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Submission + - Why Petting Feels Good (

sciencehabit writes: Social beasts—humans, elephants, chimps, dogs, and cats—seem to enjoy being caressed. Neurobiologists have now taken a step toward pinpointing neural circuitry underlying this pleasant sensation. Using genetically engineered mice, they demonstrated that a specific class of sensory cells in skin reacts to gentle stroking but not to a pinch or a poke. In addition to helping to identify similar cells in people, the findings could "lead to a drug or lotion that might make you feel better," suggests the study's leader.

Submission + - NASA: Feb. 15 asteroid fly-by will buzz Earth closer than many satellites (

coondoggie writes: "NASA says an asteroid about half the size of a football field will blow past Earth on Feb 15 closer than many man-made satellites. NASA added that while the asteroid, designated 2012 DA14 has no change of striking Earth, since regular sky surveys began in the 1990s, astronomers have never seen an object so big come so close to our planet."

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