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SCIENCE

Lego-Like Brain Balls Could Build a Living Replica of Your Noggin

The human brain is routinely described as the most complex object in the known universe. It might therefore seem unlikely that pea-size blobs of brain cells growing in laboratory dishes could be more than fleetingly useful to neuroscientists. Nevertheless, many investigators are now excitedly cultivating these curious biological systems, formally ...

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‘How to’ guide for producing hair follicles

How does the skin develop follicles and eventually sprout hair? A USC-led study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), addresses this question using insights gleaned from organoids, 3D assemblies of cells possessing rudimentary skin structure and function — including the ability to grow hair. In ...

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Tesla Is Turning Kauai Into a Renewable Energy Paradise

This story originally appeared on Grist and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration. When people ask Luke Evslin why he decided to live off the grid, he starts with the time he almost died. Evslin grew up on Kauai, a nub of a former volcano at the oldest end of the Hawaiian archipelago, ...

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USDA Clamps Down on Staffers Using the Term ‘Climate Change’

This story originally appeared on The Guardian and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration. Staff at the US Department of Agriculture have been told to avoid using the term climate change in their work, with the officials instructed to reference “weather extremes” instead. A series of emails obtained by the Guardian between staff ...

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Pick Better Guide Dogs By Watching Hours of Cute Puppy Videos

At the Seeing Eye guide dog facility in Morristown, New Jersey, puppies spend the first three weeks of their life in plastic kiddie pools—the blue kind, speckled with colorful undersea cartoons. Lined with fleece and towels, the wading pools are perfectly sized for a litter of soft, tiny puppies and ...

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Google’s Health Spinoff Verily Joins the Fight Against PTSD

The symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder include uncontrolled memories of a traumatic event, anxiety and panic—“hyperarousal” is the technical term—depression, avoiding anything that’s a reminder of the event, self-destructive behavior, and more. It’s the only psychiatric disorder where people are pretty sure of the cause: emotionally traumatic events, from the ...

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How do birds get their colors?

Birds’ feathers, or plumage, are some of the most strikingly variable animal characteristics that can be observed by the naked eye. The patterns that we see in birds’ feathers are made up of intricate combinations of mottles, scales, bars, and spots. But, how are these colors and patterns made? We ...

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