New research challenges long-held beliefs about limb regeneration

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Researchers are challenging a centuries-old beliefs about how mammals might regenerate damaged parts of the body. In humans, the natural ability to regenerate is limited to tissues like the epidermis, the outermost layer of skin, and some organs, such as the liver. Other species, most notably salamanders, have the ability to regenerate complex structures such as bones, joints, and even entire limbs. As a result, scientists have been studying these species for more than 200 years to try to understand the mechanisms behind limb regeneration in the hopes of someday translating those mechanisms to induce more extensive regeneration in humans. That research has led to a common belief that the single biggest key for limb regeneration is the presence of nerves.

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Researchers uncover life’s power generators in the Earth’s oldest groundwaters

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An international team of researchers has discovered 1.2-billion-year-old groundwater deep in a gold- and uranium-producing mine in Moab Khotsong, South Africa, shedding more light on how life is sustained below the Earth's surface and how it may thrive on other planets.

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Unchecked emissions could double heat-related child mortality

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If carbon emissions are limited to slow temperature rise, up to an estimated 6,000 child deaths could be prevented in Africa each year, according to new research. New work estimated the impact of climate change on annual heat-related deaths of children under five years old in sub-Saharan Africa, from 1995 -- 2050. It shows that thousands of heat-related child deaths could be prevented if temperature increases are limited to the Paris Agreement's 1.5ºC target through to 2050. However, heat-related child deaths could double in sub-Saharan Africa by mid-century if high emissions continue.

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In Sweden, municipal housing policy influences refugee reception

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A new academic article, published in Frontiers in Political Science, analyzes how the Settlement Act is applied in Sweden's municipalities. Housing is an important prerequisite for the socioeconomic integration of refugees. The Settlement Act was implemented in 2016 and entails that municipalities are obliged to receive refugees according to quotas.

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Molecule boosts fat burning

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A study has identified a molecule -- the purine inosine -- that boosts fat burning in brown adipocytes. The mechanism was discovered in mice, but probably exists in humans as well: If a transporter for inosine is less active, the mice remain significantly leaner despite a high-fat diet.

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Using big data to better understand cancerous mutations

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The ideal method of determining what type of cancer mutation a patient has is to compare two samples from the same patient, one from the tumor and one from healthy tissue. Such tests can be complicated and costly, however, so researchers hit upon another idea -- using massive public DNA databases to look for common cell mutations that tend to be benign, so that researchers can identify rarer mutations that have the potential to be cancerous.

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The solar system is stable for at least the next 100,000 years

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It's nice to have a feel-good story every once in a while, so here's one to hold off the existential dread: the Earth isn't likely to get flung off into deep space for at least 100,000 years. In fact, all of the solar system's planets are safe for that time frame, so there is good news all around, for you and your favorite planetary body.

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Robotic ammonites recreate ancient animals’ movements

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Robotic ammonites, evaluated in a university pool, allow researchers to explore questions about how shell shapes affected swimming ability. They found trade-offs between stability in the water and maneuverability, suggesting that the evolution of ammonite shells explored different designs for different advantages, rather than converged toward a single best design.

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Buying into conspiracy theories can be exciting—that’s what makes them dangerous

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Conspiracy theories have been around for centuries, from witch trials and antisemitic campaigns to beliefs that Freemasons were trying to topple European monarchies. In the mid-20th century, historian Richard Hofstadter described a "paranoid style" that he observed in right-wing U.S. politics and culture: a blend of "heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy."

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Humpback whales may steer clear of Hawaiʻi due to climate change

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Humpback whales may one day avoid Hawaiian waters due to climate change and rising greenhouse gasses, according the findings of a new paper published in Frontiers in Marine Science by a team of researchers including three University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa graduate students—Hannah von Hammerstein and Renee Setter from the Department of Geography and Environment in the College of Social Sciences, and Martin van Aswegen from the Marine Mammal Research Program in the Institute for Marine Biology.

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New antibody detection method for coronavirus that does not require a blood sample

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Researchers have developed a rapid and effective antibody detection method for SARS-CoV-2 that is minimally invasive and applicable in resource-limited settings. Their methodology, which uses a patch sensor containing porous microneedles and a paper-based immunoassay, could have far-reaching implications for the blood-free detection of COVID-19 and many other infectious diseases.

