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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | February 12, 2020


Polar bears in Baffin Bay skinnier, having fewer cubs due to less sea ice
Satellite tracking of adult females and visual monitoring of polar bears in Baffin Bay show changes from the 1990s to the period from 2009 to 2015.
New technique reduces pathogen identification time from two weeks to less than one hour
Canola is a billion-dollar crop for Canada but the growing season in Western Canada is very short.
NIST researchers link quartz microbalance measurements to international measurement system
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have found a way to link measurements made by a device integral to microchip fabrication and other industries directly to the recently redefined International System of Units (SI, the modern metric system).
The Lancet: Preliminary evidence suggests that new coronavirus cannot be passed from mother to child late in pregnancy
There is currently no evidence that the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) causes severe adverse outcomes in neonates or that it can pass to the child while in the womb, according to a small observational study of women from Wuhan, China, who were in the third trimester of pregnancy and had pneumonia caused by COVID-19.
More stroke awareness, better eating habits may help reduce stroke risk for young adult African-Americans
Young African-Americans are experiencing higher rates of stroke because of health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, yet their perception of their stroke risk is low.
Extinct giant turtle had horned shell of up to three meters
Paleobiologists from the University of Zurich have discovered exceptional specimens in Venezuela and Colombia of an extinct giant freshwater turtle called Stupendemys.
Shingles vaccine may also reduce stroke risk
The shingles vaccine appears to reduce stroke risk by about 16% in older adults.
Portable MRIs bring diagnostics to stroke patients' bedside
For the first time, portable, low-field MRIs have successfully imaged patients' brains to evaluate stroke at their bedside.
Blacks, Hispanics of Caribbean descent have higher stroke risk than white neighbors
Both blacks and Hispanics, mostly of Caribbean descent, were found to have a higher risk of stroke than non-Hispanic whites living in the same New York City neighborhoods.
How plants in the cabbage family look inward when sulfur is scarce
Studying genetically modified model plants from the cabbage family, researchers at Kyushu University found that disrupting the production of two enzymes in thale cress plants growing in sulfur-deficient environments further stunts growth by reducing their ability to breakdown sulfur-containing glucosinolates.
Researchers stimulate areas vital to consciousness in monkeys' brains -- and it wakes them up
One of the central questions in neuroscience is clarifying where in the brain consciousness, which is the ability to experience internal and external sensations, arises.
Heart rate measurements of wearable monitors vary by activity, not skin color
Biomedical engineers at Duke University have demonstrated that while different wearable technologies, like smart watches and fitness trackers, can accurately measure heart rate across a variety of skin tones, the accuracy between devices begins to vary wildly when they measure heart rate during different types of everyday activities, like typing.
ORNL researchers develop 'multitasking' AI tool to extract cancer data in record time
To better leverage cancer data for research, scientists at ORNL are developing an artificial intelligence (AI)-based natural language processing tool to improve information extraction from textual pathology reports.
New Argonne etching technique could advance the way semiconductor devices are made
Researchers uncover a technique known as molecular layer etching which aid in building intricate 3D nanostructures for semiconductor devices and other microelectronics.
Human language most likely evolved gradually
One of the most controversial hypotheses for the origin of human language faculty is the evolutionary conjecture that language arose instantaneously in humans through a single gene mutation.
Identified a brain circuit that could indicate the risk of developing Alzheimer's
The first brain changes associated with Alzheimer disease may appear years before the first symptoms.
Modified clay can remove herbicide from water
By creating neatly spaced slits in a clay mineral, University of Groningen Professor of Experimental Solid State Physics Petra Rudolf was able to filter water to remove a toxic herbicide.
Physics of Life -- Lane change in the cytoskeleton
Many amphibians and fish are able to change their color in order to better adapt to their environment.
Pea instead of soy in animal feed
By far the largest proportion of soybeans grown worldwide is used for animal feed.
Climate change to create farmland in the north, but at environmental costs, study reveals
Areas that may become suitable for crops cover an area equal to more than 30 per cent of the landmass already being farmed worldwide.
Automated system can rewrite outdated sentences in Wikipedia articles
A system created by MIT researchers could be used to automatically update factual inconsistencies in Wikipedia articles, reducing time and effort spent by human editors who now do the task manually.
