the cries of infants from several mammal species in now way even closely related to them. Some things are just hard-wired, I guess.

Psilocibin Or Cigarettes?
A pilot study suggests pilocibin pills are effective for quitting smoking.

Star Inside A Star
Astronomers have found the first example of a Thorne-Zytkow object, first predicted 40 years ago, which is a neutron star that has been gulped up by a red dwarf.

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11 September, 2014 – Episode 480 – This Week in Science

September 12th, 2014
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Boom! Goes The Sun, Solitons Make Me Nervous, Scared Outta Eggs, Back To Water, Fish Cooperate, Birds Are Loopy, Birds Are Loopy, Vitamin B1 For Brains, Bacterial Pharma Production, Thumb Wars, Purposeful Pelvises, Lips Like Jagger, And Much More…

Disclaimer disclaimer disclaimer!
The following is a conservation success story: this week marked the official return of California blue Whales to historical numbers. The blue whale, the largest animal on Earth, and at one time a creature driven to the brink of extinction, is back, at least along the California coast. So, what now? Are we done? No! This just shows that when the scientists, the hippies, the kids, and the media band together for something so implicitly positive as “save the whales,” it works. We can do it. We can protect and foster a species so gigantic our human brains can’t even comprehend it’s massiveness. So, let’s do it again, and again and again! Never stop! Find the conservation movements that are easy to get behind – and find ways to make all those others easier to get behind. Not one group of us can do it alone – we need each other. So, whether you are a tree-hugger, a chemist, a couch potato, a student, a news anchor, or an “other,” let’s band together for some… This week in science! Coming up next!!

Boom! Goes The Sun
A solar flare erupted from the sun aimed directly at Earth. Expect geomagnetic storms in the next few days.

Solitons Make Me Nervous
German researchers report the non-cancellation of nervous impulses traveling from opposite ends of a nerve, and suggest that it is further evidence in favor of a soliton theory of nerve conduction.

Frogs whose brothers get eaten are scared out of their eggs!
Treefrogs still in their eggs hatch sooner when some of the eggs get eaten. They somehow know and speed up the growing process to escape predation. Now that is precocial young!

Mosquito fish roll back to water in style!
Balance and orientation work the same in and out of water, it turns out. The “hop” onto land may not have been so difficult!

Trouts and eels are as good as chimps at working together
Trouts and eels work together to snag prey, and even pick the best partners for the task at hand – often with accuracy as good as chimpanzees! So much for a tiny fish brain…

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Birds Are Loopy
Research shows that many migratory bird species fly a looped path that follows “green wave” of vegetation.

Gettin’ Separated
Neo-tropical bird diversity is most likely to stem from birds moving beyond geographical barriers than to the formation of the barriers themselves.

Brain Keeps Chugging
You might go to sleep, but your brain keep working to make sense of the world.

Vitamin B1 For Brains
A lack of the vitamin was shown to lead to brain damage.

Bacterial Pharma Production
UCSF researchers suggest we should look to our bodies bacterial populations for production of the drugs we need.

Thumb Wars
Analysis of pressures on the digits, including the thumbs, during stone tool creation suggests that the thumb of the non-dominant hand was pivotal in evolution of dexterous hominid thumbs.

Whale pelvises are not vestigial, they are for sex!
Whale pelvic sizes are related to testes size and promiscuity, so maybe they are not so useless, after-all…

Lips Like Jagger
Ancient extinct swamp-dwelling hoofed anthracothere fossil discovered in Egypt, and named after Mick Jagger for its luscious lips.

