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Nature Communications

  1. Screws Made From Silk Could Be The Future of Broken Bones

    Sorry, vegans, guess we'll have to keep drilling this metal into you like it's the 1800s.

    Good news for skeletons: researchers have developed biodegradable screws that strengthen bones, prevent infection, and minimize many of the risks in orthopedic surgery. Also they're made from silk, so get ready to become a race of super-fancy worm people.

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  2. Furry Little Death Mills: Domestic Cats Kill up to 24 Billion Small Animals a Year

    Now that we live in a society whose cultural output is dominated by videos of kittens, people's gut reaction to cats is largely "Aaaawwwww." That makes it easy to forget that every cat on Earth is a nearly perfect machine built for the sole purpose of murdering small animals. Every now and again, we get a reminder of the fact, and the latest one is an estimate published in the journal Nature Communications this week suggesting that domestic cats in the United States are responsible for the deaths of 3.7 billion birds and  more than 20 billion small mammals every year. Doing that math, it appears that literally every second your beloved pet is not in you lap, it is snuffing out tiny lives with mind-boggling efficiency.

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  3. Study: Ötzi the Ice Mummy was Lactose Intolerant, Has Relatives on Mediterranean Islands

    The Tyrolean Iceman, or Ötzi to his friends, was discovered in the Alps back in 1991 and has since then given scientists a window onto humans some 5,300 years ago. Over two decades after his shockingly well preserved remains were found, scientists are still discovering more about Ötzi. Most recently, DNA analysis has revealed what he looked like, where his descendants are now, and what he ate. Or rather, what he didn't eat.

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  4. Study: Ravens Might Communicate Using Gestures

    Ravens have proven to be some of the most surprising species of birds, having demonstrated the ability to use tools and even solve complex puzzles. Now, new research from Simone Pika and Thomas Bugnyar suggests that these clever birds might use gestures in order to communicate with each other.

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  5. Flies Sense Magnetic Fields Using Human Protein

    Cryptochrome, a light-sensitive protein present in human eyes has the ability to act as a sensor, detecting magnetic fields and subsequently acting as part of an internal navigation system. There is only one problem, while it is present in human eyes cryptochrome doesn't help humans sense magnetic fields. New research has shown that the human protein can work as part of an internal navigation system, but in fly (Drosophila) eyes.

    Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Worcester Polytechnic Institute have demonstrated that the human cryptochrome protein CRY2 can restore magnetoreceptive ability in Drosophila individuals whose natural ability to sense magnetic fields has been damaged. Cryptochrome is a common protein, it is present in the eyes of birds, who are known to use their internal knowledge of magnetic fields to guide their flight.

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