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This Italian Family Feels No Pain, And Scientists Finally Understand Why

A real-life superpower.<p>Scientists have identified a mysterious genetic mutation that effectively negates the sensation of pain, enabling people with …

University College London

Did a scientific battle about altruism just end?

Scientific controversies don’t often end up in the <i>New Yorker</i>, but a 2012 article described a tempest over a biology theory.<p>The tempest got started …

Biology

Paleontologists Uncover “Super Salamander” Boneyard

Finding fossils takes a combination of skill and luck. You have to be looking in the right place and have some idea of how to distinguish those precious pieces of prehistoric life from all the rock surrounding it. But that’s not all. How the sun hits stone, where your eyes fall along the outcrop, …

New Frog Species Can Change The Shape Of Its Skin

Am I feeling smooth or prickly today?<p>It might not be able to grow a thicker skin, but the newly discovered frog <i>Pristimantis mutabilis</i> and its relatives can change their skin's texture.<p>In a new paper published in the <i>Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society</i> this week, researchers announced the …

Hybrid Super-Termites Could Emerge From Interspecies Swarms

Two economically devastating species of invasive termite have joined forces in a "superswarm," and may spawn a dangerously vigorous generation of hybrid insects, researchers warn. University of Florida entomologist Nan-Yao Su and other scientists have observed Formosan and Asian subterranean …

University of Florida

Was Saturn Once Our Sun?

With the onset of civilisation all the archetypes were already present: the mother & child, the sacrificial hero, the universal father and so on were …

Water on Earth predates the solar system, and even the sun

Some of the water molecules in your drinking glass were created more than 4.5 billion years ago, according to new research.<p>That makes them older than the Earth, older than the solar system — even older than the sun itself.<p>In a study published Thursday in Science, researchers say the distinct …

The 2-Minute Workout That Works Your Abs From Every Angle

How strong is your core? Find out with this ultimate ab challenge<p>Ripped abs are reason enough to add some core moves to your routine. But a strong torso can also give you the foundation you need to lift more weight with less risk of injury. "Crunches alone won't get the job done, though," says Todd …

Fresh Meat: 10 new Android apps worth checking out

New apps need lovin’ too, right? Every day there are thousands of additions to the Google Play Store, but many go unnoticed and never receive the …

First Human Clone Embryos Created From Adults' Skin Cells

Another step toward having your own reserve of spare stem cells on demand<p>Scientists have created cloned embryos from the cells of two adults. This feat is the first hard evidence that it's possible to create clones from cells taken from adult humans. The idea is that in the future, doctors could …

Genetics

Trilobite Beetles are Happy Being on Land, Alive in the Present Day

Trilobite beetle Duliticola paradoxa. Credit: Bernard Dupont (flickr.com/photos/berniedup)<p>I know they look like they belong in the ocean 250 million …

Why Do Zebras Have Stripes? Mystery Solved, Scientists Say

For years, scientists have debated the evolutionary reason behind a zebra's stripes. Are they: a. Costumes for courtship? b: Camouflage to confuse lions and other predators? c: A natural way to cool off? d: Bug repellent?<p>If you answered "d," you'd win the prize, at least in the eyes of Tim Caro, a …

Biology

All Your Favorite (And Not-So-Favorite) Versions Of Spider-Man Return In ‘Spider-Verse’

Marvel Comics<p>There have been many, many, many versions of Spider-Man, none of which have been as good as the tried and true blue and red Peter Parker version, but for whatever reason Marvel just loves to keep on trying. Apparently somebody wrote “Wacky new version of Spider-Man + ____________ = …

5 Dick Moves Your Bank Pulls (You Won't Believe Are Legal)

Some institutions get more hate than they deserve. Most lawyers and police officers are just doing their jobs, and most businesses really are simply …

Ancient "Giant Virus" Revived From Siberian Permafrost

Climate change could release more ancient viruses. Is there a risk to humans?<p>Buried deep in the Siberian permafrost and untouched for over 30,000 years, researchers have discovered what is thought to be the newest representative of what are loosely known as "giant viruses."<p>A team led by Jean-Michel …

Not Everyone Playing 'Twitch Plays Pokémon' Appears To Be Human

Right now, more than fifty thousand people on a Twitch channel are trying to control a trainer in <i>Pokémon Red.</i> Collectively, they've acquired seven …

Internet

New Marsupial Discovered in Queensland, Australia

A new marsupial has been discovered in Queensland's Springbrook National Park. It has been named the Black-tailed Antechinus (<i>Antechinus arktos</i>). The …

Test finds painkiller potential in spider venom

Researchers screened more than 100 spider toxins and identified a protein from the venom of the Peruvian green velvet tarantula that blunts activity …

Biology

This Frog Just Wants Love. Instead He Gets The Kiss of Death From A Bat

Poor tiny túngara frog just wants to find a lover. Sitting in the prettiest pond-shallow he can find, he whines and chucks repeatedly, inflating his vocal sac into a painful-looking, swollen balloon. With each tun-gara sound, his balloon swells into the water, producing ripples that spread away …

How to crush a man's pride - hold a door open for him

Holding doors open for men is likely to clash with their masculine identity and leave them deflated, psychologists claim<p>If a man wants to bring a rival down a peg or two, he simply has to hold the door open for him.<p>While the gesture of goodwill might be seen as gentlemanly when it is done for a …

Google Launches Site That Tracks Deforestation in Near Real-Time

Google has announced a new website that monitors deforestation in near real-time. The site, Global Forest Watch, using satellite imagery to detect …

The Week In Numbers: Earth's Population In 2050, Life-Saving Poop Transplants, And More

<b>9 billion people</b>: Earth's population by 2050<p><b>41 percent</b>: the portion of people treated for cat bites who were diagnosed with depression, according to a study of 1.3 million health records<p><b>12 to 14 hours</b>: the length of time a newly discovered marsupial spends violently mating. Most of the males die …

Over The Past 60 Years, A Reef Island Has Grown Out Of The Sea

It is now stable and vegetated. Great job, island!<p>How old are you? Are you of retirement age yet? If so, in your lifetime, an island has been reborn, sand grain by sand grain.<p>Between 1945 and 2010, a sediment deposit in the Pacific Ocean grew to become a "fully vegetated and stable island," two …

Good Idea/Bad Idea: Use A Power Drill To...

With great power, comes great responsibility.<p>Clean the Bathroom (Good Idea)<p>Like scrubbing bathtubs? Neither do we, so cut the required elbow grease with a power scrubber. Drill through the center of a circular tub brush. Then drive a threaded bolt through the hole so the threaded end pokes out of …

I Won't Eat, You Can't Make Me! (And They Couldn't)

It was found in Baja California, in the water, scuttling about. It's an isopod — a many legged, many jointed, bottom-crawler, related to prawns and crabs and it happily eats dead things. Scavengers aren't that particular about what's for dinner. When they find it, they eat it.<p>This particular isopod …

New Species of Stream Lizard Found in Peru's Manu National Park

A new species of stream lizard was found in Peru's Manu National Park, which researchers say is a biodiversity hotspot for reptiles and amphibians. A …

Vast Underwater Survey Identifies Five Keys to Conserving Ocean Life

Dozens of volunteer divers surveyed marine protected areas worldwide, to discover why life flourishes in some while failing in others.<p>Oceans cover 70 percent of the Earth. Somewhat less than 2 percent of that area has been set aside in marine protected areas: refuges where sea life is supposed to …