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Re-Wired: great stories you might have missed

Recent highlights in research news include: Building blocks of Life seen in a distant dwarf star; Giant flying reptiles in ancient Transylvania; How aspirin may thwart rectal cancer; A massive undersea landslide; Fighting MRSA with a sea sponge; and How to win an Oscar.

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Giant Flying Reptile Ruled Ancient Transylvania

The creature has a considerably shorter and stronger neck with larger muscles than the long graceful necks of others in its species.

Scientists Estimate Solar Nebula's Lifetime

A collaborative study involving Brookhaven, MIT, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro suggests the gas cloud from which our solar system formed lasted about 4 million years.

Dwarf Star 200 Light Years Away Contains Life's Building Blocks

Team discovers object in the constellation Boötes with carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen.

Ancient Signals From the Early Universe

For the first time, theoretical physicists from the University of Basel have calculated the signal of specific gravitational wave sources that emerged fractions of a second after the Big Bang.

Brain Damage Is Not Always Damaging

Strokes are usually, but not always, debilitating. This case report documents the extraordinary resilience of a woman in Argentina who endured multiple strokes.

An Alternative Theory on How Aspirin May Thwart Cancer

Studies abound that point to a role for plain old aspirin in keeping deadly cancers at bay. While aspirin is not yet part of mainstream treatment for any cancer, it is recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force for certain adults to help prevent colorectal cancer.

Compound from Deep-Water Marine Sponge Could Provide Antibacterial Solutions for MRSA

A compound extracted from a deep-water marine sponge collected near the Bahamas is showing potent antibacterial activity against the drug resistant bacteria methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) also called the “super bug.”

Key Friendships Vital for Effective Human Social Networks

Close friendships facilitate the exchange of information and culture, making social networks more effective for cultural transmission, according to new UCL research that used wireless tracking technology to map social interactions in remote hunter-gatherer populations.

Largest Undersea Landslide Revealed on the Great Barrier Reef

James Cook University scientists have helped discover the remnants of a massive undersea landslide on the Great Barrier Reef.

Promising Epigenetic Drug Target for Diabetes

A research report published in Clinical Epigenetics, suggests that epigenetic mechanism based drugs could become one of the treatment armamentarium of future anti-diabetic agents.

New Structural Color Inspired by Tarantulas

Inspired by the hair of blue tarantulas, researchers from The University of Akron lead a team that made a structural-colored material that shows consistent color from all viewing directions.

Making a Scavenger -- the Meat-Thieving Traits That Have Stood the Test of Time

Nature requires the right mix of biological ingredients to make a good scavenger.

MWAH! Valentine’s Facts About Kissing

Shakespeare said our lips were made for kissing and if you ask Texas A&M University Professor of Anthropology Vaughn Bryant about it, he’ll tell you all you need to know and more about this age-old pastime.

Study Sheds Light on How Carnivorous Plants Acquired a Taste for Meat

A new study probes the origins of carnivory in several distantly related plants — including the Australian, Asian and American pitcher plants, which appear strikingly similar to the human (or insect) eye.

Despite a Slump, Tax Revenue Has Recovered in 27 States

Tax collections fell in a majority of states in the second quarter of 2016, ending seven straight quarters of growth in total state tax revenue. Despite the slump, the 50-state total and receipts in 27 states were higher than before their plunge in the Great Recession, after adjusting for inflation.

Psychology Explains How to Win an Oscar

If you want to win an Oscar it is best to be an American actor in a film that portrays American culture.

Sitting Not Linked to Incident Diabetes

Sitting may not be as deadly as previously thought, with new research led by the University of Sydney ruling out sitting as a direct cause of diabetes.

Change in Marital Status Post-Menopause May Impact Health

For women who marry later in life, a few extra pounds may accompany their nuptials, a new study led by the University of Arizona suggests. On the other hand, older women who go through a divorce or separation may lose weight and see some positive changes in their health, according to the research.

How Much Drought Can a Forest Take?

Aerial tree mortality surveys show patterns of tree death during extreme drought.

Certain Fat Found Around the Heart Associated with Higher Risk of Heart Disease in Postmenopausal Women

New study points to heart disease risk factor in menopausal women that could be caught early.

Dogs Prefer to Share Food with Friends

Dogs share food also in complex situations, but more likely with dogs they know.

Animals Retain Long-Term Memory of the Biggest and Best Sources of Food

New research shows that red-footed tortoises can remember the location of their favourite food sources and the biggest stashes for at least 18 months.