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04 September, 2014 – Episode 479 – This Week in Science

September 5th, 2014
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Your Vortex Needs Ice, Moving Rocks, Immense Heaven, Bird School, Salamander-boy, Fish Urine Aaphrodesiac!, Fearless Dreadnaughtus, Brain To Brain, Cancer Scanner, Martian Memory Wipe, Dead Russian Sex Geckos, Printed Robobirds, Eat Breakfast No Diabetes, Music Brain!, Pretty Low Sperm, And Much More…

Disclaimer, disclaimer, disclaimer…
This Week in Science, coming up next…

Your Vortex Needs Ice
A study published in Nature Communications used observational data and modelling to propose a potential mechanism for the slippage of the polar vortex that causes extreme cold weather events outside of the norhtern pole region, suggesting that melting sea ice is to blame.

Moving Rocks
Death Valley’s famously sneaky rocks have been observed by scientists. Rare ice formation on the Racetrack playa coupled with light winds allows the normally still rocks to slide and create tracks that follow cracks in the ice and force from the wind.

Immense Heaven
Cosmic mapmakers have defined our local supercluster, called Laniakea, or Immense Heaven.

Bird School
Cockatoos learn to manufacture tools, and make improvements, after watching an older bird.

The new X-Man: Salamander-boy
Salamander skin may hold the key to super-human healing abilities!

Fish urine that calms males and excites females? Now that is an aphrodesiac!
Tilapia urine appears to have a pheromone in it that lowers testosterone in neighboring males and stimulates egg production in females. Now that is a shower of gold!

The handsomer the man, the lower his sperm count
Attractiveness was positively correlated with low sperm count in a recent study – indicating a trade off between characteristics for sexual selection and sperm count

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Fearless Dreadnaughtus
The largest dinosaur to date has been discovered, and it’s another plant-eater.

Brain Trade-offs
Two studies highlight the tradeoffs required by the brain. One focuses on development and energy allotment, concluding that toddlers grow less quickly due to the brain’s energy demands. The other concludes that the dorsolateral pre-frontal cortex operates in part to balance honesty and self-interest, and that damage to the area results in more self-interested behavior.

Brain To Brain
Researchers successfully transmitted the messages ‘Hola’ and ‘Ciao’ over 5000 miles from the brain of the sender to the brain of the receiver via brain-computer interface and the internet. Receiving individuals experienced the message as phosphenes, or flashes of light, that they then translated appropriately.

Eating breakfast could keep you from getting diabetes
26% of students surveyed in the UK regularly did not eat breakfast. These students all had higher levels of blood values associated with type 2 diabetes.

Losing weight won’t stop diabetes
The type of food you eat is more important than the calories, so losing weight may not stop diabetes. Instead, eat healthier!

Music shapes your brain!
Disadvantaged youth showed congnative development after free community music programming

Cancer Scanner
A team of researchers have developed a handheld laser scanner that can detect Raman scattering nanoprobes contained in malignant tumor cells during surgery.

Martian Memory Wipe
NASA’s Opportunity rover is experiencing memory problems, and will receive a wipe to reformat its flash memory system and decrease reliance on malfunctioning flash memory cells.

Dead Russian Sex Geckos
5 geckos were sent into orbit by the Russians to have sex. None returned to Earth alive, and it is questionable whether they lived long enough to do the deed.

Printed Robobirds
A company called Clear Flight Solutions is 3-D printing robotic birds of prey to keep unwanted birds at bay.

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21 August, 2014 – Episode 477 – This Week in Science

August 22nd, 2014
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Life Under Ice, Seals And TB, Understanding TB, Deep Sea Dandruff, Dead Star Toothpaste, Zombie Ants!!!, Big Brained Fish, Animal Talk, Spiders Getting Bigger, Interview w/ Garth Sundem on Beyond IQ, And Much More…

