Methane Detected In The Plumes Of Enceladus Could Be A Sign Of Life

A new study has suggested that the amount of methane produced by Enceladus – one of the moons of Saturn – may not be explainable by geology alone. Enceladus has a deep ocean beneath its icy shell, and chemicals detected in the plumes escaping from its surface hint at hydrothermal vents on its ocean floor. Although the new study can’t conclude that the methane is produced by biological means, this scenario is compatible with the data.

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One Psilocybin Dose May Help Regrow Neuronal Connections Lost In Depression

A study on mice has shown that just one dose of psilocybin – the active psychedelic compound in magic mushrooms – could help increase the number and strength of connections between neurons in the frontal cortex of the brain. The mice given the drug also showed better coping mechanisms when faces with stress. This effect could help develop therapies for depression, as people with this condition often lose connections in this part of the brain.

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A 51,000-Year-Old Carved Bone Suggests Neanderthals Were Artists, Just Like Us

A giant deer toe bone with patterned carvings has showcased the potential artistic abilities of Neanderthals. Previously assumed to lack the cognitive abilities for such feats, this discovery is the latest piece of evidence that this image of our extinct cousins is inaccurate. Analysis suggests that the bone was boiled before carving to soften it, and the rareness of giant deer in the local area suggests that the object had some special significance.

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Parasitic Worms Manipulate Mantises Into Diving Into Water, And We Now Know How

Hairworms are parasites that infect insects such as mantises and crickets, somehow manipulating their hosts to jump into bodies of water as part of their life cycle. Light reflected off water is horizontally polarized, and a new study has shown that mantises infected with hairworms are more likely to stay close to sources of horizontally polarized light, and also throw themselves into pools of water reflecting horizontally polarized light rather than weakly polarized light.

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Project To Track Leonardo Da Vinci's DNA Finds 14 Living Relatives

A project aiming to track down the descendants of Italian polymath Leonardo Da Vinci has found at least 14 male living relatives. Although Da Vinci himself did not have any children, the researchers were able to trace his lineage of his relatives via the Y chromosome, which doesn’t appear to change for around 25 generations. The project also aims to validate whether remains in Amboise Castle are actually his.

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Three People Believing They Were Jesus Were Once Brought Together For A Very Unethical Experiment

In 1959, in the Ypsilanti State Hospital in Michigan, there lived three men who each believed that they were the biblical figure Jesus Christ. Psychologist Milton Rokeach attempted to break their delusions by getting all three together in an experiment that lasted for two years. It's fair to say this did not go as planned.

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