New model may help predict stroke risk in adults with migraine and aura
Simple risk score prediction model may help determine stroke risk in adults who have migraine with aura.
Gene therapy/gene editing combo could offer hope for some genetic disorders
A hybrid approach that combines elements of gene therapy with gene editing converted an experimental model of a rare genetic disease into a milder form, significantly enhancing survival, shows a multi-institutional study led by the University of Pennsylvania and Children's National Hospital in Washington, D.C.
Army researchers develop new method for analyzing metal
Warfighters on the battlefield often rely on machines, vehicles and other technologies with rotating parts to complete their mission.
Second wind: New technology to help diagnose and manage respiratory diseases
Researchers at Australia's Monash University have developed radical non-invasive technology that can be used to diagnose respiratory lung diseases, such as cystic fibrosis and lung cancer, and potentially fast-track treatments for patients.
The use of jargon kills people's interest in science, politics
When scientists and others use their specialized jargon terms while communicating with the general public, the effects are much worse than just making what they're saying hard to understand.
Many teens are victims of digital dating abuse; boys get the brunt of it
It's almost Valentine's Day, but there is nothing romantic about new research illuminating how teen dating abuse is manifesting online.
Cancer cells alter protein production machinery to hasten metastasis
An increase in ribosomes, the protein-making machinery found in every living cell, increases their potential to form metastatic tumors.
Absent p53, oral cancers recruit and reprogram nerves to fuel tumor growth
Loss of an important tumor-suppressing gene allows head and neck cancer to spin off signals to nearby nerves, changing their function and recruiting them to the tumor, where they fuel growth and cancer progress.
First electrically-driven 'topological' laser developed by Singapore and UK scientists
Scientists and engineers from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and the University of Leeds in the UK have created the first electrically-driven 'topological' laser, which has the ability to route light particles around corners -- and to cope with defects in the manufacture of the device.
Having fewer children reduced the education gap in China
A new study uses China's one-child policy to show that having fewer children leads women to achieve higher levels of education.
Cracking the code for hookworm infestation
Monash University researchers have uncovered a key way that hookworms evade the immune system - providing new hope in the search for a vaccine.
Fewer steroids, no plasma exchange: A change in treatment for vasculitis
The insights from the PEXIVAS Trial, a 10-year study, shows treatment for ANCA-associated vasculitis can use half the standard dosage of steroids and involve no blood plasma exchanges.
Smoking rates falling in adults, but stroke survivors' smoking rates remain steady
While the rate of Americans who smoke tobacco has fallen steadily over the last two decades, the rate of stroke survivors who smoke has not changed significantly.
Sex hormone-related protein levels may impact stroke risk in women
Women with lower blood levels of a protein that binds to and transports sex hormones like estradiol and testosterone may have a higher risk of ischemic stroke.
Graphene forms under microscope's eye
Scientists record the formation of foamy laser-induced graphene made with a small laser mounted to a scanning electron microscope.
Hybrid microscope could bring digital biopsy to the clinic
By adding infrared capability to the ubiquitous, standard optical microscope, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign hope to bring cancer diagnosis into the digital era.
Empty SV40 capsids increase survival of septic rats by eliciting numerous host signaling networks
The cover for issue 6 of Oncotarget features Figure 3, 'The effect of NCs treatments on routine lab results during disease and recovery progress,' by Ben-Nun-Shaul, et al.
Gut feelings: Gut bacteria are linked to our personality
Sociable people have a higher abundance of certain types of gut bacteria and also more diverse bacteria, an Oxford University study has found.
'Ghost' of mysterious hominin found in West African genomes
Ancestors of modern West Africans interbred with a yet-undiscovered species of archaic human, similar to how ancient Europeans mated with Neanderthals, researchers report.
Gene associated with autism also controls growth of the embryonic brain
A UCLA-led study reveals a new role for a gene that's associated with autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability and language impairment.
Evaluating skin cancer history by sexual orientation, gender identity
These two related studies and editorial examined the association of sexual orientation and gender identity with a history of self-reported skin cancer.