Disclaimer, disclaimer, disclaimer…
The things you already have are greater in value than the things you do not possess…
While this philosophical sounding statement my seem like physically impossible hooey at first listen…
Consider this…
the likelihood is that each listener to this show goes about their day to
day lives leveraging a decent dose of logic along the way…
One of the greatest gifts of the ancient world… Science!
It has allowed for societies to prosper and civilization to thrive…
It didn’t come about by easily or by accident mind you…
From tea houses in Babylonia to the stone cutters quarry in Greece…
From the mystic prequels to religion, to the early astronomers observations…
Science was forged logic by logic, one rational thought at a time over thousands of years…
We are surrounded by such wealth of logic and ability to reason that we sometimes
forget how lucky we are…
Yet look around…
and quickly you will notice places upon the earth still today where the
fires of logic and reason have been so poorly lit that they offer very little scientific
advantage to those who reside there…
Know that if you are hearing my voice now, you are living in a much more privileged world regardless
of personal wealth or national origin…
You have the ability to employ logic…
the resources to retain reason…
and the wisdom to tune into…
This week in science… coming up next!

Life Under The Ice!
Sub-glacial Antarctic Lake Whillans found to contain all sorts of previously unknown microbial species, mainly chemo-autotrophs.

Seals Brought Us TB
Genetic evidence suggests that people gave TB to pinnipeds, who then brought it to the new world and infected native peoples.

Understanding TB Latency
Interleukin 32 found to be an essential protein to protection from TB, but it only works in the presence of sufficient Vitamin D.

Deep Sea Dandruff
Where does dandruff come from?

Dead star toothpaste
What’s in my toothpaste?

Zombie Ants!!!!
At your doorstep…

Animal Language is far more complex than previously thought
Once again, humans have underestimated animal brains, assuming their languages were somewhat random – it turns out, perhaps not.

Big brained fish are better fathers
The male fish that give paternal care had larger brains – correlation, or causation?!

Spiders are getting bigger and it is our fault!
Orb weaver spiders are larger and more fecund in urban areas. Ack!

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Interview with Garth Sundem!
Garth writes books, speaks and blogs about science, math and the brain. He currently blogs at GeekDad, Science20.com, and PsychologyToday.com, was pummeled on the Hotties vs. Nerds episode of the gladitorial game show Wipeout, and is a TED-Ed speaker, former contributor to the Science Channel, and poker aficionado.
His most recent book Beyond IQ: Scientific Tools for Training Problem Solving, Intuition, Emotional Intelligence, Creativity, and More“>”Beyond IQ” is available now.

Quick News Blurbs:
Ear tickle treatment?
Rubble Pile Forces
Young Songbirds Take the Slow Road
Yup, Neanders and Humans…
Coming Soon! Remote Controlled Moths
Hangover Cause and Cure!
Good food supply required for good ram sperm

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14 August, 2014 – Episode 476 – This Week in Science

August 15th, 2014
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Triclosan And Pregnancy, Triclosan And Toothpaste, Fracking Ingredients, Robot Legs, Robot Nose, Laser Brains, Shark Week Lies!, Shadowy Parasites, Ever Increasing Testes, Family Macaque Face, Solving Diabetes, Mosquito-bourne Chikungunya, Cow cliques, Jet Lag Genes, Cybernetic Brains, Filling Face Holes, And Much More…

Disclaimer, disclaimer, disclaimer…
The history of mankind is one of continued progress…
And unrelenting opposition to said progress
The ancient mystics discovered logic and made myths to illustrate what they had learned
While those that followed made much of the myths
and kept little of the logic they were meant to teach
Modern science has made allowed a vision of the world without the use of mythology
And though we can often get lost in jabberwocky analogies of complex reality, the
reliability of the principals of science do not require belief or faith or inner
connection to mythical world…
The world science was there before we knew about it…
And will be there long after we are gone
But before we go we would like to offer you
This week in Science…
Coming up Next.

Let’s Talk Triclosan And Pregnancy
Researchers found triclosan in the urine of pregnant women and evidence that it transfers to the fetus. Additionally, they found a link between levels of butyl paraben (found in cosmetics) and shorter baby birth lengths. However, no long term effects are suggested.

Triclosan And Toothpaste
Triclosan in Colgate is coming under greater scrutiny as research used for FDA approval is made available, and endocrine interactions appear likely.

