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Writer Fuel: How Does Love Affect Your Brain?

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Falling in love may hit your heart, but what does it do to your brain? It turns out that falling in love corresponds with the release of key brain chemicals from certain regions of the brain, Dr. Gül Dölen (opens in new tab), an associate professor of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Is This the Ancestor of Us All?

Asgard archaeon - Image credit: © Thiago Rodrigues-Oliveira, Univ. Wien

Ancient microbes whose existence predates the rise of nucleus-carrying cells on Earth may hold the secrets to how such complex cells first came to be. Now, for the first time, scientists have grown a large enough quantity of these microbes in the lab to study their internal structure in detail, Science reported (opens in new … Read more

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Writer Fuel: How to Make Yourself Invisible (If You’re a Frog)

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When a glassfrog falls asleep, it vanishes. Nestled atop a lush leaf, the frog’s bright green back blends right in, while its underbelly’s reddish hue quickly grows transparent. Now, a new study in the journal Science (opens in new tab) reveals that the northern glassfrog (Hyalinobatrachium fleischmanni) pulls off this feat by removing almost 90% … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Lab-Grown Meat Could Go On Sale This Year

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Once the stuff of science fiction, lab-grown meat could become reality in some restaurants in the United States as early as this year. Executives at cultivated meat companies are optimistic that meat grown in massive steel vats could be on the menu within months after one company won the go-ahead from a key regulator. In … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Does Gravity Make Us Age More Slowly?

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Einstein’s theory of general relativity upended humanity’s understanding of the universe more than a century ago, and since then, scientists have discovered that the steady march of time is anything but steady. Among the haunting implications of general relativity is that time passes more quickly at the top of every staircase in the world than … Read more

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Writer Fuel: How Does Music Affect Your Brain?

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Many people listen to music while working, exercising at the gym, or simply relaxing. But how does music affect your brain? Along with triggering a release of the feel-good hormone dopamine, science has shown that listening to music may boost our cognitive function, potentially relieve symptoms of anxiety and stress, and help us to stay … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Did Life on Earth Come From Radioactive Space Rocks?

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A special type of radioactive meteorite could have seeded life on Earth, a new study found. Carbonaceous chondrites, a type of radioactive meteorite chock full of water and organic compounds, produce energetic gamma rays that can drive the chemical reactions to synthesize amino acids — the building blocks of life — researchers discovered. Meteorites are … Read more

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Writer Fuel: What Are “Zombie Viruses” and Are They Dangerous?

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There is a frozen soup of viruses, bacteria and fungal spores lurking beneath the frigid Arctic soil. Unlike the icy leftovers in the back of your freezer, some of these microbes haven’t interacted with a cell since well before ancient Egyptians built the Pyramids of Giza. As climate change continues to cook the planet, however, … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Why Are Octupuses So Smart?

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Octopuses may have gained some of their exceptional intelligence from the same evolutionary process that humans went through, a new study suggests. The process involved a sudden explosion of microRNAs (miRNAs) — small, noncoding molecules that control how genes are expressed. This increase may have helped the brains of octopuses and humans to develop new … Read more

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Writer Fuel: Artificial Photosynthesis is Totally a Thing

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A new method of artificial photosynthesis could get humans one step closer to using the machinery of plants to make fuels. The new system is 10 times more efficient than previous synthetic photosynthesis methods. While natural photosynthesis allows plants to turn carbon dioxide (CO2) and water into carbohydrates using the power of the sun, the … Read more