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Giving tortoises a ‘head start’

Research from the University of Georgia indicates that head-starting — raising a species in captivity and releasing it into a protected habitat after it has grown large enough to be less vulnerable to predators — is a useful intervention for boosting the state’s gopher tortoise population, which has been declining ...

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Geology Is Like Augmented Reality for the Planet

It’s an abnormally hot day in September and I’m standing in a cattail marsh in eastern Wisconsin, trying to change the way my students view the world. They’re all distracted—by the heat, homesickness, or the fact that they’ve lost a phone signal. The guys on the university hockey team are ...

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To Heal Wounds, Cells Time-Travel Back to a Fetal State

An embryo starts out as just a single cell. It’s not long before it divides into two cells, then four, then eight, and so on — a process marked by rapid growth, in which these early, unspecialized cells proliferate wildly to start building all the tissues of the body. As ...

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A new way to remove ice buildup without power or chemicals

From airplane wings to overhead powerlines to the giant blades of wind turbines, a buildup of ice can cause problems ranging from impaired performance all the way to catastrophic failure. But preventing that buildup usually requires energy-intensive heating systems or chemical sprays that are environmentally harmful. Now, MIT researchers have ...

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Are vulnerable lions eating endangered zebras?

Are Laikipia’s recovering lions turning to endangered Grevy’s zebras (Equus grevyi) for their next meal? That’s what a team of researchers led by WCS and WWF set out to discover — whether the comeback of a top predator — in this case lions in Laikipa County, Kenya — were recovering ...

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What if Ketamine Actually Works Like an Opioid?

Few drugs are as two-faced as ketamine. By day, it works as a legitimate anesthetic, sitting comfortably on the World Health Organization’s list of Essential Medicines. By night, though, it moonlights as a party drug, sending users into an intense dissociative state (read: not in touch with reality) known as ...

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Scientists identify a new kind of human brain cell

One of the most intriguing questions about the human brain is also one of the most difficult for neuroscientists to answer: What sets our brains apart from those of other animals? “We really don’t understand what makes the human brain special,” said Ed Lein, Ph.D., Investigator at the Allen Institute ...

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