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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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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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The Mother of All Apples Is Disappearing

You probably haven’t eaten this fruit before, but you may have one of its ancestors in your house right now. (Credit: petrOlly/Flickr) In the wilds of Kazakhstan, there’s an unassuming tree that bears an unassuming fruit. Like many plant species, development encroaches on its usual territory while climate change makes …

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