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Baby-Led Weaning Leads to Leaner Kids

Those little pursed lips and that tiny crinkled nose might not just mean that your baby isn't a fan of pureed peas or mashed sweet potatoes. Some of the refusals to all of those "here-comes-the-airplane" attempts to feed a weaning infant might also be the child’s way of saying that she or he is just not hungry.New research suggests that babies who are given more control over their own food intake as they're being weaned off of breast milk or formula might end up with healthier body weights...

February 6, 2012 — Katherine Harmon

Anthrax Toxicity Depends on Human Genetics

The white powder that arrived in envelopes addressed to lawmakers and journalists in 2001 proved to be a deadly delivery for several people. The lethal substance—spores commonly known as Anthrax (from the bacterium Bactillus anthracis )—can cause a toxic reaction in a host's blood stream, killing cells and leading to tissue damage, bleeding and death.But just how toxic anthrax is to an individual might depend on their genetic makeup, according to a new study, published online Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences ...

February 6, 2012 — Katherine Harmon

Coelacanths are not living fossils. Like the rest of us, they evolve

It was supposed to be extinct. Yet here it lay, with fins round and fleshy, scales as hard as bone and a tail unlike any living fish. "Lass, this discovery will be on the lips of every scientist in the world", James Smith said to Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer, curator of the East London Museum...

February 6, 2012 — Lucas Brouwers

Lake Vostok is (Almost) Breached After 20 Million Years

Satellite composite showing location of Vostok within the Antarctic continent (NASA) Two and a half miles beneath the surface of Antarctica's central Eastern ice sheet is a body of water 160 miles by 30 miles across known as Lake Vostok, after the Vostok research station above it, built by the former Soviet Union in 1957 and now operated by Russia.Even by Antarctic standards it's a brutal place, with the dubious honor of holding the record for the lowest measured temperature anywhere on the planet, a mind-if-not-body numbing -129 F or -89 C...

February 6, 2012 — Caleb A. Scharf

Astrobiology: We are the Aliens

Bacterial aliens (NASA) A funny thing happened recently on the way to Mars.A few days after the successful launch of NASA's behemoth Curiosity rover with its Mars Science Laboratory instruments on November 26th 2011, a somewhat muted piece of news came out admitting that the strict biological planetary protection rules had not been adhered to quite as everyone expected...

February 6, 2012 — Caleb A. Scharf

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