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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

  1. The Academic Journal That Published The Facebook Experiment Is Having Second Thoughts

    "Did we do that?"

    So remember that psychology experiment Facebook did recently, and the resulting academic paper they wrote and submitted to a reputable scientific journal? And remember how they didn't actually tell anybody they were doing it and how that sort of made some people mad and possibly even litigious? The scientific journal noticed all of that uproar and maaaaybe they're not as into the paper as they thought, you guys.

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  2. Facebook Secretly Used 689,003 People for a Psychological Experiment [Updated]

    ...but I think I might be fine with it.

    Facebook has been caught in a scandal after it was discovered that in 2012 they turned 689,003 users into unknowing participants in a psychological experiment. It's sneaky, arguably unethical, but surprisingly I think I'm actually on Facebook's side on this one.

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  3. Scientists Have Revived a “Hardy” 30,000 Year Old Virus From Permafrost

    All it took was true love's kiss.

    If you like the word "indestructible" combined with "virus," then I'm assuming you're a supervillain with a great collection of Hazmat suits. National Geographic is reporting that scientists have just revived a large, ancient virus from permafrost in Siberia. Oh yes, another upside to global warming: increased risk of exposure to dormant pathogens.

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  4. Testicles Have Taste Receptors, And They May Be Pretty Important To Fertility

    This might be literally the last place we expected to find taste receptors. And one of the last places we'd want them, actually.

    Our tongues have taste receptors, obviously, but it turns out that's not the only place we have them. Taste receptors are found all over the body -- even in the testicles. Scientists don't understand what the taste receptors outside of our tongue do, but they've recently discovered that the taste receptors in the testicles of male mice are important to fertility.

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  5. 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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  6. Penguin Cam Shows Life From A Penguin’s Point of View (Spoiler: There Are Lots of Fish) [Video]

    People become scientists for a lot of reasons. Because they enjoy solving the mysteries of the universe, or want to make the world a better place to live, or just because it's a career that helps them finish the death ray they're working on in their basement. These are all noble reasons for wanting to do science -- especially the death ray thing -- but none of them is the best reason. The best reason to become a scientist, clearly, is so you can strap small cameras to Adelie penguins and make videos about their lives under the sea like the one you can watch below.

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  7. Iron Age Medicine Tablets Among Treasures From Ancient Shipwreck

    Researchers sifting through the artifacts of a 2,000-year-old shipwreck have uncovered an unexpected treasure --  one not of gold or silver, but simple, unassuming zinc. A tin full of zinc tablets contained within the wreck may be one of the earliest examples of a modern, prepared medicinal compound, say researchers in a story published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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  8. The Littlest Extinction: Amazon Deforestation Wipes Out Microbial Communities, Too

    Deforestation can wipe out trees and cause habitat loss that leads to the extinction of animals like birds and mammals. Some of the impacts of massive, sudden tree loss in places like the Amazon, though, may have been too small to notice until now. Reporting this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, an international team of researchers found that deforestation can profoundly change the makeup of bacteria in soil, wiping out microbial communities that help to make ecosystems unique.

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  9. Different Photosynthesis Rates Show The Grass Really Is Greener Sometimes

    Researchers at Brown University have found the anatomical and evolutionary basis behind the fact that some varieties of grass really are greener than others -- or at least why they're able to produce food for themselves via photosynthesis more effectively than their cousins. According to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a slight difference in the cellular structure around the veins in blades of grass can make the difference between a grass that is highly efficient and successful and one that just putters along.

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  10. 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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