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Lab-Grown Penises May Show Up Way Sooner Than You Thought

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Laboratory-grown penises might sound like something from bad science fiction, but scientists are working to make them a reality. In fact, human trials of lab-grown penises may be coming soon, thanks in part to new funding from the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine.

“The goal is to conduct a clinical trial within the next four to five years,” Karen Richardson, a spokesperson for the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, told The Huffington Post in an email.

Researchers at Wake Forest made headlines in 2009 for growing penile erectile tissue in a lab and building a “functional engineered solid organ” for rabbits, and now are making progress on a human version.

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DR ANTHONY ATALA

Dr. Anthony Atala, head of Wake Forest’s regenerative medicine institute, in his lab at Piedmont Triad Research Park in Winston-Salem, NC, Friday, Jan. 5, 2007. | ASSOCIATED PRESS
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These Bears Are Having Lots Of Oral Sex, And Scientists Think They Know Why

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Huffpost Science

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Birds do it. Bees do it. Bears do it too–but some bears do it a bit differently.

Researchers from Poland are reporting that a pair of male brown bears at a zoo in Croatia have been engaging in oral sex–and lots of it. Over the course of 116 hours of recent observation, the animals engaged in fellatio 28 times. That’s about one act of fellatio for every four hours, with each act ranging in duration from 1 minute to 4 minutes.

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Dark Matter Disk Could Have Killed Dinosaurs, Scientists Say

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Huffpost Science

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A thin disk of dark matter running through the Galaxy might be behind the large meteorite strikes that are thought to be responsible for some of Earth’s mass extinctions, including that of the dinosaurs, two theoretical physicists have proposed.

The model is based on a hypothetical form of dark matter described by the authors and their collaborators last year as a means to solve a separate cosmic conundrum. The existence of such a ‘dark disk’ could be tested soon by astronomical observations.

Mario Livio, an astrophysicist at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, who was not involved in the research, says that the latest idea, which brings together two speculative and very different theories, is “very interesting”, even if the evidence supporting it is far from compelling.

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The Top 10 Science Jokes, As Told By Stephen Hawking

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Stephen Hawking may be best known as a physicist, cosmologist and one of the world’s smartest people, but these videos are proof he should add ‘comedian’ to his already robust résumé.
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Stephen Hawking
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Giant Rats Could Take Over Earth After Next Mass Extinction

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Huffpost Science

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In the event of a future mass extinction, rats may be the animals best suited to repopulate the world, some scientists say.

And if rats did “take over” after such a wipeout, they’d likely balloon in size, scientists also say.

Mass extinctions have hit the Earth at least five times in geologic history, most recently about 65 million years ago, when scientists think an asteroid hit the planet and wiped out the dinosaurs. Mammals took advantage of the newly available ecological space and ultimately repopulated and dominated the animal kingdom.

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Scientists say that after a mass extinction, oversized rats may repopulate Earth. | Simon Flint via Getty Images
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‘Smoking Caterpillar’ Puffs Out Nicotine To Deter Spiders, New Research Shows (VIDEO)

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Ripped from the pages of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland,” scientists have discovered a smoking caterpillar of sorts.

While this find may not push Alice’s hookah-smoking insect from its psychedelic pedestal, this caterpillar is pretty snazzy, as it can use nicotine to ward off hungry wolf spiders.

The researchers found a gene in hornworm caterpillars that allows them to puff nicotine out through their spiracles (tiny holes in their sides), from the tobacco they consume, as a warning to their would-be predators. Researchers called this tactic “defensive halitosis.”

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Time Travel Is Possible But Only To The Future, English Physicist Says

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We may be able to book our ticket to the future someday — it’ll just be a one-way trip.

In a presentation at the British Science Festival, particle physicist Brian Cox said that time travel is possible but only in one direction.

“The central question is, can you build a time machine? The answer is yes, you can go into the future,” the University of Manchester professor told the audience during his hour-long speech on Tuesday, according to The Telegraph. “You’ve got almost total freedom of movement in the future.”

Cox detailed how time travel to the future is possible under Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity. Traveling hundreds, or even thousands of years into the future, could be accomplished if someone was traveling at an incredibly fast pace, close to the speed of light.

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time travel possible

Particle physicist Brian Cox speaking in Hay-on-Wye, Wales on May 28, 2011. (Photo by David Levenson/Getty Images)
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Mini Mona Lisa Painted On World’s Smallest ‘Canvas’ Using Nanotechnology (PHOTOS)

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The enigmatic image is perhaps the most reproduced in art history, but it’s never before been painted on such a small canvas.

Using a novel nanotechnique, researchers have made a miniature Mona Lisa that stretches 30 microns across, just a third of the width of a human hair.

A team from Georgia Tech created the molecular masterpiece using an atomic force microscope and a process dubbed ThermoChemical NanoLithography, or TCNL for short.

Each 125-nanometer pixel of the “Mini Lisa” represents a confined set of chemical reactions. The technique allowed the researchers to control the amount of heat applied over each pixel to vary the number of new molecules created in each spot. More heat resulted in more molecules and lighter shades of gray. In this way, the team made the tiny copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous work, pixel by pixel.

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/06/mini-mona-lisa-worlds-smallest-nano-technology_n_3713694.html?ref=topbar

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Memory Prosthesis May Help Restore, Enhance Brain’s Ability To Form Long-Term Memories

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In the film “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” the characters undergo a scientific procedure to erase their memory. But what if instead of erasing memory, you could restore it? One neuroscientist aims to do just that.

Theodore Berger of the University of Southern California is developing a prosthesis to restore memory, by replacing a circuit in the brain’s hippocampus. Berger described the device at the Global Future 2045 International Congress, held here June 15-16. Already successful in rats and monkeys, the prosthesis is now being tested in humans.

Memory machine

The hippocampus, a brain structure tucked deep in the brain’s temporal lobe, converts short-term memories to long-term ones. Epilepsy or other neurological disorders can damage the hippocampus, preventing a person from retaining new memories.

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memory prosthesis

A prosthetic device could restore memory to patients with brain damage due to epilepsy or other conditions. It’s being developed by USC’s Dr. Theodore Berger (above).

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Bird Penis Study Pinpoints Protein That Stops Genitals From Growing

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How did the chicken lose its penis? By killing off the growing appendage in the egg.

That’s the finding of a new study, which reveals how most birds evolved to lose their external genitalia. Turns out, a particular protein released during the development of chickens, quail and most other birds nips penis development in the bud, according to the new research, published today (June 6) in the journal Current Biology.

The findings have implications for genital development in general, which is important because birth defects in the external genitalia are among the most common congenital defects in humans, said study researcher Martin Cohn, a developmental biologist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the University of Florida.

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Birds Penises

The chicken embryo develops the beginnings of a penis, but the growth of the organ halts and regresses before hatching.

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