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Bloodthirsty Ticks Have A Seriously Weird Genome

Ticks — those unbreakable, blood-lusting arthropods that haunt your childhood memories — have some fascinating genetic secrets. The tick genome tells a tale of weaponised spit, expandable armour and how to drink 100 times one’s body weight in blood. Strangest of all, it’s utterly enormous.


Scientists Explain The Physics Of The Perfect Pancakes

Have you ever wondered why your pancakes sometimes have ugly craters, or a weird ring around their edges? A new analysis of pancake recipes could help you exploit physics to make the perfect pancake — and possibly one day save your sight.


Brazilian Doctors Find Active Zika Virus In Urine And Saliva

Brazilian health officials have discovered active Zika virus in urine and saliva samples, the Associated Press reports. While it isn’t clear at this time whether Zika is communicable through these bodily fluids, the prospect raises the ominous spectre of the Zika epidemic spreading even more rapidly.


Scientists Isolate Gene Responsible For Rare Vibration Allergy

A small segment of the population is literally allergic to vibrations, an annoying condition that gives rise to hives and other symptoms. Researchers at the NIH have now isolated the genetic mutation responsible for the disorder, and it’s offering new insight into related conditions.


Someday We May All Be On Anti-Aging Drugs 

Ampakines are a class of drugs that have been shown to reverse the adverse effects of cognitive disorders in rats. A new study indicates that they might also help rats with ageing, but still healthy, brains. Could the future belong to these kinds of anti-ageing drugs?


A Health Insurer Lost Six Hard Drives Holding Data From A Million Customers

The US health insurer Centene has admitted that it’s performing an “ongoing comprehensive internal search” for six hard drives. Sadly, those hard drives contain personal details about 1 million of its customers. Oops.


There Are Some Seriously Psychedelic Bacteria Living On Your Teeth

Like every other surface of your body, your mouth is teeming with a panoply of bacteria. It’s a thought most of us try to keep buried in the backs of our minds, but a new study shows that the tiny communities flourishing between your molars can be quite pretty. In a kaleidoscopic nightmare-fuel sort of way.


A New Sensor Turns Old Microscopes Into Super-Resolution Devices

‘Image enhance’ just got a little more real, for microscopes at least. A team of researchers form UCLA has developed a new sensor and software that turns an optical microscope into a super-resolution imaging device.


Scientists Have Finally Found A Biological Process Behind Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a complex disease with elusive origins, but the mystery became much clearer today, when a landmark new study based on genetic analysis of nearly 65,000 individuals pinpointed a specific gene and biological process behind it.


Controversial 'Transmittable Alzheimer's' Theory Is Starting To Look Plausible

Back in September, researchers in the UK discovered that brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s may be transmissible through certain medical procedures. Sceptical scientists urged caution, but now a different set of autopsy results have shown the same thing.


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