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Massive DNA volunteer hunt begins

Massive DNA volunteer hunt begins | Common sense | Scoop.it
Scientists are looking for 100,000 volunteers prepared to have their DNA sequenced and published online for anyone to look at.
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Applause is Contagious Like a Disease - D-brief

Applause is Contagious Like a Disease - D-brief | Common sense | Scoop.it
“Applause spreads linearly, like a disease. The amount of time an individual feels like clapping is a factor, but not nearly as much as peer pressure.”
Via Sakis Koukouvis
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Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend | Video on TED.com

Stress. It makes your heart pound, your breathing quicken and your forehead sweat. But while stress has been made into a public health enemy, new research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case.
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This Isn't The Party Of Abraham Lincoln, And It Hasn't Been For A Long Damned Time

This Isn't The Party Of Abraham Lincoln, And It Hasn't Been For A Long Damned Time | Common sense | Scoop.it
Secession 2013: Bill Moyers on the extreme threat to our democracy.
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The Wheels On The Bus Come To A Screeching, Jolting Halt

The Wheels On The Bus Come To A Screeching, Jolting Halt | Common sense | Scoop.it
Psst: Here's why government shutdowns cost actual human lives.
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A New Frontier in Animal Intelligence: Evidence that some animals are capable of “mental time travel”

A New Frontier in Animal Intelligence: Evidence that some animals are capable of “mental time travel” | Common sense | Scoop.it

Evidence that some animals are capable of “mental time travel,” suggests they have a deeper understanding of the world around them.

 

Santino was a misanthrope with a habit of pelting tourists with rocks. As his reputation for mischief grew, he had to devise increasingly clever ways to ambush his wary victims. Santino learned to stash his rocks just out of sight and casually stand just a few feet from them in order to throw off suspicion. At the very moment that passersby were fooled into thinking that he meant them no harm, he grabbed his hidden projectiles and launched his attack.

 

Santino was displaying an ability to learn from his past experiences and plan for future scenarios. This has long been a hallmark of human intelligence. But a recently published review paper by the psychologist Thomas Zentall from the University of Kentucky argues that this complex ability should no longer be considered unique to humans.

 

Santino, you see, is not human. He’s a chimpanzee at Furuvik Zoo in Sweden. His crafty stone-throwing escapades have made him a global celebrity, and also caught the attention of researchers studying how animals, much like humans, might be able to plan their behavior.


Via Ashish Umre
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Jewish faith school caught censoring questions on science exam papers

Jewish faith school caught censoring questions on science exam papers | Common sense | Scoop.it
A state funded Jewish faith school has been caught blacking out questions on science exam papers.
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Why is water from the ocean salty? - Press & Sun-Bulletin

Why is water from the ocean salty?
Press & Sun-Bulletin
Almost every culture has its own version of how the ocean became salty. Although such stories are fun to read, the truth is in fact best explained by simple science.
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Researchers use science to predict success - Phys.Org

Researchers use science to predict success - Phys.Org | Common sense | Scoop.it
Researchers use science to predict success
Phys.Org
Distinguished professor Albert László Barabási is director the Center for Complex Network Research, where his team is using network theory to answer a variety of research questions.
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Why would I donate my body to science? – Brooke Borel – Aeon

Why would I donate my body to science? – Brooke Borel – Aeon | Common sense | Scoop.it
There are never enough whole-body donations to science. Why don’t more people want their death to help the living? ("It’s a heavy decision, to choose where you’ll go when you die." Would you donate your body to science?
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Cicada wings inspire new ideas for antibacterial products

Cicada wings inspire new ideas for antibacterial products | Common sense | Scoop.it
“Here’s another reason to love cicadas: A new study has found that tiny structures on cicada wings can kill bacteria through physical and not chemical means.”
Via Sakis Koukouvis
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She's Worked At McDonald's For 10 Years. She Asked Its President A Simple Question. Then Cops Came.

She's Worked At McDonald's For 10 Years. She Asked Its President A Simple Question. Then Cops Came. | Common sense | Scoop.it
This is what happens when a mother of two asks the president of McDonald's a great question.
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What An Inspiration! A Woman Who's Totally Upsetting One Industry That's Usually Male.

