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Infants much less likely to get the flu if moms are vaccinated during pregnancy

Babies whose mothers get flu shots while pregnant have a significantly reduced risk of becoming ill with the flu during their first six months. During those first months, infants cannot be immunized against influenza, and must rely on herd immunity and any protection provided by their mother’s antibodies. Researchers found infants six months and younger […]

This artistic impression shows NASA's planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft operating in a new mission profile called K2. (Image credit: NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T Pyle)

Three Earth-like planets found around a neighboring star

Researchers have detected three Earth-like planets orbiting a star close to our Sun. The two inner planets are orbiting just outside the inner edge of their star’s habitable zone, but the researchers believe the third planet likely lies within or beyond the habitable zone. The size and brightness of the star, an ultracool dwarf star […]

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Why Labrador retrievers are more interested in food than other dogs

The first gene to ever be associated with canine obesity could explain why Labrador retrievers are more interested in food than other breeds. An alteration on the pro-opiomelanocortin, or POMC gene is found specifically in Labs and the related breed of flat-coated retrievers.The researchers found, on average, dogs with the POMC deletion were 2 kg heavier. Their owners also […]

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The secret compound behind ketamine’s antidepressant properties

Ketamine is a fast-acting ‘dissociative’ anaesthetic previously found to have antidepressant effects in humans. But the negative side effects of ketamine make it a problematic candidate for depression treatment. However, new research published shows that the compound responsible for ketamine’s antidepressant effects is actually formed as the body metabolizes and breaks down the drug. The […]

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Rapid adaptive evolution of colour vision in threespine stickleback

Colour vision can evolve to be better adapted to a particular environment in as little as 12,000 years. Authors of a new study out of UBC found that different populations of the threespine stickleback, a small fish that is able to live in fresh- or saltwater, have evolved to see different colours better depending on […]

Faster metabolism accounts for the size of human brains

Humans evolved large brains thanks to an increased metabolic rate, suggests new research. Authors of a new study say that humans evolved a higher body fat percentage than other primates in order to provide the energy required to fuel this increased metabolism. The team took direct measurements of the daily energy expenditure from 141 people and […]

Martian slopes may be carved by boiling water

The streaks sometimes observed appearing and lengthening on the Martian surface may be carved by boiling water, according to a new study. Researchers came to this conclusion after studying how water interacts with soil under Mars-like conditions in the lab here on Earth. The team placed an ice-block on top of a sandy slope and observed […]

Ophiuroidea (brittle stars), a dominant component of sea-floor fauna (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Deep-ocean biodiversity follows a different set of rules

The diversity of life in the deep ocean is driven by the availability of food and not the temperature, as it is in shallower waters. Understanding biodiversity in the deep sea becomes increasingly important as species on the seafloor face pressure from deep-sea fishing and mining. A team of researchers from Canada and Australia analysed […]

3D heart models

3D heart models healing real-world patients

An interdisciplinary team of researchers at Johns Hopkins University discovered that 3D models of patients’ hearts could help doctors assess a person’s risk of developing life-threatening arrhythmias. Sudden cardiac death from arrhythmias is a leading cause of mortality, and for high-risk patients, insertion of implantable defibrillators can help reduce mortality. Researchers created personalized computer models […]

Applying a “second skin” for a more youthful appearance

A new material could serve as a less obvious wound-dressing, protect skin, help deliver medication and sunscreen. But it could also fulfill more cosmetic roles, like helping reduce wrinkles and under-eye bags. Researchers say this newly developed wearable silicon-based polymer material is breathable, elastic, invisible, moisturizing, and is both durable and removable. According to the […]

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