Even you can have the memory of a champion memorizer

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The making of a memory champion, it turns out, is not so different from the making of any other great athlete.

To triumph in sport, athletes sculpt muscle and sinew and lash them together with head and heart to deliver optimum performance. To perform extraordinary feats of memorization, memory…

Vegetarian Neanderthals? Extinct human relatives hid a mouthful of surprises

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It seems modern humans aren’t the only ones to have had regional cuisine. According to the plaque on their teeth, Neanderthals had striking differences in their diets, depending on where they lived — and they may have also used plants and mold to treat illness and pain.

The findings, described…

You are living in a unique time on planet Earth — mineralogically speaking

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You are living in an amazing time on planet Earth — mineralogically speaking.

Scientists say there are more unique minerals on our planet than ever before in its 4.5-billion-year history, and it’s thanks in part to us.

In a paper published this week in American Mineralogist, a team of researchers…

Pregnant women with Zika are 20 times more likely to have a baby with a birth defect, CDC says

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It’s been clear for a while now that pregnant women who become infected with the Zika virus are more likely to have babies with microcephaly, neural tube defects and other serious problems. Now experts can say just how much bigger that risk is for these babies: 20 times greater than if their mothers…

How plants can provide clues about the spread of ancient civilizations

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Indiana Jones may have found a few more lost temples if he’d known a thing or two about plants. By mapping the distribution of tree species with known archaeological sites in the Amazon basin, scientists have discovered that humans shaped the makeup of the Amazon forests over thousands of years.

In 3.7-billion-year-old rock, scientists find what could be the oldest fossils on Earth

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Scientists have found what they claim are the oldest-known fossils on Earth, embedded in Canadian rocks that are at least 3.7 billion years old.

If they are right, the discovery suggests that life on Earth began within 200 million to 500 million years of the birth of the planet 4.5 billion years…

Oklahama’s earthquake threat now equals California’s due to man-made temblors, USGS says

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The earthquake risk for Oklahoma and southern Kansas is expected to remain significant in 2017, threatening 3 million people with seismic events that can produce damaging shaking, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey forecast released Wednesday.

The seismic risk is forecast to be so high that…

Are restrictions on the ‘abortion pill’ politics or science?

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The Food and Drug Administration’s restrictions on the dispensing of mifepristone — one half of the two-drug cocktail used to end a pregnancy in its first 10 weeks — “no longer makes clinical sense” and should be “expeditiously withdrawn,” experts argue in the New England Journal of Medicine.

As…

Woman pleads guilty to helping smuggle ammo, gun parts to Philippines

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A Long Beach woman has pleaded guilty to helping smuggle gun parts and thousands of rounds of ammunition to the Philippines.

The Long Beach Press-Telegram  says 61-year-old Marlou Mendoza entered the plea Monday and could face up to 15 years in federal prison.

Her son, Mark, remains a fugitive.

How scientists plan to reduce the temperature in Los Angeles by 3 degrees

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Soak up these rainy days, Southern California. They are not going to last forever. 

Summer will be here before you know it, and if recent trends continue, it will likely be a hot one.

Globally, 2016 was the warmest year on record. Here in Los Angeles, temperature records were shattered last summer…

What makes a frog’s tongue so sticky? The secret is in the spit

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Frogs and amphibians can nab an fly with remarkable speed — but the real secret of their bug-catching prowess is in the saliva. 

Unlike human spit, sticky frog saliva is a non-Newtonian fluid. That means it behaves as both a liquid and a solid.

This unusual combination of tongue and saliva allows…

Humans, meet the ancient sea creature at the other end of your family tree

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A tiny wrinkled sack with a big mouth and no anus may well be the earliest-known of humans’ forebears. Meet Saccorhytus coronarius, a 540-million-year-old critter the size of a grain of sand, whose fossil remains were discovered in China.

Scientists say Saccorhytus is the most primitive of the…

What all those dead trees mean for the Sierra Nevada

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The ponderosa pine had taken root decades before the Revolutionary War, making a stately stand on this western Sierra Nevada slope for some 300 years, Nate Stephenson figures. 

Then came the beetle blitzkrieg. Now the tree is a dab in the gray and rusty death stain smeared across the mountain range.

Grocery store tomatoes taste like cardboard — Florida researchers are fixing that

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There’s a revolution coming to your supermarket, and it’s going to start in the tomato aisle.

After more than a decade of study, researchers at the University of Florida have identified the chemical compounds responsible for giving a great tomato its distinctive sweet, earthy, slightly grassy taste….

By age 6, girls are less likely than boys to think that they can be brilliant, study shows

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Why do so few women end up in physics, mathematics and other fields traditionally associated with “brilliance”? Part of the answer may lie in what happens to girls by the time they’re out of kindergarten.

A new study finds that 6-year-old girls are less likely than boys to think members of their…

Trump administration moves make scientists nervous. Here’s what they’re planning to do about it

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It may not be the most romantic way to spend Valentine’s Day, but Dr. Georges Benjamin had been looking forward to a trip to Atlanta.

On Feb. 14, he said, he was scheduled to speak along with former Vice President Al Gore at the opening session of a conference hosted by the Centers for Disease…

Here’s what primary care doctors really think about Obamacare

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A postelection survey of primary care physicians reveals that majorities of the doctors that first treat most Americans do not support some of the GOP’s most widely circulated plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Conducted in December and January and published online Wednesday in…

Fossil hunters discover an ancient iguana that lived in a dinosaur nesting site in Montana

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The newly discovered “mighty traveler of Egg Mountain” is an ancient lizard that lived 75 million years ago.

That’s 10 million years before dinosaurs went extinct.

Paleontologists discovered the fossilized remains of two almost-complete skeletons of this extinct critter in a dinosaur nesting site…

Psychologists ask: What makes some smart people so skeptical of science?

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In Washington, D.C., revelers and protesters are marking the ascendance of a new president and the populist movement he says he has mobilized.

Some 1,600 miles away in San Antonio, thousands of psychologists from around the world are also marking the dawn of the Trump era by focusing their attention…

For teens, a higher minimum wage could be an effective form of birth control

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It doesn’t work to stop pregnancy like the birth control pill or an intrauterine device. But for teenage girls flipping burgers, sorting widgets or working retail, a bit more bling in the paycheck appears to reduce the likelihood of becoming a mother before her time.

In an analysis that looked…

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