Rare genetic mutation found in Amish community could combat ageing

theguardian.com – Discovery of mutation which appears to protect against biological ageing raises hopes for new treatments to prevent age-related disorders

Source: Sadiya S. Khan, et al. A null mutation in SERPINE1 protects against biological aging in humans. Science Advances, 2017.

In Just 4 Hours, Google's AI Mastered All The Chess Knowledge in History

sciencealert.com – Chess isn't an easy game, by human standards. But for an artificial intelligence powered by a formidable, almost alien mindset, the trivial diversion can be mastered in a few spare hours.

Source: David Silver, et al. Mastering Chess and Shogi by Self-Play with a General Reinforcement Learning Algorithm. arXiv, 2017.

Earth's most mysterious hums, ranked

popsci.com – Our planet makes a lot of sounds, and some of them are spooky.

Source: M. Deen, et al. First Observation of the Earth's Permanent Free Oscillations on Ocean Bottom Seismometers. Geophysical Research Letters, 2017.

'Freeze-Flee' Response: Narwhals' Confused Response Could Cost Them Their Lives

techtimes.com – Narwhals are often called the 'unicorn of the sea' because of the long tusks protruding from their heads. New research finds that human interference in their habitats are making them particularly vulnerable.

Source: Terrie M. Williams, Susanna B. Blackwell, Beau Richter, Mikkel-Holger S. Sinding, Mads Peter Heide-Jørgensen. Paradoxical escape responses by narwhals ( Monodon monoceros ). Science, 2017.

Hydraulic fracturing negatively impacts infant health

sciencedaily.com – Health risks increase for infants born to mothers living within 2 miles of a hydraulic fracturing site, according to a new study.

Source: Janet Currie, Michael Greenstone, Katherine Meckel. Hydraulic fracturing and infant health: New evidence from Pennsylvania. Science Advances, 2017.

Researchers develop glowing plants to replace lamps

zdnet.com – The bioluminescent fauna may one day be bright enough to light up a street or workplace.

Source: Seon-Yeong Kwak, et al. A Nanobionic Light-Emitting Plant. Nano Letters, 2017.

Early human ancestors started migrating around the world far earlier than scientists thought

businessinsider.com – Humans first started migrating from Africa to Asia 120,000 years ago, recent discoveries have found. These early migrants interbred with other hominin species.

Source: Christopher J. Bae, Katerina Douka, Michael D. Petraglia. On the origin of modern humans: Asian perspectives. Science, 2017.

The New Health Care: Birth Control and Breast Cancer: Look Beyond the Headlines

nytimes.com – It’s impossible to look at individual harms alone and make good health decisions.

Source: Lina S. Mørch, et al. Contemporary Hormonal Contraception and the Risk of Breast Cancer. New England Journal of Medicine, 2017.

Image of the Day:99-Million-Year-Old Blood Sucker

the-scientist.com – Scientists have found the oldest known specimen of a blood-sucking insect together with the remains of its host.

Source: Enrique Peñalver, et al. parasitised feathered dinosaurs as revealed by Cretaceous amber assemblages. Nature Communications, 2017.

CRISPR breakthrough may enable treatment for genetic diseases

upi.com – Scientists can now edit genes without creating gaps in the genetic code -- paving the way for the use of CRISPR/Cas9 in clinical trials.

Source: Hsin-Kai Liao, et al. In Vivo Target Gene Activation via CRISPR/Cas9-Mediated Trans -epigenetic Modulation. Cell, 2017.

After the Sandy Hook shooting, gun sales spiked — and so did accidental gun deaths

businessinsider.com – In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting, people bought lots of guns. That led rates of accidental firearm death to spike, especially among children.

Source: Phillip B. Levine, Robin McKnight. Firearms and accidental deaths: Evidence from the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shooting. Science, 2017.