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Philosopher Uses Game Theory to Understand How Words, Actions Acquire Meaning

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The latest work from a Kansas State University philosopher appears in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, which is a rarity for philosophy research.

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Fecal Transplants Let Packrats Eat Poison

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Woodrats lost their ability to eat toxic creosote bushes after antibiotics killed their gut microbes. Woodrats that never ate the plants were able to do so after receiving fecal transplants with microbes from creosote-eaters, University of Utah biologists found.

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Study Shows How Effects of Starvation Can Be Passed to Future Generations

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A new study, involving roundworms, shows that starvation induces specific changes in so-called small RNAs and that these changes are inherited through at least three consecutive generations, apparently without any DNA involvement.

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Arts and Humanities

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Historian Re-Constructs Charles Darwin’s Beagle Library Online

For close to 180 years, Charles Darwin’s library aboard HMS Beagle during his expedition around the world in the 1830s remained lost. The library was dispersed at the end of the voyage. Today, the library has been electronically re-constructed in its entirety and made freely available online.

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Genome-Wide Analysis Reveals Genetic Similarities Among Friends

If you consider your friends family, you may be on to something. A study from the University of California, San Diego, and Yale University finds that friends who are not biologically related still resemble each other genetically.

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Domestication Syndrome: White Patches, Baby Faces and Tameness

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More than 140 years ago, Charles Darwin noticed something peculiar about domesticated mammals. Compared to their wild ancestors, domestic species are more tame, and they also tend to display a suite of other characteristic features, including floppier ears, patches of white fur, and more juvenile faces with smaller jaws. Since Darwin’s observations, the explanation for this pattern has proved elusive, but now, in a Perspectives article published in the journal GENETICS, a new hypothesis has been proposed that could explain why breeding for tameness causes changes in such diverse traits.

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Chimpanzee Intelligence Determined by Genes

A chimpanzee’s intelligence is largely determined by its genes, while environmental factors may be less important than scientists previously thought, according to a Georgia State University research study.

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Scientists Probe DNA of 'Evolution Canyon' Fruit Flies, Find Drivers of Change

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Researchers led by scientists with the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute have discovered how fruit flies in "Evolution Canyon" have been able to adapt to extremely different, ecologies. The discovery adds to current understanding of the biodiversity.

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Insect Diet Helped Early Humans Build Bigger Brains, Study Suggests

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Figuring out how to survive on a lean-season diet of hard-to-reach ants, slugs and other bugs may have spurred the development of bigger brains and higher-level cognitive functions in the ancestors of humans and other primates, suggests research from Washington University in St. Louis.

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Evolution of Life’s Operating System Revealed in Detail

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The evolution of the ribosome, a large molecular structure found in the cells of all species, has been revealed in unprecedented detail in a new study.

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