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NASA explains the mission to bring samples of Mars soil, rock and atmosphere back to Earth

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NASA's Mars Sample Return Mission aims to bring 30 samples of rock, soil and atmosphere now being collected by the Perseverance rover back to Earth sometime in the early 2030s. The goal is to look for signs of past life and also to find out more about the Red Planet before humans visit it.

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Bio station researchers discuss mine risks to salmon rivers

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Recently, a group of 23 science and policy experts from the U.S. and Canada published a review of mining risks to watersheds ranging from Montana to British Columbia and Alaska. The paper brought together experts in salmon ecology, watershed science, mining impacts and mining policy to integrate knowledge across research fields that often work independently from one another.

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NASA says its plan to bring Mars samples back to Earth is safe, but some people are worried

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Since September, the Perseverance rover has been picking along an ancient river delta on Mars, its robotic arms reaching out with whirling steel drill bits to core rocks, scoop soil and suck small amounts of the red planet's atmosphere into titanium tubes.

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Scaling the cost of government programs using a cost-per-person price tag improves comprehension by the general public

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Government policies often are presented with hefty price tags, but people often zone out as more zeros are added to the total cost. A new study from Carnegie Mellon University suggests that rescaling the cost of programs can increase a person's understanding of funding choices, which may improve how people participate in the policy debate. The results are available in the July issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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The Higgs boson, ten years after its discovery

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Ten years ago, on July 4 2012, the ATLAS and CMS collaborations at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) announced the discovery of a new particle with features consistent with those of the Higgs boson predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics. The discovery was a landmark in the history of science and captured the world's attention. One year later it won François Englert and Peter Higgs the Nobel Prize in Physics for their prediction made decades earlier, together with the late Robert Brout, of a new fundamental field, known as the Higgs field, that pervades the universe, manifests itself as the Higgs boson and gives mass to the elementary particles.

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The art of getting DNA out of decades-old pickled snakes

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Using pickled snakes collected decades ago and stored in an underground bunker of collections, scientists have found ways to get DNA samples from specimens previously considered near-impossible to get genetic data from. They used that DNA to solve a long-standing mystery about which family an elusive snake from the island of Borneo belongs to.

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Powerful links between methane and climate change

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Using data gathered over the last four decades to study the effects of temperature changes and rain on the atmospheric concentration of methane, scientists have concluded that Earth could be both delivering more, and removing less, methane into the air than previously estimated, with the result that more heat is being trapped in the atmosphere. The study, published in the scientific journal Nature Communications on 23 June, addresses the large uncertainty about the impact of climate change on atmospheric methane. The study finds that this impact could be four times greater than that estimated in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.

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Climate change will increase chances of wildfire globally — but humans can still help reduce the risk

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New research highlights how the risk of wildfire is rising globally due to climate change -- but also, how human actions and policies can play a critical role in regulating regional impacts. The study shows that anthropogenic climate change is a 'push' factor that enhances the risk of wildfires globally.

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Climate change in oceanwater may impact mangrove dispersal, study finds

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Researchers examined 21st century changes in ocean-surface temperature, salinity, and density, across mangrove forests worldwide. Their study suggests that changes in surface-ocean density may impact the dispersal patterns of widely distributed mangroves species, and more likely so in the Indo-West Pacific region, the primary hotspot of mangrove diversity.

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A closer look into the emergence of antibiotic resistance in bioaerosols and its monitoring

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While there are many studies that discuss antibiotic resistance genes (ARG) in soil and water environments, there is currently very little research that focuses on ARG in aerial environments. In a recent review, researchers have analyzed current research trends regarding ARG in bioaerosols, including their sources, methods of detection, and implications for the future.

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Plug-and-play test for keeping track of immunity to Sars-CoV-2 variants

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Many antibody tests have been developed since the pandemic started, but very few are designed to specifically detect the Sars-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies which prevent infection. Based on protein complementation, the modular method described here is the first of its kind to measure neutralizing antibodies against variants, from a drop of blood, in under one hour and at low cost.

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Satellite-tracking of whale sharks offered insight into their migratory and feeding behavior

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The largest fish in the ocean is a globe-trotter that can occasionally be found basking in the coastal waters of the Panamanian Pacific. However, little more is known about the habits of the whale shark (Rhincodon typus) in the region. By satellite-tracking the whereabouts of 30 of them, scientists from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life and the University of Panama explored the factors influencing this endangered species' behavior.

