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Written By: grant on December 19, 2014 No Comment

Science Daily takes a look at propolis, the sticky putty-like stuff honeybees use to seal up their hives. There are all kinds of health claims made about it, but one study shows that it can boost hair growth:

People from ancient times had noticed propolis’ special properties and used it to treat tumors, inflammation and […]

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Written By: grant on December 18, 2014 No Comment

New Scientist tries to keep some perspective about our great-great-etc. grandfather, Ursolestes, a prehistoric primate who might seem to us, a squirrel monkey. To dinosaurs, a giant:

New fossil finds from Montana, US, reveal a species so different from others that some scientists now think the first primates evolved when dinosaurs still roamed.

It weighed […]

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Written By: grant on December 17, 2014 No Comment

Science Daily reveals that two kinds of phthalates – chemicals found in ordinary stuff like dryer sheets, soap, lipstick and vinyl fabrics – can drop IQ points off developing babies:

Since 2009, several phthalates have been banned from children’s toys and other childcare articles in the United States. However, no steps have been taken […]

Written By: grant on December 16, 2014 No Comment

Nature surveys the plastic in the seas, expects to see things like detergent bottles and Barbies breaking up into tiny “microplastic” particles, and doesn’t. So the question becomes… where does the plastic go?:

More than 5 trillion plastic pieces, with a combined mass of more than 250,000 tonnes, are floating in the ocean, researchers reported […]

Written By: grant on December 15, 2014 No Comment

MedPage Today is among the sources spreading the determination (with no mincing of words) that sugar is just as bad as salt – if not worse – for your blood pressure:

In a research review published Dec. 11 in the BMJ journal Open Heart, James J. DiNicolantonio, PharmD, of Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart […]

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Written By: grant on December 14, 2014 No Comment
Science Art: <i>Fig 114 – July normal sea-level pressure, Southern Hemisphere</i>.

Click to embiggen

Making the invisible visible – the air over the South Pole, Australia, Tierra del Fuego, Cape Town and beyond.

From General Meteorology (Published Formerly Under The Title Synoptic and Aeronautical Meteorology), 1944, by Horace Robert Byers, Sc.D. The first printing seems to have been in 1937, and the maps have a marvelous […]

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Written By: grant on December 12, 2014 No Comment

New Scientist reveals how menthol – something originally added to cigarettes to soothe smokers’ throats – actually makes cigarettes more ‘cigarette-y’:

People who smoke menthol cigarettes often smoke more frequently and can be less likely to quit – and it could be because fresh-tasting menthol is changing their brains to more sensitive to nicotine.

How menthol […]

Written By: grant on December 11, 2014 No Comment

New Scientist pulls back the curtain on how electric eels “remote control” their prey, freezing them right next to their hungry mouths:

The experiments that untangled these mechanisms were devised and run by Kenneth Catania at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. In a natural environment, Catania watched an eel hunting and measured its electric discharges. […]

Written By: grant on December 10, 2014 No Comment

Nature looks over some triangles – not unlike capital letter As – etched into a shell on Java and determines they were carved by Homo erectus, 500,000 years ago:

By 40,000 years ago, and probably much earlier, anatomically modern humans — Homo sapiens — were painting on cave walls in places as far apart […]

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