My picks from ScienceDaily


Voters Swayed By Candidates Who Share Their Looks, Researchers Say:

Made up your mind who to vote for? Maybe it’s because you like the looks of the candidate. Or maybe it’s because the candidate looks a little like you, even if you don’t realize it.

Memories Selectively, Safely Erased In Mice:

Targeted memory erasure is no longer limited to the realm of science fiction. A new study describes a method through which a selected set of memories can be rapidly and specifically erased from the mouse brain in a controlled and inducible manner. New and old memories have been selectively and safely removed from mice by scientists.

Deprived Of A Sense Of Smell, Worms Live Longer:

Many animals live longer when raised on low calorie diets. But now researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown that they can extend the life spans of roundworms even when the worms are well fed — it just takes a chemical that blocks their sense of smell.

Biologists Discover Gene Behind ‘Plant Sex Mystery’:

An enigma – unique to flowering plants – has been solved by researchers from the University of Leicester (UK) and POSTECH, South Korea. The discovery is reported in the journal Nature on 23 October 2008. Scientists already knew that flowering plants, unlike animals require not one, but two sperm cells for successful fertilisation. The mystery of this ‘double fertilization’ process was how each single pollen grain could produce ‘twin’ sperm cells. One to join with the egg cell to produce the embryo, and the other to join with a second cell in the ovary to produce the endosperm, a nutrient-rich tissue, inside the seed.

Building A Better Bee:

It’s about bee-ing all they can be. An enhanced-line honey bee stock developed by University of California, Davis bee breeder-geneticist Susan Cobey, that crosses her bee line “New World Carnolians” with “Old World” Carnolians from Germany, shows genetic promise in aiding the troubled bee industry, research reveals.

Extinction Risks High For Social Species Such As The African Wild Dog:

In the world of “cut and thrust,” humans try to bank money to obtain financial security, and often form cooperatives to reduce risks and increase gains. Many humans also end up in poverty traps, where because of meager resources and an increasingly high cost of living they find themselves unable to raise their heads above the parapet and “never make it.”

‘Dry Cleaning Effect’ Explained By Forgetful Researcher:

Yale researchers have described how dueling brain systems may explain why you forget to drop off the dry cleaning and may point to ways that substance abusers and people with obsessive compulsive disorder can overcome bad habits.

Been There, Done That: Brain Mechanism Predicts Ability To Generalize:

A new study reveals how the brain can connect discrete but overlapping experiences to provide a rich integrated history that extends far beyond individually experienced events and may help to direct future choices. The research, published by Cell Press in the October 23rd issue of the journal Neuron, also explains why some people are good at generalizing from past experience, while others are not.

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