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Chameleon snake discovered in Borneo

BiologyScientists from the United States and Germany have discovered a new species of snake capable of changing it's colours, in the Betung Kerihun National Park on the island of Borneo.

Researchers Mark Auliya from the Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig in Bonn and a consultant for the World Wildlife Federation(WWF), and John Murphy and Harold Voris from the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago were collecting specimens from the wetlands of the Kapuas river when they stumbled upon the snake's colour changing ability.

Agriculture's impact on human evolution clarified

BiologyUniversity of Chicago, Illinois biologists Dr. Benjamin Voight, Dr. Sridhar Kudaravalli, Dr. Xiaoquan Wen and Dr. Jonathan Pritchard have identified regions of human DNA showing the strongest marks of natural selection within the last 5,000 to 15,000 years.

They found that many recent genetic changes are related to the development of agriculture. In particular, the genes for digestion of milk into adulthood occurred only after some level of domestication of animals. Most mammals drink milk only in infancy.

Evolution may occur faster than once thought, scientists claim

BiologyTwo graduate students at Harvard University claim to have shown that evolution can happen much faster than previously thought. Physics student Peter Lu and his former roommate, economist Motohiro Yogo, decided to apply an economics model to a well-known marine fossil record in order to predict how fast life can adapt to changes in the environment. The technique, vector autoregression, is used to predict the stock market based on its historical behavior.

Distributed computing discovers largest known prime number

PhysicsOn December 15, 2005, a computing effort of the Central Missouri State University (CMSU), led by Curtis Cooper and Steven Boone, as part of the distributed computing project known as the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS), discovered the largest known prime number, divisible only by the number 1 and itself: 230,402,457-1.

The discovery, which marks the 43rd known Mersenne prime and the 9th discovered by GIMPS, was made by running a free downloadable program called Prime95. The CMSU team is currently the highest-ranked contributor to GIMPS with over 700 computers running Prime95.

Australian researchers confirm stress makes you sick

BiologyAustralian researchers say they have scientifically proven that stress causes sickness. The Garvan Institute in Sydney has discovered that a hormone, known as neuropeptide Y, (NPY) is released into the body during times of stress. Their findings show the hormone can stop the immune system from functioning properly.
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