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  1. Researchers Craft Model ‘Zombie’ Cells to Withstand High Heat and Pressure

    We're always at work making humans better, faster, and stronger, but what about individual cells? Well, we can make them stronger, too. The problem is, we... kind of have to kill them first. Once we've done that, though, what's left behind is a stronger, mineral model of the old cell's structure -- right down to its internal organs -- that could be the beginning of a new breed of high endurance nanomaterials.

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  2. Holiday Overeating Resets Your ‘Food Clock,’ Is Even Worse For You Than Once Thought

    As I type this, holiday eating is unleashing sheer havoc on my poor, defenseless waistline, and I suspect I'm in good company on that front. A new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, though, says it's not just the rich, delicious food we eat over the holidays that contributes to our bulging bellies -- nor is it the grotesque platefuls of Mom's mac and cheese we'll put away without blinking, racing our poor siblings to the only seconds on a given dish we'll get all year. Instead, the timing of our meals -- which, if your holidays are like mine, expands to a 24-hour-eating cycle this time of year -- is also a factor in our unhealthy eating habits, resetting our biological clocks and tricking our bodies into thinking we're hungry.

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  3. Newly Discovered Jurassic Fly May Have Been Among First To Imitate Plants

    Paleontologists in China think they've discovered a species of scorpionfly that dates back to the Jurassic era and used it's leaf-like wings to become indistinguishable from the gingko leaves where it made its home, using the cover not only to evade predators, but also to lay in wait for their own prey. If they're right, it makes this specimen one of the earliest examples of mimicry known to researchers.

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  4. New Odor “Laurax” Is the Smell Equivalent of White Noise

    We're all for things that cover up the many terrible smells we encounter in our everyday lives, but let's be real -- sometimes that squirt of air freshener or powerfully scented pine tree dangling from your rearview mirror is just as headache inducing as the foul odor it's striving to cover up. Many have been the times that we have wished with all our hearts that we could just smell nothing at all. Our wish could be on the way to being granted, as researchers at The Weizmann Institute have engineered an odor that they claim is the chemical equivalent of the color white, or the sound of white noise -- a totally neutral scent.

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  5. Name That Feeling: Musical Tone Deafness Could Also Mean Emotional Tone Deafness

    Think the fact that you can't carry a tune in a paper bag is only a problem at karaoke night? Think again. Being tone deaf may also affect your ability to find emotional cues in people's speech, making it harder to determine from a person's tone of voice whether they're happy, angry, sad, or frustrated, according to a recent study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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  6. Magnetic Pulses to The Brain Bring People Down To Earth, Reduce Optimism

    As a species, humans tend to be glass half-full, optimistic sorts of folks, actively seeking out good news while simultaneously ignoring things that upset or disagree with us. It can be a fun way to live sometimes and it's definitely made a few of our days more relaxing, but the good news bias can work against us as well, detaching us from reality and leading us to make poor decisions. It turns out we may be able to take off those rose-colored glasses and think logically about things, though -- and all it requires out of us is a quick shot of magnetic energy to the brain.

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  7. Tasmanian Devil Genome Sequenced, Sheds Light On Catchable Cancer and Genetic Diversity

    Researchers have sequenced the genome of the Tasmanian devil, an endangered species whose population is being decimated by a catchable cancer. This type of cancer is called Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD) and is transmitted through the population when the animals come into contact with affected individuals. The genome sequencing effort took a unique two-pronged species-preservation approach based on analyzing the whole-genomes of two Tasmanian devils and applying the data collected to the genetic history of the species. The data obtained from the genome sequencing effort was used to create a theoretical model to predict which individuals in the species should be kept in captivity to maximize the genetic diversity of healthy individuals, thus preserving the species for the future. The research will be used for at least one possible action plan for how to prevent the extinction of the Tasmanian devil, and could be applied to other endangered species.

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