Fracking Ingredients
Science closes the gap on our knowledge about the ingredients used in the fracking process: 8 are toxic to mammals, a third of the 190 chemicals are not well-understood, and some effect aquatic life.

Robot Legs
Robot Nose
Laser Brain

What does population density have to do with testes size? A vole lot!
Voles have shown us that testes size changes as we might expect, but occasionallly surprises us…

Brood parasite competition – it’s fierce!
Cuckoos are not only in an arms race with their hosts, but also with eachother, trying to outsmart everyone into taking care of their babies. What lazy parents!

Macaques recognize their family, even if they haven’t met before
Facial features tipped monkeys off to their relatives so they didn’t make a very unfortunate mate-choice error.

More shark week drama
Shark week producers lied to scientists to get them to participate in shark week “documentaries”

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On diabetes trail…
Researchers have discovered a key signal in the metabolic pathway that leads to development of diabetes.

Factors For Virulence
Chikungunya virus, newly spreading in the United States, is spread by mosquitoes similarly to dengue and malaria. Recent research finds that the possibility of infection from a female mosquito depends on the temperature, mosquito strain, and viral strain, making control a complicated situation.

Scientists may have identified the gene responsible for jet lag!
Jet lag pills, come hither!

Cows pick who they hang out with – social cliques aren’t just for primates!

Our Cybernetic Future
Researchers are developing tiny, flexible nanoelectronics that could be injected into the brain to monitor and influence neuron activity.

Making Faces
A new material fills bone defects when mixed with water, and could help reconstruct facial deformity.

Gecko Toes Control Their Stick

Two-headed dolphin washes up on shore

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07 August, 2014 – Episode 475 – This Week in Science

August 8th, 2014
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Taking A Comet’s Temp, Taking A Comet’s Picture, Ebola Chat, Momtopus, Deliberate Jellyfish, Butterfly Memories, The Impossible Drive, Human Shields, Kinder Gentler Society, Reprogram Your Brain, And Much More…

Disclaimer, disclaimer, disclaimer…
Despite the many versions that have come before… Humanity is
still in its beta testing mode…
The planetary and mental platform upon which everything is
being run… continues to prove itself unstable…
There are more bugs than there are people
More questions than there are solutions
And more societal glitches than there are political patches to keep the peace programs
from crashing
Thankfully, there are people attempting to maintain dedicated
service to a more stable world…
A world beyond bygone beta phase bugs, where an academically
administered alpha particle can be released to the benefit of all mankind
Scientists, programing a future of predictable performance
and dependable outcomes…
Despite all of this the will of course still be bugs crawling
about from time to time here on
This Week In Science…
Coming up Next.

Taking A Comet’s Temp
The comet is dusty.

Taking A Comet’s Picture
The ESA successfully completed a flyby of a comet this morning.

Ebola Chat
The Ebola outbreak is worsening. What is Ebola? What are the symptoms? And, what about vaccines and treatments?
Additional links:
Treatments
zMAPP
Vaccines
WHO Factsheet

Deep Sea Octopus turns out to be Helicopter Mom
A species of deep sea octopus was discovered to brood over her eggs for four and a half years! Now that is a stay-at-home mom…

Butterflies remember the good ol days
Despite a catepillar essentially turning to soup inside its cuccoon, they can remember past experiences from its days as a larva.

Deliberate Jellyfish – Oxymoron?
Are the feeding strategies of jellyfish actually complex processes used also by supercomputers, or is it all just dumb luck?

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The Impossible Drive
NASA related engineers tested a model of what is called the “Em-Drive”, and found an anomoly that deserves further testing. Is this story another FTL neutrino or cold fusion thrill from the media?

Some monkeys use humans as human shields
Monkeys being studied by researchers were less concerned with being eaten by big cats when the humans were present.

