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‘Artificial leaf’ makes clean energy from dirty water

What’s all this fuss about silly federal research projects? If one day in the not too distant future you can go to the dollar store, buy a thin, flat device the size of a playing card, dunk it in a quart of dirty bath water and use it to generate…

Music activates brain region associated with reward

Scientists know that music can give intense pleasure by delivering chemical rewards in the brain that are equal to the joy of good food or even sex, but now they think they may have identified the part of the brain where this pleasure starts. Researchers scanned the brains of subjects…

Fossils uncover ‘weird’ chimp-human creature called Australopithecus sediba

She walked with a knock-kneed gait, with a heel like a chimp but the upright posture of a human, and she may provide the most complete evidence yet of early man’s closest ancestor, scientists said Thursday. Two-million-year-old Australopithecus sediba’s awkward strut would eventually send a modern man begging for a…

Anthropologists carbon date beam from temple holding Mayan calendar

Carbon-dating of an ancient beam from a Guatemalan temple may help end a century-long debate about the Mayan calendar, anthropologists said on Thursday. Experts have long wrangled over how the Mayan calendar — which leapt to global prominence last year when the superstitious said it predicted the end of the…

Non-amputees also experience ‘phantom limb’ sensation

Amputees often experience “phantom limbs”, or the sensation that their missing limb is still present, but a Swedish study published Thursday showed that even non-amputees can experience the bizarre sensation. “Our results show that the sight of a physical hand is remarkably unimportant to the brain for creating the experience…

Science discovers ‘magic trick’ that causes partisan voters to switch parties

Researchers in Sweden have discovered a clever way to trick partisan voters into switching parties, through the application of a simple survey and some slight of hand. Exploiting a known defect in human psychology called “choice blindness,” researchers writing for the journal PLoS One got 162 voters to fill out…

Inhofe: ‘MoveOn.org, George Soros, Michael Moore’ created global warming hoax

Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) on Wednesday explained that Al Gore and the United Nations get most of the blame for what he called a global warming “hoax,” but filmmaker Michael Moore and billionaire George Soros deserved some credit too. At a Environment and Public Works Committe on President Barack Obama’s…

Supreme Court to rule on whether human genes can be patented

Utah biotech firm to argue its patents on breast and ovarian cancer genes are necessary to fund further research The US supreme court will hear oral arguments next week to decide whether companies can patent human genes, in a landmark case which could alter the course of US medical research…

Scientists pinpoint what pain looks like in the brain

Scientists said Wednesday they have figured out how to recognize pain in brain scans, possibly paving the way for future tests that could accurately gauge its severity. “Right now, there’s no clinically acceptable way to measure pain and other emotions other than to ask a person how they feel,” said…

Rep. Joe Barton: Biblical ‘Great Flood’ shows climate change isn’t man made

Republican Texas Rep. Joe Barton on Wednesday dismissed concerns that the Keystone XL pipeline could contribute to climate change, citing the biblical flood myth described in the book of Genesis as evidence that climate change was not man made. BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski obtained video of Barton speaking to the House…

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