You’ll Never Be Spider-Man, Science Says

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Science tells us a lot of things, in many cases things we didn’t even know we needed to know. Without science, we’d be ignorant to the brain functions of dead salmon, the complex physical properties of the human ponytail and the most and least painful areas of the human body to be stung by a bee. 

Now, a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has officially determined that, no, you cannot be Spider-Man.

A team of researchers from four universities concluded that as animals grow, they require more and more adhesive padding on their bodies to climb surfaces the way an insect or a frog does, and that for a human to successfully ascend a smooth vertical would require 40% of the person’s surface area covered in adhesive material like that which pads gecko feet.






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Reading On A Screen Before Bed Might Be Killing You



Huffpost Technology

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You’ve heard that using screens before bedtime can mess with your sleep, but new research suggests the problem is even more serious.

Reading from an iPad before bed not only makes it harder to fall asleep, but also impacts how sleepy and alert you are the next day, according to new research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday, said the findings could impact anyone who uses an eReader, laptop, smartphone, or certain TVs before bed.

The new research supports conclusions from older studies, which have also found that screen time before sleep can be detrimental.



Reading on a glowing screen before bed is much worse for your health than you might have thought. | Artur Debat via Getty Images



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Shocking Number Of Innocent People Sentenced To Death, Study Finds



Huffpost Crime

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More than 4 percent of inmates sentenced to death in the United States are probably innocent, according to a study published Monday that sent shock waves across the anti-death penalty community.

What the researchers call a “conservative estimate” about the number of wrongfully convicted death row inmates is more than double the percentage of capital defendants who were exonerated during more than three decades that were studied. That means innocent people are languishing behind bars, according to the study.

“The great majority of innocent people who are sentenced to death are never identified and freed,” said Samuel Gross, lead author of the study and a University of Michigan Law School professor, in a statement. “The purpose of our study is to account for the innocent defendants who are not exonerated.”

While in a conversation with his lawyer Taylor Koss, left, Jonathan Fleming, center, observes his lawyer’s son Max, 6, as he uses a tablet computer on Friday April 18, 2014 in New York. Fleming was exonerated of murder after almost 25 years behind bars. The weeks since his release have been a mix of emotional highs and practical frustrations. ?Coming back, you know, it?s been hard. … It?s a lot to have to catch up on.” (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
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Humans Growing More Carnivorous, Global Food Study Shows

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The fast-growing economies of China and India are driving a global increase in meat consumption, cancelling out decreases elsewhere, according to a comprehensive study of global food consumption.

The work, published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, takes a detailed look at what people eat, as well as trends from one country to the next. It is also the first time that researchers have calculated humanity’s trophic level, a metric used in ecology to position species in the food chain.

The metric puts plants and algae, which make their own food, at trophic level 1. Rabbits, which eat plants, occupy level 2. Foxes, which eat herbivores, sit at trophic level 3. Cod, a fish that eats other fish, claims level 4. Polar bears and orcas, which have few or no predators and eat other mammals with gusto, hold the top positions — levels up to 5.5.

humans carnivorous

Map of the median human trophic level from 2005 to 2009. Darker-colored areas are those with higher levels | S. Bonhommeau, PNAS
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Brain Cell Life Span Finding In Mice Seen As Good News For Life Extension Enthusiasts

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Brain cells can live at least twice as long as the organisms in which they reside, according to new research.

The study, published today (Feb. 25) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that mouse neurons, or brain cells, implanted into rats can survive with the rats into old age, twice as long as the life span of the original mice.

The findings are good news for life extension enthusiasts.

“We are slowly but continuously prolonging the life of humans,” said study co-author Dr. Lorenzo Magrassi, a neurosurgeon at the University of Pavia in Italy.


Brain Cells Life Span

Mouse neurons implanted into a rat brain can live twice as long as the mice from which they were taken, new research suggests.


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