Science

How New Genetic Technologies Are Reshaping Pregnancy And Parenting

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As the nascent field of genetic testing advances, expectant parents face a dizzying array of new and difficult questions. Would you want to know if your child will have Down syndrome? Or if your baby is genetically predisposed to Alzheimer’s disease? What about if the fetus has a gene duplication that might mean nothing ― or could spell a serious genetic disorder? 


The sci-fi world of designer babies may not be here yet, but modern genetic technology is already fundamentally changing pregnancy and parenting.

How we discovered the vampire bats that have learned to drink human blood

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Doesn't look like much of a threat, does he? Gerry Carter/Wikimedia, CC BY-SA

Enrico Bernard, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco

What's for dinner? For some Brazilian vampire bats, these days it's human blood.



That's the surprising outcome of my research, recently published in the Acta Chiropterologica journal, which revealed that the hairy-legged vampire bat of Pernambuco, Brazil, has developed an appetite for human blood over that of other possible prey.

Anyone Can Become An Internet Troll, According To Stanford Computer Scientists

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Most people are quick to dismiss internet trolls as completely unlike themselves ― the fabled 400-pound guy sitting on his bed, for instance.


And with partisan rage taking over Twitter alongside the election of a troller in chief, it can feel like we’re living in the golden age of internet trolling: Posting inflammatory and offensive comments online for the purpose of provoking others has become a sadly common phenomenon.

Who Wants to Live on Mars?

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There is an abundance of mysteries here on planet Earth. For example, what ever happened to the $2 bill, who comes up with all those funny bumper stickers, and how did the millions of pussy hats get made so fast?

Then there is this question: Why would anyone want to live on Mars?

Some of the most intelligent people alive - among them,, billionaire Elon Musk, fellow billionaire Sir Richard Branson and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking - want us to colonize Mars.

Why Skipping Vaccines Is A Public, Not Personal, Health Choice

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(Reuters Health) - Too many U.S. adults are not getting vaccinated, putting themselves and others at risk, immunization experts say.


According to the latest available data, about 44 percent of adults over age 19 had a flu shot; 20 percent had a TDAP vaccine, which protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis; and 20 percent of 19-to-64-year-olds at risk of pneumonia had that vaccine (compared to 60 percent of those over 65).

Wild Bison Return To Canada’s Oldest National Park After More Than A Century

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After more than 130 years, wild bison have returned to Canada’s oldest national park.


Humans had hunted the animal almost to extinction, and they had not been seen in the Banff National Park area since before it was established in 1885.

Until we get better tools, excited reports of 'habitable planets' need to come back down to Earth

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Have we really discovered other "Earth-like" planets orbiting around other stars? Understanding what we do and do not know about exoplanets is the key to answering this question. ESO/L. Calcada/N. Risinger/Reuters


Joshua Tan, Universidad Católica de Chile

In 1950, physicist Enrico Fermi famously asked, "Where are they?" as a kind of lament about the lack of observational evidence for alien intelligence in our universe.