Fossilized insect from 100 million years ago is oldest record of primitive bee with pollen
Beetle parasites clinging to a primitive bee 100 million years ago may have caused the flight error that, while deadly for the insect, is a boon for science today.
Optimism reduces stroke severity, inflammation
Optimistic stroke survivors had lower inflammation levels, reduced stroke severity and less initial physical disability after three months compared to less optimistic survivors, according to the findings of a small study.
Genetics enhance sex's role as a stroke, heart attack risk factor
Genetics enhances the role sex plays to increase the risk of stroke and heart attack in healthy middle-aged adults.
Half of US deaths related to air pollution are linked to out-of-state emissions
More than half of all air-quality-related early deaths in the United States are a result of emissions originating outside of the state in which those deaths occur, MIT researchers report in the journal Nature.
Taming age survival of Asian elephants three times higher than in the 1970s
Researchers from the University of Turku (UTU) in Finland, and veterinarians from the Myanma Timber Enterprise (MTE) in Myanmar have investigated the trends behind Asian elephant calf mortality during the taming period.
Huge bacteria-eating viruses close gap between life and non-life
Bacterial viruses, called bacteriophages, are simple genetic machines, relying on their bacterial hosts to replicate and spread.
MAiD is not driven by socioeconomic vulnerability or poor access to palliative care
A new study of people who received medical assistance in dying (MAiD) in Ontario found that about three-quarters were cared for by palliative care practitioners at the time of their request for MAiD, and MAiD recipients were younger, wealthier and more likely to be married than the general population at time of death.
Gay and bisexual men have higher rate of skin cancer
In the largest study of skin cancer rates among gay, lesbian or bisexual individuals, investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital report important differences in skin cancer prevalence among sexual minorities.
Predators to spare
In 2014, a disease of epidemic proportions gripped the West Coast of the US.
What is the best way to encourage innovation? Competitive pay may be the answer
Economists and business leaders agree that innovation is a major force behind economic growth, but many disagree on what is the best way to encourage workers to produce the 'think-outside-of-the-box' ideas that create newer and better products and services.
Researchers describe new condition involving numerous GI polyps in cancer survivors
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers report newly discovered condition known as therapy-associated polyposis, or TAP in which childhood cancer survivors develop numerous colorectal growths called polyps.
Gum disease, inflammation, hardened arteries may be linked to stroke risk
Two studies raise the possibility that treating gum disease may help prevent the development of artery blockage, thus reducing stroke risk.
Preclinical study links human gene variant to THC reward in adolescent females
A common variation in a human gene that affects the brain's reward processing circuit increases vulnerability to the rewarding effects of the main psychoactive ingredient of cannabis in adolescent females, but not males, according to preclinical research by Weill Cornell Medicine investigators.
Autonomous vehicle technology may improve safety for US Army convoys, report says
US Army convoys could be made safer for soldiers by implementing autonomous vehicle technology to reduce the number of service members needed to operate the vehicles, according to a new study from the RAND Corporation.
New material has highest electron mobility among known layered magnetic materials
A new material created in the lab at Princeton has properties that make it a promising candidate for new areas like magnetic twistronic devices and spintronics, as well as advances in data storage and device design.
Vapers show chemical changes in their genome linked to cancer
A team of scientists at the Keck School of Medicine of USC have found people who vape exhibit similar chemical modifications in their overall genome and in parts of their DNA as people who smoke cigarettes.
Damaged eye vessels may indicate higher stroke risk for adults with diabetes
Damage to small blood vessels of the eye may be a marker for heightened risk of stroke in people with diabetes.
Postmenopause vitamin D deficiency associated with disc degeneration and lower back pain
Lumbar disc degeneration and resulting lower back pain become greater concerns with age and disproportionately affect women more than men, likely as a result of decreasing estrogen levels during menopause.
Mount Sinai discovers new drug combo to induce high rates of human beta cell regeneration
Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have discovered a novel combination of two classes of drugs that, together, cause the highest rate of proliferation ever observed in adult human beta cells -- the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.
Small altitude changes could cut climate impact of aircraft by up to 59%
Altering the altitudes of less than 2% of flights could reduce contrail-linked climate change by 59%, says a new Imperial study.
