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FAA to simulate effects of radiation on space tourists

How much radiation can the human body withstand in space—a big concern as space tourism ramps up? If you don’t know, don’t worry: the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is on the case, with help from specialized datacenter provider Elliptical Mobile Solutions. Nor-Tech confirmed that it is…   [the astronaut in…

Sharks dive by the moon: study

The moon and water temperature affect the diving behaviour of sharks, researchers reported Tuesday, in a discovery that could help prevent fishermen from catching the marine predators inadvertently. A team from the University of Western Australia’s Oceans Institute and the government-run Australian Institute of Marine Science spent nearly three years…

Experts baffled as malnourished sea lions invade southern California

Peter Wallerstein realized something was seriously wrong when a sea lion pup turned up seven miles inland at a cellphone store in California. The number of the starving animals stranded along the southern California coastline has been rising since January, but usually they were just found on beaches. Now they…

Dopamine effect triggered by just a tiny taste of beer

The taste of beer, even without any effect from alcohol, triggers a key reward chemical in the brain, according to a study on Monday that explores how people become hooked on booze. Neurologists at the University of Indiana asked 49 men to drink either their favourite beer or Gatorade, a…

Supreme Court hears oral arguments in breast cancer gene patent case

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Monday in a challenge by a contingent of breast cancer patients and women’s health organizations against a Utah company’s claim to being able to patent human genes. Bloomberg News reported that the high court used analogies like chocolate-chip recipes in discussing the case,…

Breakthrough process turns skin cells into protective brain cells

A breakthrough cellular engineering process detailed in the latest edition of the journal Nature Biotechnology holds promise for people who suffer from multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy. Researchers explained that a new process allows them to take common skin cells and engineer them to morph into myelinating brain cells that…

Antarctic summer ice melting 10 times faster: study

Summer ice in the Antarctic is melting 10 times quicker than it was 600 years ago, with the most rapid melt occurring in the last 50 years, a joint Australian-British study showed Monday. A research team from the Australian National University and the British Antarctic Survey drilled a 364-metre (1,194…

Greenpeace activists plant North Pole flag to fight Arctic oil drilling

Activists have planted a flag at the North Pole along with millions of signatures calling for the Arctic to be declared a global sanctuary protected from oil drilling, lobby group Greenpeace said on Monday. Expedition members cut a hole in the ice and lowered the “flag for the future” onto…

Bio-engineered kidney offers new hope to patients suffering renal failure

Researchers in the United States on Sunday said they had bio-engineered a kidney and transplanted it into rats, marking a step forward in a quest to help patients suffering from kidney failure. The prototype proves that a “bio-kidney” can work, emulating breakthroughs elsewhere to build replacement structures for livers, hearts…

Why do humans cry? A new reading of the old sob story

We all cry, but what biological function does it serve, asks Mark Honigsbaum. And why are humans the only species to shed tears of sorrow and joy? When it came to solving the riddle of the peacock’s tail, Charles Darwin’s powers of evolutionary deduction were second to none – the…

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