What An Inspiration! A Woman Who's Totally Upsetting One Industry That's Usually Male. | Common sense | Scoop.it
If you need another reason to cheer for women's power, here ya go!
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Congress Did Something So Spectacularly Creepy That It's Too Unbelievable To Make Up

Congress Did Something So Spectacularly Creepy That It's Too Unbelievable To Make Up | Common sense | Scoop.it
The most important five minutes you should see to understand the shutdown.
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Step Into Science: Let's Abandon Nerdy Stereotypes - NPR (blog)

Step Into Science: Let's Abandon Nerdy Stereotypes - NPR (blog) | Common sense | Scoop.it
NPR (blog)
Step Into Science: Let's Abandon Nerdy Stereotypes
NPR (blog)
People often ask me why I decided to become a scientist, especially younger students uncertain of their career paths.
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Is This The Newest Brain Food?

Is This The Newest Brain Food? | Common sense | Scoop.it
For some people, indulging in a daily chocolate habit could be all it takes for a better-working brain. (Can drinking hot chocolate make your brain work better? Contribute to science by conducting your own study!
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Hey, Instagram Users: Science Confirms You're Ruining Your Meal

Hey, Instagram Users: Science Confirms You're Ruining Your Meal | Common sense | Scoop.it
The world's first scientific study on how Instagram photos of food can ruin meals has been released. (Hey, Instagrammers: Science confirms you're ruining your meal by taking pictures of it.
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Sharks: feared or revered – but very rarely understood

Sharks: feared or revered – but very rarely understood | Common sense | Scoop.it
Human activity has driven many species of shark into decline.

Via Gaye Rosier
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Can a Jellyfish Unlock the Secret of Immortality and Reversal of Aging?

Can a Jellyfish Unlock the Secret of Immortality and Reversal of Aging? | Common sense | Scoop.it

Christian Sommer, a German marine-biology student in his early 20s, was conducting research on hydrozoans, small invertebrates that, depending on their stage in the life cycle, resemble either a jellyfish or a soft coral. Every morning, Sommer went snorkeling in the turquoise water off the cliffs of Portofino, Italy. He scanned the ocean floor for hydrozoans, gathering them with plankton nets. Among the hundreds of organisms he collected was a tiny, relatively obscure species known to biologists as Turritopsis dohrnii. Today it is more commonly known as the immortal jellyfish. Sommer kept his hydrozoans in petri dishes and observed their reproduction habits. After several days he noticed that his Turritopsis dohrnii was behaving in a very peculiar manner, for which he could hypothesize no earthly explanation. Plainly speaking, it refused to die. It appeared to age in reverse, growing younger and younger until it reached its earliest stage of development, at which point it began its life cycle anew.

 

Sommer was baffled by this development but didn’t immediately grasp its significance. (It was nearly a decade before the word “immortal” was first used to describe the species.) But several biologists in Genoa, fascinated by Sommer’s finding, continued to study the species, and in 1996 they published a paper called “Reversing the Life Cycle.” The scientists described how the species — at any stage of its development — could transform itself back to a polyp, the organism’s earliest stage of life, “thus escaping death and achieving potential immortality.” This finding appeared to debunk the most fundamental law of the natural world — you are born, and then you die. One of the paper’s authors, Ferdinando Boero, likened the Turritopsis to a butterfly that, instead of dying, turns back into a caterpillar. Another metaphor is a chicken that transforms into an egg, which gives birth to another chicken. The anthropomorphic analogy is that of an old man who grows younger and younger until he is again a fetus. For this reason Turritopsis dohrnii is often referred to as the Benjamin Button jellyfish.

 

Some progress has been made, however, in the quarter-century since Christian Sommer’s discovery. We now know, for instance, that the rejuvenation of Turritopsis dohrnii and some other members of the genus is caused by environmental stress or physical assault. We know that, during rejuvenation, it undergoes cellular transdifferentiation, an unusual process by which one type of cell is converted into another — a skin cell into a nerve cell, for instance. (The same process occurs in human stem cells.) But we still don’t understand how it ages in reverse.

 

Immortality is, to a certain degree, a question of semantics. “That word ‘immortal’ is distracting,” says James Carlton, the professor of marine sciences at Williams. “If by ‘immortal’ you mean passing on your genes, then yes, it’s immortal. But those are not the same cells anymore. The cells are immortal, but not necessarily the organism itself.” To complete the Benjamin Button analogy, imagine the man, after returning to a fetus, being born again. The cells would be recycled, but the old Benjamin would be gone; in his place would be a different man with a new brain, a new heart, a new body. He would be a clone.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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