Science

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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SpaceX Dragon capsule successfully docks with International Space Station

SpaceX Dragon capsule successfully docks with International Space Station

It's been a somewhat turbulent week for the SpaceX Dragon capsule, but today SpaceX and NASA announced that it has successfully docked with the International Space Station. The rocket carrying the capsule was originally scheduled to launch on Saturday, but was delayed at the last second. SpaceX and NASA tried again the next day, and managed to pull off not only a perfect launch, but a perfect landing of the booster that sent the Dragon capsule into space.

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Birth Control pills saved 200k lives in 10 years, say scientists

Birth Control pills saved 200k lives in 10 years, say scientists

A study conducted by a group at Oxford showed that 200,000 lives have been saved from endometrial cancer over a 9-year period. This group, known better as the Collaborative Group on Epidemiological Studies on Endometrial Cancer (Oxford), showed that "about 400 000 cases of endometrial cancer before the age of 75 years have been prevented over the past 50 years (1965–2014) by oral contraceptives." Their conclusion, based on this study, is that use of oral contraceptives (birth control pills), confers long-term protection against edometrial cancer.

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Super-early Alzheimer’s detection may hinge on speech patterns

Super-early Alzheimer’s detection may hinge on speech patterns

Detecting dementia and Alzheimer's early is tricky and that's a problem, as early detection -- and thusly early treatment -- is thought to be a very important factor in possibly slowing down the disease's progression. Thanks to studies analyzing the speech and language patterns of individuals eventually diagnosed with these disease, however, researchers may have identified a method for detecting Alzheimer's disease several years or more than a decade earlier than using other methods.

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Apollo 11 command module begins nationwide tour next year

Apollo 11 command module begins nationwide tour next year

2019 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 space mission, in which Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the Moon. In celebration of this anniversary, the Apollo 11 command module, which is named Columbia and flew those two astronauts and Michael Collins to their lunar destination and back, will kick off a nationwide tour that will give people around the US a chance to see it in person.

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NASA finds seven new Earth-sized exoplanets near the same star

NASA finds seven new Earth-sized exoplanets near the same star

As promised on Monday, NASA has announced new exoplanet findings, namely the discovery of seven new exoplanets, some of which may contain the key ingredients for life. This discovery is a phenomenal one, further fleshing out the space agency's past exoplanet announcements with a roster of new celestial bodies to investigate. Not much is known about these exoplanets at the time, but what we do know is fascinating.

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NASA says it will announce new exoplanet ‘findings’ tomorrow

NASA says it will announce new exoplanet ‘findings’ tomorrow

NASA has announced that it will soon reveal ‘new findings’ related to exoplanets — that is, planets that orbit stars that aren’t our own sun. The space agency hasn’t yet released any details about what it will say, as it states the info is under an embargo until 1PM tomorrow, at which point the scientific journal Nature will publish all the finer details. The public will be able to send questions in to NASA via Twitter during its briefing on Wednesday.

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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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Penny-size frog found in India

Penny-size frog found in India

A 12-millimeter-long frog has been found in India amongst a total of 7 new species reported by scientists. Four of the new species of frog can fit comfortably on a penny. All seven of the new frog species are part of a group that live only in the Western Ghats mountain range in western India. This group of animals are collectively called Night Frogs.

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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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Pluto could be a planet again, just like our moon

Pluto could be a planet again, just like our moon

Is Pluto a planet or not? Depending the age of whom you ask, and depending they keep up with the latest new, they might answer yes or now. Apparently, it also depends whether you’re asking an astronomer or a planetary scientists. At least that’s the sentiment that NASA scientists, led by New Horizon principal investigator Alan Stern, is giving off in proposing a redefinition of what a planet is, which would re-induct Pluto to the club once again. Curiously enough, it would also add 100 new planets to our solar system alone.

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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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