Month: March 2021

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The day has finally come. Scientists have finally created synthetic mucus molecules that exhibit the structure and function of the real deal. Far from being a slime crime, though, it’s a discovery that could help scientists devise new treatments for infectious diseases, according to the research team behind the breakthrough.   Slippery, slimy, and oozy,
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The extent of Australasian influence into the ancient bloodlines of early South American cultures looks to be even greater than scientists thought, according to new research. In 2015, a pair of scientific studies identified an intriguing link: evidence of Indigenous Australian, Melanesian, and South Asian genetics embedded in modern Native American populations living in the
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Could humans ever evolve venom? It’s highly unlikely that people will join rattlesnakes and platypuses among the ranks of venomous animals, but new research reveals that humans do have the tool kit to produce venom – in fact, all reptiles and mammals do.   This collection of flexible genes, particularly associated with the salivary glands in humans, explains how
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In a new first for genetic engineering, scientists have developed a single-celled synthetic organism that grows and divides much like a normal cell, mimicking aspects of the cell division cycle that underlies and generates healthy living cellular life.   The achievement, demonstrated in an engineered unicellular bacteria-like life form called JCVI-syn3A, is the result of
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Bloodsucking insects, trapped in amber for millions of years, extracted for their blood-filled bellies, with the blood analyzed for ancient DNA. At first glance, the scientific explanation for the revival of dinosaurs in Jurassic Park doesn’t sound too far-fetched. It was considered a genuine possibility at the time the book was written.   There’s just one problem
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Back when mega wombats, sheep-sized echidnas, and marsupial lions roamed the ancient lands of Australia, there also lived a gigantic flightless bird. Known by some as the ‘demon duck of doom’, Dromornis stirtoni is described by paleontologist Trevor Worthy as an “extreme evolutionary experiment”.   “It would appear these giant birds were probably what evolution produced
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The plain wooden toothpick is among the simplest of all manufactured objects and is considered the oldest instrument for dental cleaning, one that spans more than just human species.   Several higher primates use similar items to rub or pick their teeth, and growing archaeological evidence from throughout Europe suggests Neanderthals also had a habit of scraping
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Archaeologists have discovered the 6,000-year-old skeleton of a child in the “Cave of Horrors” in Israel’s Judean Desert alongside ancient Dead Sea scrolls as well as the world’s oldest basket.   The “Cave of Horrors” takes its name from the 40 skeletons found there during excavations in the 1960s. Researchers found the child’s remains preserved naturally mummified
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Greenhouses fitted with semi-transparent solar cells can generate electricity without affecting the growth and health of the plants inside, according to a new study, suggesting we could build energy-neutral greenhouses without harming crops.   Researchers tested groups of red leaf lettuce under different types of glass and different wavelengths of light, keeping all other variables