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Gemini Planet Imager Zooms in on Exoplanet Beta Pictoris b

Beta Pictoris is the second brightest star in the constellation Pictor, about 63 light years away from Earth. It is orbited by an exoplanet called Beta Pictoris b. Beta Pictoris b is a young planet, about 20 million years old. It is more than 16 times larger and 3,000 times more massive than Earth. Using the Gemini Planet Imager’s next-generation, [...] Read more

Genetic Substructure of Kuwaiti Population Reveals Migration History

The State of Kuwait is characterized by settlers from Saudi Arabia, Iran, and other regions of the Arabian Peninsula. The settlements and subsequent admixtures have shaped the genetics of Kuwait. High prevalence of recessive disorders and metabolic syndromes (that increase risk of diabetes) is seen in the peninsula. Understanding the genetic [...] Read more

How your ancestors' farms shaped your thinking

It is a cliché to say that East Asians think in terms of the group, while Westerners think in terms of the individual. But there is some truth to it, and part of the explanation may lie in what our ancestors ate. Rice farming seems to have fostered collective thinking while wheat farming favoured individualism. The popular image of Americans and [...] Read more

At Chernobyl, Hints of Nature’s Adaptation

The clicking sound from Timothy Mousseau’s radiation detector slowly increased as he walked through the forest here, a few miles west of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. As he stopped to examine a spider web on a tree branch, the display on the device showed 25 microsieverts an hour. That is typical, Dr. Mousseau said, for this area not far from [...] Read more

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