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Neil deGrasse Tyson explains the science behind Santa’s visits

On his Twitter account on Christmas Eve, Hayden Planetarium director and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson noted that, “at the North Pole, where all lines meet, clock time has no meaning,” adding, “Santa surely keeps track of how many hours pass & how long the Elf union allows them to work,…

‘Bad Pharma’ says we’re all victims of drug industry

You should read it because behind the anodyne cover lurks a tale of horrific fascination that affects us all. Bad Pharma is the story of the ways in which the pharmaceutical industry, with the help of regulators, doctors and academics, seeks to pervert and obfuscate the research done to test…

Secrets of ancient Chinese medicinal herb revealed by scientists

Scientist in the United States on Sunday offered a molecular-level explanation for how a Chinese herbal medicine used for more than 2,000 years tackles fever and eases malaria. The herb is an extract of the root of a flowering plant called blue evergreen hydrangea, known in Chinese as chang shan…

Southwest will have less surface water over next decade, says study

Southwestern areas of the United States, reeling from its worst drought in 50 years, may have 10 percent less surface water within a decade due to global warming, a study said Sunday. While rainfall is forecast to increase over northern California in winter and the Colorado River feeding area, warmer…

Antarctic ice sheet warming faster than thought: study

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet, whose melt may be responsible for 10 percent of the sea-level rise caused by climate change, is warming twice as quickly as previously thought, a study said Sunday. A re-analysis of temperature records from 1958 to 2010 revealed an increase of 2.4 degrees Celsius (36.3…

Doctor behind discredited vaccine-autism link handed quackery award

Andrew Wakefield, the doctor struck off the medical register for his discredited research that claimed to find a link between autism and the MMR vaccine, can add another honour to his list this Christmas: the inaugural Golden Duck award for lifetime achievement in quackery, set up by science writer Simon Singh.…

Researchers lay out a map of the brain’s everyday categorizations

A team of scientists at the University of California-Berkley have put together a map detailing how the human brain organizes objects on actions every day, The Verge reported earlier this week. The team, based out of the Gallant Lab at the university, also posted a video abstract of its findings…

‘Alien’-looking children’s skulls found in Mexican cemetery

An recent archeological dig discovered a cemetery in Mexico that contained “alien”-looking children’s skulls, reported ABC News. Of the 25 total skulls found, 13 of them, roughly 1,000 years old, have purposefully “deformed heads” in shapes reminiscent of the aliens on the old SNL skit “The Coneheads.” Cristina Garcia Moreno,…

Conservationists: Drop in sea turtle nesting due to climate change

Conservationists have expressed alarm over the low number of turtles arriving on the coast of east India and Bangladesh for the nesting season, blaming overfishing and climate change for the decline. Between November and March, several species of sea turtle, including the Olive Ridley, travel thousands of miles to nest…

Slab of Barrier Reef sea floor collapsing, could cause tsunami, say scientists

A huge slab of sea floor near the Great Barrier Reef is in the early stages of collapse and could generate a tsunami when it finally breaks off, researchers warned Friday. Marine geologists from Australia’s James Cook University have been using advanced 3D mapping techniques on the deepest parts of…

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