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Fewer circumcisions could cost the U.S. billions: study

As debate rages over the ethics of infant circumcision, a study published Monday said falling rates of the once-routine procedure in the United States could cost billions of dollars in health costs. “We find that each circumcision not performed will lead to $313 of increased expenditures over that lifetime,” said…

NASA wants to measure ‘Marsquakes’

Just 10 days after NASA’s Curiosity rover sent back its first color photos of the Martian landscape, the US space agency said it wants in 2016 to take a better look at what’s happening beneath the Red Planet’s surface. “Does Mars have fault lines like the Earth does? How extensive…

Ancient skull discovery pushes back clock on early human migration

CHICAGO — An ancient skull discovered in a cave in Laos has pushed back the clock on human migration to Southeast Asia by as much as 20,000 years, a study published Monday has found. The skull discovered in the Annamite Mountains in northern Laos is the oldest modern human fossil…

Curiosity rover zaps Mars rock with rapid-fire laser

Mars rover Curiosity zaps ‘Coronation’ rock with rapid-fire laser (+video) (via The Christian Science Monitor) NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has zapped its first rock in what scientists elatedly declare a successful test of ChemCam, a laser-and-telescope combo designed to uncover the chemical composition of rocks on the Red Planet. The…

Study finds microbes manipulate your mind

“The thought of parasites preying on your body or brain very likely sends shivers down your spine. Perhaps you imagine insectoid creatures bursting from stomachs or a malevolent force controlling your actions. These visions are not just the night terrors of science-fiction writers—the natural world is replete with such examples.…

New owl species discovered in Philippines

MANILA — Scientists and birdwatchers have discovered 10 new owl species in the Philippines, using advanced recording equipment that can distinguish between their hoots, a conservation official said Sunday. Eight of the new species were previously considered sub-species while two are totally new, said Lisa Paguntalan, field director of Philippines…

Thomas Kuhn: the man who changed the way the world looked at science

Fifty years ago, a book by Thomas Kuhn altered the way we look at the philosophy behind science, as well as introducing the much abused phrase ‘paradigm shift’ Fifty years ago this month, one of the most influential books of the 20th century was published by the University of Chicago…

New spider species is ‘fearsomeness incarnate’

There’s a new spider species in the world, but its roots may date back centuries. “Meet Trogloraptor, fearsomeness incarnate,” Scientific American reported Friday, following the discovery of Trogloraptor marchingtoni, part of the new Trogloraptoridae family by a group of scientists at the Western Cave Conservancy and San Diego State University.…

‘We’re NASA and We Know It’ video spoofs JPL Mars team

'We're NASA and We Know It' video spoofs JPL Mars team. How cool is that? (via The Christian Science Monitor) The folks at JPL have arrived. No, not just because the NASA center’s best and brightest put the Mars rover Curiosity flawlessly on the surface of the Red Planet. But…

What Curiosity rover is up to next: Martian target practice

What Curiosity rover is up to next: Martian target practice (+video) (via The Christian Science Monitor) After nearly two Earth weeks on the surface of Mars, NASA’s rover Curiosity is getting set for target practice. Within the next few days, scientists using the laser-based ChemCam plan to zap their first…

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