Prions Found in Skin of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Patients – Infectious protein aggregates from the skin of human patients can cause disease in mice.

Source: Christina D. Orrú, et al. Prion seeding activity and infectivity in skin samples from patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Science Translational Medicine, 2017.

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