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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 5 declined, 3 accepted (8 total, 37.50% accepted)

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Submission + - Scientists Turn Docile Mice Into Ruthless Hunters

BenBoy writes: A couple of years ago, a story surfaced about smarter mice: Scientists Create Super-intelligent Mice, Discover They're Also Very Laid Back. Well, implicit challenge accepted! 2017 brings us a report from Cell, via The Scientist:

Neural circuits in the amygdala are responsible for predatory behavior in mice, according to a study published January 12 in Cell. Using optogenetics, a technique that uses light to turn neural circuits on and off, a group of researchers led by neuroscientist Ivan de Araujo of Yale University was able to turn docile mice into ruthless hunters.

Nuclear death-mice are, we assume, right around the corner ...

Submission + - RIP John Glenn

BenBoy writes: John Herschel Glenn Jr. (July 18, 1921 – December 8, 2016) was an American aviator, engineer, astronaut, and United States Senator from Ohio. He was one of the "Mercury Seven" group of military test pilots selected in 1959 by NASA to become America's first astronauts and fly the Project Mercury spacecraft. He passed away today at age 95.

Submission + - Wired: Transcript of Silk Road's Boss Ordering 5 Assassinations (wired.com)

BenBoy writes: From Wired: Many of the ideological supporters of the Silk Road have described its sprawling online black market for drugs as an experiment in victimless crime and a nonviolent alternative to the bloody turf wars of the streets. But prosecutors in the trial of Ross Ulbricht, the 30-year-old accused of running that anonymous bazaar, have pointed to one conversation they say shows the contrary: That the Silk Road’s boss was willing to resort to the drug trade’s most violent measures when it suited his needs.

Submission + - New Fossils from Human Forebearers (wsj.com)

BenBoy writes: "

After 15 years of rumors, researchers in the U.S. and Ethiopia made public fossils from a 4.4-million-year-old human forebearer they say reveal that our earliest ancestors were more modern than scholars assumed and deepens the evolutionary gulf separating humankind from today's apes and chimpanzees.

The real stunner, here, is that the fossils look a lot more 'human' than they do 'chimp'. It seems that the apes may have been the ones who underwent the greatest changes in phenotype after the two lines diverged."

Government

Submission + - voting machines: NYT Sunday Magazine article

BenBoy writes: Voting machines surface again in the Times. The article ranges from sage to pretty silly, depending on paragraph, but in the end, the author (and the voting districts on which he reports) arrive at a solution that's in accord with my own "best answer": optical scan (oops ...er, retroactive spoiler alert :-).

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