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What Protects Elephants from Cancer?

Elephants and other large animals have a lower incidence of cancer than would be expected statistically, suggesting that they have evolved ways to protect themselves against the disease. A new study reveals how elephants do it: An old gene that was no longer functional was recycled from the vast “genome ...

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Site of asteroid impact changed the history of life

An asteroid, also known as the Chicxulub Impactor, hit Earth some 66 million years ago, causing a crater 180 km wide. The impact of the asteroid heated organic matter in rocks and ejected it into the atmosphere, forming soot in the stratosphere. Soot is a strong, light-absorbing aerosol that caused ...

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Container Ships Use Super-Dirty Fuel. That Needs to Change

This story originally appeared on Grist and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration. The platform overlooking the Panama Canal’s Pacific exit is buzzing with energy on a muggy October afternoon. Tourists cram together, jostling for the best views of the blue container ship gliding by in the gray-green water below. The ship’s crewmembers ...

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Astronomers discover a star that would not die

An international team of astronomers led by Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) has made a bizarre discovery; a star that refuses to stop shining. Supernovae, the explosions of stars, have been observed in the thousands and in all cases they marked the death of a star. But in a study published ...

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Autonomously growing synthetic DNA strands

Synthetic biologists and nanobiologists are re-purposing DNA, the hereditary material present in nearly all the body’s cells, as a smart and stable self-assembling material to build nanofactories, drug-delivering nanostructures and molecular devices that can sense their environment and respond in different ways by, for example, detecting inflammation in the body ...

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Another close-by planetary system?

The ALMA Observatory in Chile has detected dust around the closest star to the Solar System, Proxima Centauri. These new observations reveal the glow coming from cold dust in a region between one to four times as far from Proxima Centauri as the Earth is from the Sun. The data ...

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Horses can read our body language even when they don’t know us

Horses can tell the difference between dominant and submissive body postures in humans, even when the humans are not familiar to them, according to a new University of Sussex-led study. The findings enhance our understanding of how animals can communicate using body posture across the species barrier, and are specifically ...

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