Kinder Gentler Society
Looking at human skulls, we became more social and cooperative as our faces lost the testosterone edge.

Reprogram Your Brain
…with electromagnetic stimulation!

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24 July, 2014 – Episode 474 – This Week in Science

July 25th, 2014
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Schizo Dollas, Climate Info, Analyzing Ice, Eat Green Drive Whatever, Internal Primal Ooze, No Water There, Sexy Fish Differences, Evolution wins!, Microbe Guts, Wide Face Race, No Moyle Briss, Saharabahamas, Lionfish Lessons, And Much More…

Disclaimer Disclaimer Disclaimer
That last hundred years of human history have been the most human
filled hundred years of earths history…
More humans are sharing the planet at this moment than have
ever shared the planet before…
And so… now that we are here, in this, the most successful
evolutionary population explosion in human history… what shall we do with our
great numbers?
Shall we look to the
past and seek to better the accomplishments of our ancestors?
We could build a bigger pyramid… this time locating it somewhere
where tourists would feel safe traveling to…
Shall we look to the now and see what good we could do to immediately
impact our daily lives?
We could tackle the issues of today… only with so many of
us, it’s often hard to agree in common upon just what those are… though there
are plenty to choose from
Or shall we look to the future… and imagine the great
accomplishments we could set in motion today that would truly change the
destiny of all mankind for ever more?
We could set in motion the makings of a magnificent moon
colony, or pave the way to an energy independent tomorrow by investing in
alternative energies…
And while it is most likely that most humans sharing the
world today wouldn’t select any of these options… It has always been a small
percentage of the population with the vision and dedication to bring about
great things that improve the world and make the future a better place…
And that small percentage of people have never been so great
in numbers as they are today here on…
This week in science… coming up next

Show Schizophrenia The Money
Just as researchers publish 108 gene variants related to schizophrenia, the Broad Institute is promised $650 million to study the molecular underpinnings of psychiatric disorders and focus on treatment development.

Information Isn’t The Problem
Turns out people on both sides of the climate change issue know about the same amount of information about climate science. So, it isn’t the science that is the problem.

How Much Ice?
Software for the analysis of sea ice data was discovered to have overestimated the expansion of sea ice in Antarctica due to errors introduced during a software update.

Climate Change: It’s your steak’s fault
A new study suggests red meat consumption has a far greater impact on the environment and climate change than the emissions from cars. It’s time to change your meat-eating ways, America!!

The origin of all life alive and well today?
Ancient chemistry exists in the mitochondria of modern cells.

Planets, planets everywhere…
but not a drop to drink. Researchers found much less water on ‘Hot-Jupiter’ exoplanets than expected.

Fish show internal differences among the sexes
No, not there. That’s normal. But scientists have found differences in organs other than the gonads between males and females in some fish.

You win again, evolution!
Yet another case of convergent evolution has been found in the case of orb-weaver spiders (an old favorite). It turns out orb-weaving has come about more than once – I guess that means it is a strategy for success!

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Microbial Detox
Desert rats have gut microbes that enable them to eat Creosote bush leaves, which are toxic to other animals.

Making Ulcers
H. pylori homes in on microscopic injuries in your stomach, exacerbating the wounds and causing ulcers.

Carbs And Cancer
It looks like the Western high-carb diet is responsible for supporting gut microbes that cause colon cancer.

Saharabahamas…
Sand in the Bahamas came from the Saharan desert.

Wide faces get ahead
Men with wider faces were better at negotiating, unless they teamed up.

The story you wish you hadn’t heard
A Jewish circumcision ritual is linked to Herpes in babies.

Bomb sniffing lasers…
Lasers are good.

Lionfish Lessons
Proper scientific citation is not followed by the media.

Cutting Out HIV
Using the CRISPR/CAS system, scientists are working at cutting HIV out of cells.

Mean Meerkat Mothers
They kill babies.

Covetous Canines
Yes, your dog gets jealous.

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