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Is Interstellar’s Science So Stellar?

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Interstellar features astronauts who take a wormhole ride to another galaxy to explore planets around a massive black hole. In a conversation last week, Berkeley Lab's David Schlegel discussed the science in the movie and what Hollywood could learn from scientists about fantastic settings in outer space.

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Next-Door Leopards: First GPS-Collar Study Reveals how Leopards Live with People

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In the first-ever GPS-based study of leopards in India, led by WCS and partners has delved into the secret lives of these big cats, and recorded their strategies to thrive in human-dominated areas.

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Imagination, Reality Flow in Opposite Directions in the Brain

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As real as that daydream may seem, its path through your brain runs opposite reality. Aiming to discern discrete neural circuits, researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have tracked electrical activity in the brains of people who alternately imagined scenes or watched videos.

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'Cloaking' Device Uses Ordinary Lenses to Hide Objects Across Continuous Range of Angles

Inspired perhaps by Harry Potter's invisibility cloak, scientists have recently developed several ways--some simple and some involving new technologies--to hide objects from view. The latest effort, developed at the University of Rochester, not only overcomes some of the limitations of previous devices, but it uses inexpensive, readily available materials in a novel configuration.

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Out of India

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Working at the edge of a coal mine in India, a team of Johns Hopkins researchers and colleagues have filled in a major gap in science’s understanding of the evolution of a group of animals that includes horses and rhinos. That group likely originated on the subcontinent when it was still an island headed swiftly for collision with Asia, the researchers report Nov. 20 in the online journal Nature Communications.

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Spiraling Light, Nanoparticles and Insights Into Life’s Structure

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As hands come in left and right versions that are mirror images of each other, so do the amino acids and sugars within us. But unlike hands, only the left-oriented amino acids and the right-oriented sugars ever make into life as we know it.

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Scientists Map Mouse Genome's 'Mission Control Centers'

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An international team reports on their cataloguing of the DNA regulatory regions throughout the mouse genome. Their results suggests why studies in mice cannot always be reproduced in humans. They also shed light on the function of DNA’s regulatory regions, which are often to blame for common chronic human diseases.

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How Water Could Have Flowed on Mars

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The surface of Mars clearly shows what looks like evidence of flowing water: riverbeds, deltas, and the like. But these signs have been a puzzle – until now. The Weizmann Institute’s Dr. Itay Halevy and Brown University’s Dr. James Head III have identified a possible source: violent eruptions from massive volcanoes that periodically melted Mars’ ice.

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Were Neanderthals a Sub-Species of Modern Humans? New Research Says No

In an extensive, multi-institution study led by SUNY Downstate Medical Center, researchers have identified new evidence supporting the growing belief that Neanderthals were a distinct species separate from modern humans (Homo sapiens), and not a subspecies of modern humans.

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Viruses Impaired if Their Targets Have Diverse Genes

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When a viral infection spread through five genetically identical mice in a row, the virus replicated faster and became more virulent or severe. But when the infection spread one-by-one through five genetically diverse mice, the virus had trouble adapting and became less virulent. The University of Utah study suggests that increased genetic diversity should be promoted in livestock and in captive-bred endangered species so as to limit their risk of getting deadly infections.

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