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DNA ‘map’ shows mother of all cultivated rice came from China’s Pearl River

The mother of all cultivated rice was grown on China’s Pearl River, according to a DNA “map” published on Wednesday. The first domesticated strain of rice was Oryza sativa japonica, which was grown thousands of years ago from wild rice in the middle of the Pearl River in southern China,…

Mamba venom holds promise for pain relief without toxic side effects: scientists

Scientists have used the venom of Africa’s lethal black mamba to produce a surprising outcome in mice which they hope to replicate in humans — effective pain relief without toxic side effects. French researchers wrote in the journal Nature Wednesday that peptides isolated from black mamba venom may be a…

Tomb of ‘powerful’ Maya queen K’abel discovered in Guatemala

Archeologists have found a tomb with the remains of a Mayan queen, buried with treasures like jade jewelry and obsidian knives. The American archeologist who made the discovery in the Peten jungle region, David Freidel, said Wednesday it is one of the most important Mayan-related finds made so far. The…

Startling discovery debunked: bacteria can’t survive on arsenic

Startling discovery debunked: bacteria can't survive on arsenic Nearly two years ago, a team of biologists claimed to have discovered new bacteria that not only could survive in an environment rich in arsenic, it could fold the toxic element into the very heart of its biochemistry – substituting to small…

Humans added plenty greenhouse gases before industrialization: study

PARIS — Humans were big emitters of greenhouse gases long before the Industrial Revolution, a finding that raises worrying questions about the benchmark for measuring global warming, a study published on Wednesday said. For 1,800 years before industrialisation took off in the 19th century, emissions of methane rose in line…

NASA rover checks in online from Mars

SAN FRANCISCO — NASA’s Mars rover took the post-PC revolution into space on Wednesday by using location-sharing mobile application Foursquare to “check-in” on the Red Planet. “NASA is using Foursquare as a tool to share the rover’s new locations while exploring Mars,” said NASA spokesman David Weaver. “This will help…

Scientists discover two black holes inside a star cluster

Astronomers said Wednesday they had found evidence of something they never expected to see — two black holes lurking inside a 12-billion-year-old cluster of tightly-packed stars in our Milky Way galaxy. The international team was taken by surprise when noting what appeared to be two black holes, each about 10…

Japan unveils machine that detects bombs as passengers swipe boarding passes

Plane passengers could soon be scanned for bombs as they swipe their boarding pass, a Japanese company said Wednesday, unveiling the world’s first explosive-detecting departure gate. Engineers from hi-tech firm Hitachi showcased a machine that blows a short puff of air at a passenger’s hand as he scans his pass.…

Retraction due to scientific fraud at all-time high

Fraud in scientific research: It happens, and cases are on the rise (via The Christian Science Monitor) More published research papers – the currency of a career in science – have been retracted during the past 35 years because of fraud and plagiarism than for any other combination of reasons,…

Scientists: Japanese snail sheds tail to escape faster-moving predators

Snails that can shed their tails to escape much faster-moving predators and then regrow the amputated body section have been discovered living in sub-tropical Japan, a study said Wednesday. The ability to shed body parts, similar to that found in lizards, crabs and earthworms, has never before been seen in…

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