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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…

Study: Piranha bite force outsizes even T-Rex

Outsized jaw muscles allow the black piranha to exert bite force equivalent to 30 times its bodyweight, a feat unmatched in the natural world, according to results of a finger-risking study published Thursday. Other animals like the great white shark, the hyena and the alligator can deliver more forceful bites,…

Fists came first for hand evolution, scientists suggest

Biologists say the human hand is a wonder of evolution, providing dexterity that lets our species perform activities as diverse as bricklaying, writing, ice hockey and brain surgery. But what were the forces that, over thousands of years, sculpted our hand into the shape it is today? Was it to…

Three astronauts blast off for ISS in Russian craft

A Soyuz spacecraft carrying Russian, American and Canadian astronauts blasted off on Wednesday from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan bound for the International Space Station (ISS). The spacecraft took off on schedule at 1212 GMT carrying Russian Roman Romanenko, NASA astronaut Thomas Marshburn and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield,…

Amazon spider discovered making decoys of itself to ward off predators

A unique spider in the Amazon rainforest was recently spotted using bits of leaves and dead insects to create larger-scale decoy spider shapes in its web, which it uses to ward off predators. RELATED: Light-powered solar levitation could create ‘new class’ of solar energy “I’ve seen a lot of weird…

What Christmas does to your brain

It’s obvious what over-indulgence does to your body, but there’s an unseen upheaval going on between your ears What’s going on in your head as Christmas approaches? Your brain is already having to cope with your festive party schedule and the stress of Christmas shopping – and things are set…

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