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World’s Most Potent Toxin


  The bacterium Clostridium botulinum produces the world’s most potent poison, which can cause paralysis, labored breathing, and death — it’s called botulism. The same toxin also smooths wrinkles in the skin at low concentrations because nature is weird like that. There’s an approved treatment for botulism, but it’s not …

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Origin of Universe


  Humans have wrestled with the nature of the universe since time immemorial, but we’ve had science to guide us in recent generations. Most experts on physics and cosmology accept the inflation model, a straight line from the Big Bang to our infinitely expanding universe. However, some scientists hold onto …

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Hot Subseafloor Sediments


An international team of researchers has discovered microbial life, in particular bacterial vegetative cells, in up to 1.2-km-deep and up to 120 degrees Celsius hot sediments in the Nankai Trough subduction zone off Cape Muroto, Japan. A microbial cell (center of the picture) detected from a sediment core sample at …

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Aging of Human Cells


A gene called GATA6 (GATA binding protein 6) regulates aging of human mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs), according to new research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. When mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) age, the transcription factor GATA6 is increasingly produced in the cell to induce aging response; by transcription factor-based cellular reprogramming, …

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Ultra Hard Diamonds


  Diamonds might not be as rare or eternal as diamond miners would like everyone to believe, but they’re still rare enough that creating synthetic diamond is a worthwhile scientific endeavor. Natural diamonds only form deep in the Earth under intense heat and pressure, but researchers from the Australian National …

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Bee Species Worldwide


Using a uniquely comprehensive checklist of bee distributions and over 5,800,000 public bee occurrence records, a team of researchers from China, the United States and Singapore has described global patterns of bee biodiversity. Their results show that there are more bee species in the northern hemisphere than the southern hemisphere …

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Planet Rains Molten Rock


  You could argue that Earth hasn’t been an ideal place to live lately, but it could be worse. Scientists from Canada’s McGill University have released a new analysis of an exoplanet called K2-141b. This world orbits its star so closely that its ecosystem is profoundly hellish. The ground is …

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Hamburg Meteorite


An international team of researchers has found extraterrestrial hydrocarbons, sulfurized and nitrogen-containing compounds in the Hamburg meteorite, which landed on frozen lakes in Michigan in 2018. A fragment of the Hamburg meteorite found on Strawberry Lake near Hamburg, Michigan, the United States. Image credit: Heck et al., doi: 10.1111/maps.13584. The …

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Water on the Moon?


  Researchers confirmed a long-standing theory that there was water ice on the moon, according to a pair of studies published in Nature Astronomy. While water on the moon has been suspected for several decades, and multiple lunar missions have gathered data that pointed to its presence, definitive proof had …

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Obstructive Sleep Apnea


While the cause of Alzheimer’s disease remains a mystery, amyloid plaques that are toxic to brain cells are known indicators of the disease. A team of researchers from Australia and Iceland has found that these plaques start in the same place and spread in the same way in the brains …

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