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Interesting Stuff

Flatworm Travels to Space With One Head, Comes Back With Two

The “double-headed worm from space.” Look for the googly eyes. (Credit: Junji Morokuma/Tufts University) Researchers have been sending animals to space for decades, and the growing roster includes everything from dogs and monkeys to scorpions and jellyfish. But a more recent animal space traveler returned to Earth with something never before seen: an extra …

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A Rare Genetic Mutation Reveals Secrets of the Common Cold

(Credit: nenetus/Shutterstock) A rare mutation that nearly killed a young girl has revealed insights into the common cold. Researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases conducted a genetic analysis of a child who had been laid low by repeated bouts of rhinovirus (the virus that causes colds) and influenza …

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Meet Dean Lomax, Master of the Prehistoric 'Death March'

Lomax meticulously studies an ammonite death march. (Courtesy: Dean Lomax) Paleontologists study creatures that have long ceased to be, all in the hopes of “resurrecting” the history of their lives on Earth. But paleontologist Dean Lomax, an Honorary Visiting Scientist at the University of Manchester, has made a name for …

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Visual Face-preference in the Human Fetus?

Even before we’re born, human beings are sensitive to face-like shapes, according to a paper just published in Current Biology. British researchers Vincent M. Reid and colleagues of the University of Lancaster used lasers to project a pattern of three red dots onto the abdomen of pregnant women. The lasers …

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Data, Truth and Null Results

Have you heard of the idea that smiling actually makes you joyful? Perhaps you know of the experiment where researchers got people to hold a pen in their mouth, so they had to smile, and it made them find cartoons funnier. If you’re familiar with this idea, then you’re familar …

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Don't Drain That Swamp! Accidental Wetlands Are Good for Cities

What’s so bad about wetlands? These mucky, sometimes mosquito-ridden landscapes have a bad reputation, but they offer benefits to their neighborhoods too. Researchers say “accidental” wetlands—pockets of cities that have turned into swamps through flooding and neglect—might be a valuable resource to both the environment and the humans around them. …

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