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New study reveals impact of plastic on small mammals, as four out of seven species identified as ‘plastic positive’

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Researchers investigating the exposure of small mammals to plastics in England and Wales have found traces in the feces of more than half of the species examined. The densities of plastic excreted were comparable with those reported in human studies.

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Researchers use AI to detect new family of genes in gut bacteria

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Using artificial intelligence, UT Southwestern researchers have discovered a new family of sensing genes in enteric bacteria that are linked by structure and probably function, but not genetic sequence. The findings, published in PNAS, offer a new way of identifying the role of genes in unrelated species and could lead to new ways to fight intestinal bacterial infections.

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Three people gored by bison in a month at Yellowstone National Park. Why do these attacks happen?

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There have been three separate incidents of people being gored by bison in Yellowstone National Park in the last month. Park officials say people must keep a respectful distance or risk being charged by the massive mammals.

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Protecting the brain from dementia-inducing abnormal protein aggregates

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Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's are defined by pathogenic accumulation of toxic proteins in the brain. Now, however, scientists have established that the p62 protein, which is involved in cellular protein degradation, can prevent the accumulation of toxic oligomeric tau species in mouse brains, proving the 'neuroprotective' function of p62 in a living model.

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How placentas evolved in mammals

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The fossil record tells us about ancient life through the preserved remains of body parts like bones, teeth and turtle shells. But how to study the history of soft tissues and organs, which can decay quickly, leaving little evidence behind? In a new study, scientists use gene expression patterns, called transcriptomics, to investigate the ancient origins of one organ: the placenta, which is vital to pregnancy.

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Montana bio station researchers discuss mine risks to salmon rivers

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Recently, a group of 23 science and policy experts from the U.S. and Canada published a review of mining risks to watersheds ranging from Montana to British Columbia and Alaska. The paper brought together experts in salmon ecology, watershed science, mining impacts and mining policy to integrate knowledge across research fields that often work independently from one another.

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‘Soft’ CRISPR may offer a new fix for genetic defects

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Scientists have developed a new CRISPR-based technology that could offer a safer approach to correcting genetic defects. The new 'soft' CRISPR approach makes use of natural DNA repair machinery, providing a foundation for novel gene therapy strategies with the potential to cure a large spectrum of genetic diseases.

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New method boosts the study of regulation of gene activity

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Researchers report the development of a chemical-based sequencing method to quantify different epigenetic markers simultaneously. Their method, called NT-seq, short for nitrite treatment followed by next-generation sequencing, is a sequencing method for detecting multiple types of DNA methylation genome-wide.

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New sibling diagnosis for post-traumatic stress disorder

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The World Health Organization (WHO) recently listed a new sibling diagnosis for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), termed complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD). An international team has now summarized the symptoms of the long-awaited new diagnosis and issued guidelines for clinical assessment and treatment.

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Advocating a new paradigm for electron simulations

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Although most fundamental mathematical equations that describe electronic structures are long known, they are too complex to be solved in practice. This has hampered progress in physics, chemistry and the material sciences. Thanks to modern high-performance computing clusters and the establishment of the simulation method density functional theory (DFT), researchers were able to change this situation. However, even with these tools the modeled processes are in many cases still drastically simplified. Now, physicists at the Center for Advanced Systems Understanding (CASUS) and the Institute of Radiation Physics at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) succeeded in significantly improving the DFT method. This opens up new possibilities for experiments with ultra-high intensity lasers, as the group explains in the Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation.

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When ASD occurs with intellectual disability, a convergent mechanism for two top-ranking risk genes may be the cause

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Scientists have discovered a convergent mechanism that may be responsible for how two top-ranked genetic risk factors for autism spectrum disorder/intellectual disability (ASD/ID) lead to these neurodevelopmental disorders.

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Crushed, zapped, boiled, baked and more: Nature used 57 recipes to create Earth’s 10,500-plus ‘mineral kinds’

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A 15-year study details the origins and diversity of every known mineral on Earth, a landmark body of work that will help reconstruct the history of life on Earth, guide the search for new minerals and ore deposits, predict possible characteristics of future life, and aid the search for habitable planets and extraterrestrial life.

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Wildfire risk has grown nearly everywhere, but we can still influence where and how fires strike

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Humans have raised CO₂ levels in the atmosphere to 50% above what they were before the industrial revolution. As a result, the world has already warmed by 1.1°C over the past century and reports indicate that it could reach 2.7°C of warming by the end of this century.

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