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3quarksdaily - 5 new articles

Birds Lost Their Sweet Tooth, Hummingbirds Got Theirs Back


Ed Yong in Not Exactly Rocket Science:

Hummingbird-990x618In 2004, the chicken became the first bird to have its genome fully sequenced. Its DNA revealed something odd—or rather, an odd lack of something. It was missing a gene called T1R2, which we and other mammals need to taste sweet foods. Chickens, it...

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Can the Crowd Solve Medical Mysteries?


Carrie Arnold at PBS:

ScreenHunter_760 Aug. 22 20.49The Loops found themselves in purgatory. They had a diagnosis they didn’t believe, treatments that weren’t working, and a son that had been completely subsumed by his illness. If they could find out what was really wrong with their son, they believed, they could get...

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Hashim Khan, Patriarch of a Squash Dynasty, Is Dead


William Yardley in the New York Times:

ScreenHunter_759 Aug. 22 15.05Hashim Khan, who learned to play squash when he was a boy, retrieving stray balls for British military officers in Pakistan, and went on to become a champion and the patriarch of a family dynasty in the sport, died on Monday in Denver. He was believed to...

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Mapping the Mind: An Interview with Eric Kandel

Was the Human Brain Unleashed?

Courtney Humphries in Harvard Magazine:

BrainCompare humans to other mammals and a distinguishing feature stands out: our large, cavernous craniums, and the densely folded brains stuffed into them. The human brain is more than triple the size of the brain of chimpanzees, our closest relatives. In...

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