SwRI models hint at longer timescale for Mars formation
The early solar system was a chaotic place, with evidence indicating that Mars was likely struck by planetesimals, small protoplanets up to 1,200 miles in diameter, early in its history.
AJR: Smartphone, laptop prove reliable and accurate for acute ischemic stroke decision
A unique assessment of imaging-based recommendations for the administration of IV recombinant tissue plasminogen activator based on unenhanced brain CT scans, the results published ahead-of-print in this April article from the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR) constitute a strong foundation for the development of mobile-based telestroke services because they increase neuroradiologist availability and the possibility of using reperfusion therapies in resource-limited countries.
Moving later in life may not lower cognitive decline linked to Stroke Belt
People who spent their childhood or early adulthood in the Stroke Belt are more likely to develop cognitive impairment later, even if they have moved away.
Invasive species that threaten biodiversity on the Antarctic Peninsula are identified
Mediterranean mussels, seaweed and some species of land plants and invertebrates are among the 13 species that are most likely to damage the ecosystems on the Antarctic Peninsula.
Designer probiotic treatment for cancer immunotherapy
Columbia Engineers have engineered probiotics to safely deliver immunotherapies within tumors, including nanobodies against two proven therapeutic targets -- PD-L1 and CTLA-4.
Machine learning implemented for quantum optics by Skoltech scientists
As machine learning continues to surpass human performance in a growing number of tasks, scientists at Skoltech have applied deep learning to reconstruct quantum properties of optical systems.
French unions played key role in protecting workers' mental health
Virginia Doellgast, associate professor of comparative employment relations in Cornell University's ILR School, examines the role unions played in the aftermath of those deaths.
Circular reasoning
Circular RNA may play a role in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Researchers develop smaller, lighter radiation shielding
Researchers have developed a new technique for shielding electronics in military and space exploration technology from ionizing radiation.
Mind the trust gap: it's wider than you think
The regional gap in trust is not a result of the higher percentage of Black Americans -- who tend to have lower trust - living in the south, York University sociologist Prof.
Cracks in perovskite films for solar cells easily healed, study finds
A new study finds that cracks in brittle perovskite films can be easily healed with compression or mild heating, a good sign for the use of perovskites in next-generation solar cells.
Herd immunity: Disease transmission from wildlife to livestock
Scientists provide guidelines for minimizing the risk of spreading disease between elk and cattle in Southern Alberta.
How roots find their way to water
Plants use their roots to search for water. While the main root digs down-wards, a large number of fine lateral roots explore the soil on all sides.
Component of human breast milk enhances cognitive development in babies
CHLA investigators show that early exposure to a carbohydrate found in breast milk, called 2'FL, positively influences neurodevelopment.
Gene therapy prevents disorders with alcohol exposure in ALDH2 deficiency
A new study has shown that gene therapy to treat one of the most common hereditary disorders, aldehyde dehydrogenase type 2 (ALDH2) deficiency, may prevent increased risk for esophageal cancer and osteoporosis associated with chronic alcohol exposure.
Bubble-capturing surface helps get rid of foam
Bubbly buildup can hinder many industrial processes, but a new method can reduce or even eliminate it.
Researchers find test to ID children at higher risk for cystic fibrosis liver disease
A major multi-center investigation of children with cystic fibrosis has identified a test that allows earlier identification of those at risk for cystic fibrosis liver disease.
Fighting climate change at the sink: A guide to greener dishwashing
If you're an environmentally conscious consumer, you've probably heard that today's highly efficient dishwashers use less energy and water than traditional hand-washing techniques.
Tracking a silent killer: New biomarker identified for arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy
Scientists have identified a metabolic biomarker that could help track the progression of arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy (AC) -- an inherited heart condition that can kill swiftly and without warning -- in a study of heart tissue and plasma from patients with AC.
Study: One-third of plant and animal species could be gone in 50 years
University of Arizona researchers studied recent extinctions from climate change to estimate the loss of plant and animal species by 2070.
Climate-driven farming 'frontiers' pose major environmental risks
Future farming in regions that were previously unsuitable for agriculture could significantly impact biodiversity, water resources, and greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
UTSA examines reporters' portrayal of US border under Trump
The southern US border has been portrayed as a bogeyman not only by the Trump administration but also surprisingly by major US news media.
