Science 

Progressive eugenics is hardly history – the science and politics have just evolved

Eugenics has been science’s toxic brand since the end of World War II. The point was driven home yet again recently when Toby Young, appointee to the UK’s newly established Office of Students, was denounced in the House of Commons for having written favourably of “progressive eugenics”. Young resigned from the post the following day amid complaints about a series of other tweets and comments made in the past. In one sense, the toxicity of eugenics is of course well deserved. One thinks especially of the Nazi Holocaust, but also…

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Lifestyle 

Dementia news: Six ‘GOLDEN’ rules to reduce risk of developing the condition REVEALED

Taking regular exercise, eating healthily, keeping your brain active, reducing alcohol intake, giving up smoking and booking frequent check-ups with your family doctor can preserve mental function into old age, say experts.  Dr James Pickett, head of research at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “It is key we all remember these golden rules and make them part of day-to-day life.  “Although there are factors we can’t change, such as age and genetics, there are also a few simple changes we can all make to help reduce our risk of dementia.”  Dementia has…

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Science 

A single gene can either raise or lower Crohn’s disease risk

Crohn’s is a severe form of inflammatory bowel diseasePeter Dazeley/Getty By Andy Coghlan Screening the DNA of nearly 5700 Jewish people has identified a gene that helps determine a person’s risk of developing Crohn’s disease. Different mutations in the same gene can make someone more likely to get the condition, or help protect them from ever developing it. Crohn’s disease is the most serious form of inflammatory bowel disease. Current treatments for the condition frequently fail to provide much relief, and people with the disorder often have to have particularly…

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Science 

Ancient DNA gives glimpse of ancestors of Native Americans

In this August 2013 photo provided by the University of Alaska, excavators work at the Upward Sun River discovery site in Alaska. According to a report released on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018, DNA from an infant who died in Alaska some 11,500 years ago, found at this site, is giving scientists the best look yet at the genetics of the ancestors of today’s native peoples of the Americas. (Ben Potter/University of Alaska via AP) More NEW YORK (AP) — DNA from an infant who died in Alaska some 11,500 years…

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Science 

Baby skeleton from Alaska reveals origins of Native Americans

The excavation of the Upward Sun River infantsBen Potter By Andy Coghlan She probably died in her first year. But the skeleton of an infant girl who lived in Alaska 11,500 years ago has yielded tantalising new evidence for how and when people first colonised America. It reinforces a long-standing idea that the first settlers came from Siberia, across what was then a land bridge. The girl’s skeleton was recovered in 2013 from the Upward Sun River site in Alaska. It has now yielded enough intact DNA for what remained…

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Top Stories World 

15 science & tech leaders offer surprising predictions for 2018

Get the Mach newsletter. SUBSCRIBE The past year has been a momentous one for science and technology. From the detection of gravitational waves (predicted almost a century ago by Einstein) to the rise of virtual currencies like Bitcoin to the creation of genetically modified human embryos, 2017 was marked by all sorts of remarkable discoveries and innovations. What will 2018 bring? No one knows for sure. But as we did for 2017, we asked top scientists and thought leaders in innovation what they expect to see in the new year.…

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Science 

Enteroctopus Dofleini: New Frilled Giant Pacific Octopus Discovered in Alaska

Scientists have discovered a new species of giant Pacific octopus swimming right under their noses. Suspected for years, this is the first time researchers have confirmed the species both genetically and visually. Distinctive fleshy “frills” Called the “frilled giant Pacific octopus,” the mysterious creature has a bumpy ridge across its body, weird fleshy “eye lashes” and two white spots on its head. Scientists published two papers on the species in the American Malacological Bulletin in November; one on its genetics and one on its body patterns. The research is part of Alaska Pacific University’s…

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Lifestyle 

Weight loss: Man loses impressive 8.2 stone – shredding belly fat and gaining six-pack

Weight loss in the new year goes hand in hand with a wave of healthy living. But if you can make a lifestyle change to bring about a healthier waistline you could see belly fat drop off quickly – and stay off.  One man is sharing his story in pictures on social media website Imgur; people share pictures for weight loss inspiration.  User Elara760 has posted a series of pictures of himself from 2016, where he is sporting a decidedly rounded figure.  The user explained he is male, aged 22…

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Science 

Our lust for tastier chocolate has transformed the cocoa tree

We’ve changed cocoaIngo Arndt / NaturePL By Chris Baraniuk The world loves chocolate, but thousands of years of selective breeding have drastically changed the genome of the trees from which chocolate is made. The plants now produce tastier chocolate, but they also make less due to harmful mutations. The key ingredient in chocolate is cocoa powder. This is made from the seeds of the cocoa tree or cacao tree (Theobroma cacao), which is native to tropical forests in Central and South America. Now a team led by Juan Motamayor, a…

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Science 

Birds Learning to Sing Lose Their Natural Tunes When Impostor Dads Raise Them

Is your intelligence or sense of humor genetic or learned? A new study on bird songs might help us understand the complexities of the debate over nature versus nurture. Researchers at UC San Francisco did experiments with Bengalese finches to determine how they knew what kind of song to sing—whether the tempo of their call was learned, genetic or some combination of both. They collected eggs from nests and separated them into three groups. One group grew up hearing no songs at all, one group heard songs from a computer and…

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