Page 7 - Science Facts

Scientists in Florida found human remains that date back 7,000 years—and still have brain tissue!

Finding huge, significant archeological sites doesn't always have to leave you digging in the mud for months on end. Sometimes it shows up out of nowhere, by accident. In 1982 right outside the Titusville, Florida city limits, a backhoe operator discovered very old human remains.

Turns out the bones were about 7,000 years old. They belonged a little girl who was still clutching her favorite toys: a wooden pestle-shaped object and the carapace of a small turtle. That doesn't necessarily mean the bones look their age. At first, archeologists thought they were only a few hundred years old due to their keen preservation. Radiocarbon dating proved that incorrect.

Inside the skull, a dark brown, slippery material was found. After some analysis scientists learned that it was preserved brain tissue. Other skulls contained complete brains. The tissue was taken from the skulls and placed in plastic bags flooded with nitrogen gas for DNA cloning.

From the first day of excavation it became apparent that the site was one of the most intact cemeteries of 6,000 B.C.


A rare genetic disorder could be the key to unlocking cancer-fighting drugs. These small people revealed something big!

Endocrinologists have stumbled upon a rare form of dwarfism that may prove helpful in the fight against cancer. Largo syndrome differs from other types of dwarfism. Usually people with dwarfism lack growth hormones, but people with Laron syndrome have too much of the hormone. Their cells just do not respond to growth hormones. This protects them against DNA damage that fuels cancer growth.

Arlan Rosenbloom has been studying a cluster of people in Ecuador who all have this rare genetic defect. His investigation has led to one of the most remarkable discoveries ever made in modern endocrinology: a concentrated population of individuals virtually immune to cancer!

Endocrinologist Guevara-Aguirre met people with this type of dwarfism, discussed their histories, and read their records and discovered that none of them got cancer. He conducted an in-depth investigation, comparing cancer rates in the Laron syndrome patients with those of their relatives of normal height. After five years of laboratory experiments and analysis they reported that, out of of 99 Laron syndrome cases, only one case of cancer existed on record—and that patient had survived!

The first step in turning the lessons of Laron syndrome into anticancer drugs has been taken. In 2008 Dr. Longo founded DSR Pharmaceuticals to develop a pill that blocks the growth hormone receptor.


Tylenol eases social pain as well as the physical kind. Find out why!

Your achy joins and muscles yearn for a small dose of Tylenol which is full of acetaminophen, the active drug that eases the pain. Unfortunately it's also the most commonly overdosed substance and accounts for a large amount of liver failures. Fortunately, it has a second function for when you're feeling especially rejected.

2009 research at the University of Kentucky shows that the power of acetaminophen doesn't alter your mental state, so you're able to drive a car and go to work, but it does dull the pain of social rejection, similar to alcohol. Social rejection can damage a person's health as much as smoking or obesity. And, that hurts.

Apparently, physical pain and social rejection have a common neural process and subjective component that experience distress. That feeling of a lack of purpose or uncertainty in life can actually lead to physical pain. Tylenol manages to block that unease the same way it stops pain, by affecting and blocking that neurological process.

It's not recommended you run out and buy up the drug store's stock of Tylenol for when you're feeling a little down. Too much of the stuff is still harmful and should be used sparingly to treat pain, physical that is.


Some awesome lists!

Frogs use their eyeballs to eat. Really!

Frogs aren't just for dissecting in science class. The many species all have unique, fun, weird, and sometimes deadly characteristics about them that would surprise the majority of animal lovers. One of the strangest has to do with simply swallowing their meal.

As soon as they grab that succulent, unsuspecting insect, they need to blink, and it's not to keep their eyeballs from flying out. The eyelids pushes their eyes down to the top of their mouth and actually helps push the food down their throat. Talk about eyes bigger than their stomach.

Most frogs actually have teeth on their upper jaw, used primarily for keeping the prey in their mouth while it awaits the eyeball assault that pushes them down to the stomach.

If you were interested in what happened after the dinner starts its journey to the stomach, look no further than the glass frog which has translucent skin. That means you can see everything on the inside, including organs, bones, and muscles. Track that fly from the mouth, all the way to the stomach where it gets digested, like a grand tour of frog body.


Why don't ants get injured when they fall far? It comes down to simple science!

When ants fall, they do not get damaged or injured. Unlike humans, even if they fall rather high they will not die or get severely hurt. Have you ever wondered why that is?

It comes down to basic science. The fall of an object is controlled by the gravitational attraction of the Earth. A heavier object is attracted more than a light object because gravitational force is dependent on mass. The gravitational pull is opposed by air resistance, or the upward thrust of air against the falling object.

The air resistance, in turn, depends on the surface area of the body or object. The bigger the surface area is, the greater the resistance. This means that these two forces are competing against each other when something or somebody is falling.

Because ants are so light, gravity barely comes into play and because they are so tiny, there is barely any air resistance. That is why ants do not get hurt when falling—even from high places. If there is air movement, ants will merely float away.

If, however, it was possible to hurl a cluster of ants to the ground, those two forces would be more relevant and then they could be injured.



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