Thyroid cancer, genetic variations, cell phones linked in YSPH study
Radiation from cell phones is associated with higher rates of thyroid cancer among people with genetic variations in specific genes, a new study led by the Yale School of Public Health finds.
Multi-center neuroimaging study offers new insights on schizophrenia
thanks to the pooled data and insights from researchers around the world, USC researchers have the clearest picture yet of brain abnormalities associated with schizophrenia, a serious mental illness that impacts 20 million people worldwide
Stimulation of nerve cluster during stroke may have beneficial effects
Promising new stimulation treatment increases blood flow to the brain, improves hand strength in patients with minor stroke and may decrease disability in many patients with stroke.
Time spent watching television does not replace physical activity for Finnish men
A large proportion of highly active men watch more television than their low-active peers do.
New drug leads could battle brain-eating amoebae
Brain-eating amoebae can cause particularly harmful forms of encephalitis, and more than 95% of people who develop these rare but devastating infections die.
New data shows rising repeat ER visits for opioid-related emergencies
The emergency department is being increasingly utilized as a patient's best or only treatment option for opioid use disorder (OUD).
Overweight from cosmetics
Parabens are used as preservatives in cosmetics. If pregnant women use cosmetics containing parabens that remain on the skin for protracted periods, this may have consequences for their child's subsequent weight development.
EPA fails to follow landmark law to protect children from pesticides in food
The landmark Food Quality Protection Act requires the Environmental Protection Agency to protect children's health by applying an extra margin of safety to legal limits for pesticides in food.
Small marsupials in Australia may struggle to adjust to a warming climate
Researchers suggest that climate change may hurt the survival chances of an Australian marsupial.
Nutrition a key ingredient for psychological health in Canadian adults
A new study investigating factors that contribute to psychological distress in adults has found that that risk of malnourishment is linked to psychological distress among Canadians aged 45 years and older.
Golfing regularly could be a hole-in-one for older adults' health
Regularly golfing, at least once per month, was found to lower the risk of death among older adults.
X-ray microscopy at BESSY II: Nanoparticles can change cells
Nanoparticles easily enter into cells. New insights about how they are distributed and what they do there are shown for the first time by high-resolution 3D microscopy images from BESSY II.
Scientists find ally in fight against brain tumors: Ebola
Glioblastomas are relentless, hard-to-treat, and often lethal brain tumors. Yale scientists have enlisted a most unlikely ally in efforts to treat this form of cancer -- elements of the Ebola virus.
New mouse model for celiac disease to speed research on treatments
Researchers at the University of Chicago have developed the first truly accurate mouse model of celiac disease.
Consumers may be wasting more than twice as much food as commonly believed
Consumers are likely wasting much more food than commonly believed, according to a study published Feb.
NASA finds heavy rain southwest of tropical cyclone Uesi's center
The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM satellite provided a look at the rainfall occurring within Tropical Cyclone Uesi and found heaviest rainfall in the southern quadrant of the storm.
CRISPR 'minigene' approach stops genetic liver disease in mice
A new CRISPR gene-editing technique prevented a genetic liver disease known to be driven by hundreds of different mutations and improved clinical symptoms in mice.
Love matters: How parents' love shapes children's lives
Parents often put their own relationship on the back burner to concentrate on their children, but a new study shows that when spouses love each other, children stay in school longer and marry later in life.
What would it take to make FMT mainstream? Two publications consider the opportunities
Fecal microbiota transplant treatment for most microbiome-associated diseases has not been rigorously studied in humans--and any such studies would be subject to regulation by the Food and Drug Administration.
Lane change in the cytoskeleton
Many amphibians and fish are able to change their color in order to better adapt to their environment.
How bird flocks with multiple species behave like K-pop groups
Peer into a forest canopy, and you will likely spot multiple bird species flying and feeding together.
Algae team rosters could help ID 'super corals'
U.S. and Australian researchers have found a potential tool for identifying stress-tolerant ''super corals.'' In experiments that simulated climate change stress, researchers found corals that best survived had symbiotic algae communities with similar features.
