research

Experts tentatively OK human gene editing, but with strict rules

Experts tentatively OK human gene editing, but with strict rules

Experts comprising a panel formed by the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine have tentatively recommended that human gene editing be allowed to proceed in very limited cases where individuals are at risk of inheriting severe diseases that cannot be prevented by any other means. These edited genes would be passed on to future generations in due time, potentially removing defective genes from entire blood lines. That ample benefit, however, may not be adequate enough to quell concerns.

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Study finds gluten-free diets may be high in arsenic and mercury

Study finds gluten-free diets may be high in arsenic and mercury

Americans have been amidst a low-and-no gluten dieting craze, with many individuals swearing off the protein despite not having celiac disease. Whether gluten sensitivity is a real thing is still a hot debate topic and not without its controversy, but that’s neither here nor there. A new study recently published in Epidemiology has found that cutting gluten entirely out of your diet may result in an increased consumption of heavy metals, causing higher-than-average levels of arsenic and mercury to develop in your body over time.

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Fix self-driving car rules or face needless deaths, GM warns government

Fix self-driving car rules or face needless deaths, GM warns government

GM and Toyota will pressure lawmakers to loosen rules on self-driving cars, arguing that restrictive current regulations are leading to thousands of preventable deaths. Representatives from the two automakers will appear in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday this week, and according to prepared remarks will criticize existing laws on autonomous vehicles and the testing of such vehicles. Among their complaints are restrictions that demand traditional controls must be available.

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Study finds calorie restriction slows aging in mice

Study finds calorie restriction slows aging in mice

A new study recently detailed in Molecular & Cellular Proteomics has found that calorie restriction may slow cellular aging, a conclusion that isn’t entirely new — we’ve seen studies over the past handful of years that detail similar findings. In particular, calorie restriction appears to positively impact ribosomes, the so-called protein-maker of a cell. Slowing down ribosome production lends more time for repair, and, it turns out, slowing down production is as simple as eating less.

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Algae survived 16 months in space outside of the ISS

Algae survived 16 months in space outside of the ISS

Algae can survive exposure in space for a long duration of time, according to the results of a relatively recent experiment aboard (sort of) the International Space Station. The results have been described as ‘astonishing,’ with researchers finding that despite exposure to the vacuum of space, extreme temperature changes, and both UV and cosmic radiation, the algae was able to survive for 16 months on the exterior of the ISS, demonstrating an incredible hardiness.

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Researchers discover ancient undersea landslide near Australia

Researchers discover ancient undersea landslide near Australia

Researchers have discovered a huge undersea landslide located on the Great Barrier Reef, one said to have formed about 300,000 years ago. The region has been dubbed the Gloria Knolls Slide, and it is said to be about 47 miles from Queensland, Australia. The slip was formed by a large scale collapse of sediment in the region, something to the tune of 32 cubic kilometers' worth.

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Google Brain algorithm makes “zoom in, enhance” almost real

Google Brain algorithm makes “zoom in, enhance” almost real

Anyone who has followed crime procedural TV shows, particularly the likes of CSI, will probably be familiar with the "zoom in, enhance" method of pulling evidence out of thin air, so to speak. It has become so common an occurrence that it has transformed both into a trope but also into a sort of holy grail for computer scientists. The latter bunch at the Google Brain deep learning lab might have come across a process that almost comes close to fiction. Well, almost.

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This “fish-scale” lizard sheds its scale to escape

This “fish-scale” lizard sheds its scale to escape

Lizards are quite famous for their ability to voluntarily cut off and sacrifice their tail in order to escape with their lives. But for some types of lizards, that isn't the only thing they can shed. A specific genus named Geckolepis, endemic to Madagascar and the Comoro archipelago, also known as "fish-scale geckos", can also quickly remove their scales if needed, making them not only harder to capture but also harder to study. Which makes the classification of a new Geckolepis megalepis an even bigger accomplishment than it sounds.

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Ancient slug fossil reveals spiky ‘armor,’ hints about evolution

Ancient slug fossil reveals spiky ‘armor,’ hints about evolution

A newly published study details a unique-looking ancient slug that had a protective ‘armor’ composed of small spikes. This discovery helps shed light on the evolution of mollusks, revealing that they didn’t exactly have shells in the popular sense of the word, but weren’t entirely without protection, either. The fossils were found several years ago by an enthusiastic collector.

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5,000-year-old Chinese beer replicated using ancient recipe

5,000-year-old Chinese beer replicated using ancient recipe

Remember the ancient Chinese beer discovery publicized last year? It was a notable discovery for multiple reasons, including shedding light on agriculture in China at the time and giving modern humans an ancient recipe used to create beer. Now students at Stanford University have set out to recreate that beer, doing so following along with the ancient recipe. Some of the resulting beer was described as less than desirable, but others were successful.

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This “sensor pill” can be powered by your stomach acid

This “sensor pill” can be powered by your stomach acid

Electronic devices are invading every aspect of our lives and, soon, even our own bodies. Pills that contain sensors that transmit data from inside the human body have long been a holy grail for scientists and doctors but they have always been stumped by one critical part of the setup: the power source. Now researchers from MIT might have gotten one step closer by harvesting electricity from the most ubiquitous material inside our stomachs: our own stomach acid.

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Ancient Ceres may have been home to many ice volcanoes

Ancient Ceres may have been home to many ice volcanoes

The dwarf planet Ceres is home to a massive ice volcano said to be about half the height of Mt. Everest, and it sits alone on the otherwise mostly barren landscape. While solitary in its existence today, it may once have had other icy compatriots, at least according to a new bit of research fresh from the American Geophysical Union. These so-called ‘cryovolcanoes’ are thought to have flattened over time, becoming just another icy spot on the planet’s surface.

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