Bipolar Disorder Increases Parkinson’s Risk Sevenfold

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(Credit: Photographee.eu/Shutterstock) Bipolar patients are seven times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease, according to a new study. Though the news may be disheartening to those suffering from the already-trying condition, the link might also lead to clues about the causes behind the two conditions. Parkinson’s is a complex disease associated with a gradual decline in dopamine levels produced by neurons, or brain cells. It eventually leads to impaired movements and ot ...read more

The Scientist’s Drug Dealer: How Researchers Get Illicit Drugs

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(Credit: Africa Studio/Shutterstock) Public interest in the science of powerful psychoactive drugs is at an-all-time, er, high. Evidence for the therapeutic benefits of marijuana, MDMA, psilocybin and more is growing, based on a resurgence of scientific interest in studying these compounds. But many of these drugs are strictly banned by the federal government, and those caught with them on the street can face steep fine and felony prison time. So where are researchers getting the drugs fo ...read more

Rare Meteorite Fall in Costa Rica Could Shed Light on Earth’s Water

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One of the meteorites that fell at Aguas Zarcas struck a doghouse's roof. (Photo courtesy of Michael Farmer) A rare meteorite fall in Costa Rica has astronomers racing to get their hands on samples. Meteorites are an astronomer’s dream. In a field that by definition studies objects and phenomena above and beyond Earth’s atmosphere, many researchers never get a chance to touch or see up close the things they study. But then, sometimes, these items simply rain down from the sky, ...read more

Billion-Year-Old Fossil Fungi, Oldest Known, Revises Broader Evolution Timeline

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The fungus among us is a key player in the ecosystem — and was part of the world hundreds of millions of years before we were. Hold on, make that potentially a billion years before we came along. Fungi microfossils from the Canadian Arctic are 900 million-1 billion years old, pushing back the fossil record for these organisms by at least 450 million years. This discovery is about more than the very distant evolutionary kin of mushrooms, however. The microfossils include the ...read more

Baby Tiger Sharks Are Eating Sparrows And Woodpeckers

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A tiger shark — woodpeckers beware. (Credit: Shane Gross/Shutterstock) Often called “the garbage cans of the sea,” tiger sharks are voracious eaters. The sharks will eat just about anything — fish, other sharks, seabirds, sea turtles, whale carcasses. The list goes on.  That hodgepodge of prey now also includes a few creatures that don't usually even go in the ocean. Young tiger sharks also feast on sparrows, woodpeckers and other land-based birds, says a group ...read more

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