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Svalbard doomsday seed vault gets huge (and critical) seed deposit

Svalbard doomsday seed vault gets huge (and critical) seed deposit

The so-called ‘doomsday’ seed vault located in the Arctic on the small, cold nation of Svalbard has received what is described as a large and major deposit of seeds. According to The Crop Trust, which oversees the vault, the deposit was made on February 22, and is a necessary part in ‘ensuring global food security.’ Almost 50,000 seeds from countries all around the world were added.

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Artificial intelligence used to detect very early signs of autism in infants

Artificial intelligence used to detect very early signs of autism in infants

It’s difficult to diagnose infants with autism due to trouble determining whether any behavioral traits common to autism are present. This difficulty is most pronounced before the age of two, and especially before the age of one, resulting in delayed diagnoses. All that may be changing, though, thanks to artificial intelligence and its ability to predict with high accuracy which infants will be diagnosed with autism by their second year.

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Study: Neanderthal genes are still affecting humans

Study: Neanderthal genes are still affecting humans

Neanderthals haven’t existed for the better part of 40,000 years, but their genes continue to affect present day humans in important ways. According to a new study, Neanderthal DNA resulting from the mating of Neanderthals with humans is still active in 52 varieties of human tissue, influencing gene expression. This influence includes things like making people taller and reducing one’s odds of developing schizophrenia.

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Tiny sea snail venom found to contain powerful non-opioid painkiller

Tiny sea snail venom found to contain powerful non-opioid painkiller

Opioid painkillers are up to the task of tackling pain, but they also come with a terrible side effect: a very high potential for severe addition that can be hard to break. The medical community has long sought alternatives to opioids that would be as effective while eliminating or reducing the addiction potential, and now researchers may have found that alternative. It comes, oddly enough, from the venom of a tiny sea snail.

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New map shows US bee decline is happening in vital growing zones

New map shows US bee decline is happening in vital growing zones

The bee population is declining, and it has scientists concerned. This isn’t a new revelation, and indeed conservation efforts have been underway to increase wild populations. The latest bit of research on this issue, though, highlights how troublesome the matter is: it comes in the form of a map, the first of its kind, and shows that bee declines are happening primarily in the nation’s most vital agricultural zones, putting necessary crops at risk.

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Uber preps first diversity report following harassment allegations

Uber preps first diversity report following harassment allegations

Diversity reports have become popular among tech companies in the face of growing public criticism over low-diversity workforces and potential discrimination. Some companies have been issuing such reports for years now while others are just getting started, and one such notable company is Uber. The ridesharing company is said to be preparing its first ever diversity report following allegations that its didn’t adequately handle alleged sexual harassment within the company.

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Lab-made wooly mammoth embryos are only two years away

Lab-made wooly mammoth embryos are only two years away

A couple years ago, it was revealed that scientists had sequenced the wooly mammoth’s genome, and now researchers have revealed that a ‘de-extinction’ of the beast may be only two years away. Scientists aim to create a sort of hybrid wooly mammoth that will be part Asian elephant, the by-product of which will be a so-called ‘mammophant’ with many of the same characteristics of long-extinct wooly mammoths.

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Twitter is now ‘temporarily limiting’ accounts that misbehave

Twitter is now ‘temporarily limiting’ accounts that misbehave

Twitter has been targeting abusive activities and accounts with a growing array of features and methods, and the latest among them appears to be a sort of 'throttling' that temporarily limits the extent to which a particular Twitter account can be viewed. News about the limitations surfaced via the affected users themselves, who have shared the notice they received from Twitter.

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Land snail species named after Dungeons & Dragons character ‘Shar’

Land snail species named after Dungeons & Dragons character ‘Shar’

Shar, the Mistress of the Night, has a namesake: a small newly discovered land snail found in a cave in Brazil. Researchers have dubbed the small critter Gastrocopta sharae, with those who made the discovery explaining, “It’s a fitting name for a tiny snail that lives hidden in the dark recesses of a cavern … Usually biologists tend to honor Greek and Roman deities when naming species, but the goddess Shar has a more colorful background.”

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Trump administration delays bumble bee’s endangered status

Trump administration delays bumble bee’s endangered status

The population of the rusty-patched bumble bee has been noticeably decreasing over the past couple decades, a worrisome trend that sparked federal conservation efforts. Among those efforts was a decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to add the bumble bee to the endangered species list with the ultimate goal of determining how to increase the bee’s population numbers. All that has been halted, however, by the Trump administration.

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T-Mobile ONE plan upgrades to counter Verizon Unlimited Data

T-Mobile ONE plan upgrades to counter Verizon Unlimited Data

Not wishing to be outdone by the new Verizon Unlimited Plan, T-Mobile USA has announced an update to its ONE plan that improves both video quality and tethering data. The news comes in the aftermath of Verizon resurrecting its "true" unlimited data plan, offering subscribers a tariff with no upper ceiling on how much data they can use (though throttling does kick in if you get particularly excessive). Now, T-Mobile's John Legere says his network is updating its flagship plan to maintain parity.

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Agility Robotics showcases ‘Cassie’ as future of walking robots

Agility Robotics showcases ‘Cassie’ as future of walking robots

Oregon State University’s robotics program has been spun off its own company, Agility Robotics, and it aims to ‘revolutionize’ the future of robotics mobility. The new company is based out of both Oregon and Pennsylvania, and it says it already has ‘several’ customers in the pipeline. The company’s current crowning achievement is ‘Cassie,’ a bipedal robot that is able to walk around untethered on its own two legs.

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