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For the first time, scientists create a lab-grown limb (CNET)

A team of researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital has grown a rat limb in a lab — paving the way forward for bioengineered human transplants. Mind-controlled robotic limbs for amputees are growing more sophisticated all the time — but a challenger has appeared. Human limb transplant surgery using the patient’s own biological material could one day be an actuality. The ...

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Discovery – “Ancient Snakes Had Ankles and Toes”

Forget everything you thought you knew about snakes: a new study from Yale shows that early snakes had developed hind legs, fully equipped with ankles and toes. Yale researchers analyzed snake genomes, modern snakes and fossils of ancient snakes to build a comprehensive reconstruction of the most recent common ancestor of the 3,400 modern snake species. Their results are published ...

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Sciencemag.org – “New human ancestor was Lucy’s cousin and neighbor”

By Michael Balter 27 May 2015 1:00 pm The famous human relative known as “Lucy” has reigned alone as queen of an important time and place in human evolution: Ethiopia about 3.2 million years ago, roughly the time when the first stone tools appear in East Africa. Now, scientists working near where Lucy was found claim that freshly discovered jawbones ...

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TheGuardian.com – “Microwave oven to blame for mystery signal that left astronomers stumped”

Australian scientists first detected interference in 1998, which they assumed was from lightning strikes, but earlier this year they finally found the real culprit The mystery behind radio signals that have baffled scientists at Australia’s most famous radio telescope for 17 years has finally been solved. The signals’ source? A microwave oven in the kitchen at the Parkes observatory used ...

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Sciencemag.org – Feathered fossils from China reveal dawn of modern birds

Put yourself on the planet 130 million years ago. Most of the animals, from horned dinosaurs to swimming, predatory plesiosaurs, would be deeply alien, not to say terrifying. But rising from the wetlands and winging across the sky were birds startlingly like today’s. That’s the message from two bird skeletons—spectacularly preserved with feathers and all—reported this week. The 130-million-year-old fossils ...

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