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Science

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Archeology, China, Eurasia, Fertile Crescent, Barley, Wheat, food globalization, Tibet, India, Domestication

Ancient Barley Took High Road to China, Changed to Summer Crop in Tibet

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First domesticated 10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East, wheat and barley took vastly different routes to China, with barley switching from a winter to both a winter and summer crop during a thousand-year detour along the southern Tibetan Plateau, suggests new research from Washington University in St. Louis,

Science

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climate adaptation, Oxygenation, Ordovician Period, Biodiveristy

Rise in Oxygen Levels Link to Ancient Explosion of Life, Researchers Find

A team of researchers, including a faculty member and postdoctoral fellow from Washington University in St. Louis, found that oxygen levels appear to increase at about the same time as a three-fold increase in biodiversity during the Ordovician Period, between 445 and 485 million years ago, according to a study published Nov. 20 in Nature Geoscience.

Life

Business

Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Marketing, Black Friday, Shopping, Retail

All Black Friday Deals Are Not Created Equal

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Spend $200 on a great Christmas gift at the big box store and get a $50 gift card. Sounds like a great offer. It may, in fact, entice you to spend more than you normally would, warned a marketing expert at Washington University in St. Louis.

Science

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Plant Sciences, green fuel production, mass spectometry, photosystem II, Cyanobacteria

Water World

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Following the paths of radicals and finding many damaged residues because of incredibly accurate, fast and sensitive mass spectrometry, three Washington University scientists studied the great granddaddy of all photosynthetic organisms — a strain of cyanobacteria — to develop the first experimental map of that organism’s water world.

Medicine

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Heart Attack, Chest Pain, health-care costs

Aggressive Testing Provides No Benefit to Patients in ER with Chest Pain

Patients who go to the emergency room (ER) with chest pain often receive unnecessary tests to evaluate whether they are having a heart attack, a practice that provides no clinical benefit and adds hundreds of dollars in health-care costs, according to a new study from researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Medicine

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Dna Repair, Cancer, alkylating agents

How Cells Detect, Mend DNA Damage May Improve Chemotherapy

Human cells have a way of detecting and mending DNA damage caused by some common chemotherapy drugs, according to a new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The findings could have important implications for treating cancer.

Science

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Neurophysiology, auditory function

Bear or Chipmunk? Engineer Finds How Brain Encodes Sounds

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When you are out in the woods and hear a cracking sound, your brain needs to process quickly whether the sound is coming from, say, a bear or a chipmunk. In new research published in PLoS Biology, a biomedical engineer at Washington University in St. Louis has a new interpretation for an old observation, debunking an established theory in the process.

Science

Life

Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Economic Choice, Neurology, neural circuit

Penny-Wise, Pound-Foolish Decisions Explained by Neurons’ Firing

People sometimes spend as much time deciding whether to spend a few cents more on groceries as they do deciding whether to spend a few thousand dollars extra when buying a car. A new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis shows that these spending habits may reflect how our brains tally differences in value among objects that vary greatly in worth.

Medicine

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Autism, Synapse, Neural Circuitry

In Autism, Too Many Brain Connections May Be at Root of Condition

Mutations in a gene linked to autism in people causes neurons to form too many connections in rodents, according to a new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The findings suggest that malfunctions in communication between brain cells could be at the root of autism.

Medicine

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ACA, Obamacare, Health Care, Health, Health Reform, Trumpcare

WashU Expert: Is a Bipartisan Approach to Fixing Obamacare Feasible?

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The bipartisan bill proposed by U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), aimed at shoring up the troubled health insurance markets, has some approaches that would help fix the marketplaces, but more changes are needed, says a health economist at Washington University in St. Louis.“The Alexander-Murray approach would apply a small number of tweaks to the marketplaces meant to reduce volatility,” said Tim McBride, professor at the Brown School and expert on health reform and access to health care.







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