Answers to microbiome mysteries in the gills of rainbow trout
In trout, the University of Pennsylvanias J. Oriol Sunyer and colleagues discovered that a particular type of primitive antibody is essential for fighting microbes that cause disease while preserving others that make up a healthy microbiome.
Developing seizures after stroke may increase risk of death, disability
Developing seizures after severe stroke was linked to higher risk of death or disability.
Prolonged use of hormone therapy may minimize muscle loss associated with aging
Skeletal muscle mass and strength are critical in helping prevent falls, fractures, and disability.
Bu researchers identify privacy law gaps in high school STI health services
A new commentary by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers published in the journal Pediatrics uses the example of high school sexually transmitted infection (STI) programs to highlight how collaborations between schools and health departments can create gaps in student privacy.
Bacteriophages may play a role in childhood stunting... and be able to help treat it
New research spearheaded by McGill University has discovered that bacteriophages (viruses that infect bacteria) found in the intestinal tracts of children may play a role in childhood stunting, a significant impediment to growth that affects 22% of children under the age of five around the world.
Climate warming disrupts tree seed production
Research involving the University of Liverpool has revealed the effect of climate warming on the complex interactions between tree masting and the insects that eat their seeds.
Research reverses the reproductive clock in mice
Researchers have lifted fertility rates in older female mice with small doses of a metabolic compound that reverses the ageing process in eggs, offering hope for some women struggling to conceive.
How kirigami can help us study the muscular activity of athletes
Scientists devise an elastic and durable skin-contact patch for measuring the electromyographic activity of the palm muscle inspired by ancient Japanese paper crafts.
Antibiotics discovered that kill bacteria in a new way: McMaster
A new group of antibiotics with a unique approach to attacking bacteria has been discovered, making it a promising clinical candidate in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.
Discovery brings nanoscale thermal switches needed for next-gen computing
Researchers working on an Army project developed nanoscale thermal switches that are key to thermal management of nanoscale devices, refrigeration, data storage, thermal computing and heat management of buildings.
New air-pressure sensor could improve everyday devices
A team of mechanical engineers at Binghamton University, State University of New York investigating a revolutionary kind of micro-switch has found another application for its ongoing research.
Children's fingertip injuries could signal abuse
Many children who suffer fingertip injuries have been abused, according to a Rutgers study.
Biodiversity offsetting is contentious -- here's an alternative
A new approach to compensate for the impact of development may be an effective alternative to biodiversity offsetting -- and help nations achieve international biodiversity targets.
Are robots designed to include the LGBTQ+ community?
Robot technology is flourishing in multiple sectors of society, including the retail, health care, industry and education sectors.
Study shows increased hand hygiene at top 10 airports can reduce spread of coronavirus by 37 percent
The study finds that increasing traveler engagement with proper hand-hygiene at all airports has the potential to reduce the risk of a potential pandemic by 24-69 percent.
Silica increases water availability for plants
As a result of climate change, more frequent and longer drought periods are predicted in the future.
Faith-centered tattoos are analyzed in study of university students
With more than a quarter of US adults now having tattoos -- and nearly half of millennials -- only a handful of studies have focused on religious tattoos.
Something from nothing: Using waste heat to power electronics
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba developed an improved thermocell design to convert heat into electricity.
Right beneath the skin we all have the same bacteria
In the dermis skin layer, the same bacteria are found across age and gender.
Early treatment of schizophrenia may not slow disease progression
A Stony Brook University-led study reveals that, despite the common view that early intervention in schizophrenia slows or stops mental decline, those who receive early intervention eventually experience the same declines as those whose treatment started later.
Small altitude changes could cut the climate impact of aircraft
Contrails -- the white, fluffy streaks in the sky that form behind planes -- can harm the environment.
Study: Diet makes a difference in fight against hospital-acquired infection
Popular diets low in carbs and high in fat and protein might be good for the waistline, but a new UNLV study shows that just the opposite may help to alleviate the hospital-acquired infection Clostridioides difficile.
Maintaining social relationships is important for more than finding a mate
Maintaining social relationships beyond the immediate family group and neighbors is important for more than finding a mate.
Pollinating opossums confirm decades-long theory
In Brazil there is a plant so strange that researchers predicted -- and 27 years later, proved -- that opossums are key to its pollination.

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