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In a time when flaunting your best self on social media has become a norm, narcissistic traits seem to be everywhere.  In today’s slang, off-putting behaviors like entitlement, superiority and self-congratulating are known as ‘flexing’. Such traits might be more common these days, but being narcissistic is still seen as a pathological personality trait, akin to
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Galaxy clusters are the largest structures in the Universe bound together by gravity. They can contain thousands of galaxies, enormous oceans of hot gas, invisible islands of dark matter and – sometimes – the glowing ghost of a jellyfish or two. In the galaxy cluster Abell 2877, located in the southern sky about 300 million light-years from Earth, astronomers have
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The day has finally come. Scientists have finally created synthetic mucus molecules that exhibit the structure and function of the real deal. Far from being a slime crime, though, it’s a discovery that could help scientists devise new treatments for infectious diseases, according to the research team behind the breakthrough. Slippery, slimy, and oozy, mucus
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The extent of Australasian influence into the ancient bloodlines of early South American cultures looks to be even greater than scientists thought, according to new research. In 2015, a pair of scientific studies identified an intriguing link: evidence of Indigenous Australian, Melanesian, and South Asian genetics embedded in modern Native American populations living in the
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Could humans ever evolve venom? It’s highly unlikely that people will join rattlesnakes and platypuses among the ranks of venomous animals, but new research reveals that humans do have the tool kit to produce venom – in fact, all reptiles and mammals do. This collection of flexible genes, particularly associated with the salivary glands in humans, explains how venom
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In a new first for genetic engineering, scientists have developed a single-celled synthetic organism that grows and divides much like a normal cell, mimicking aspects of the cell division cycle that underlies and generates healthy living cellular life. The achievement, demonstrated in an engineered unicellular bacteria-like life form called JCVI-syn3A, is the result of decades
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Bloodsucking insects, trapped in amber for millions of years, extracted for their blood-filled bellies, with the blood analyzed for ancient DNA. At first glance, the scientific explanation for the revival of dinosaurs in Jurassic Park doesn’t sound too far-fetched. It was considered a genuine possibility at the time the book was written. There’s just one problem –
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Back when mega wombats, sheep-sized echidnas, and marsupial lions roamed the ancient lands of Australia, there also lived a gigantic flightless bird. Known by some as the ‘demon duck of doom’, Dromornis stirtoni is described by paleontologist Trevor Worthy as an “extreme evolutionary experiment”. “It would appear these giant birds were probably what evolution produced when
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Figuring out when the earliest human species first developed and used stone tools is an important task for anthropologists, since it was such an important evolutionary step. Remarkably, the projected date of early stone technology just got pushed back by tens of thousands of years. Using a recently introduced type of statistical analysis, researchers estimated