iNPLACENEWS Blog Has MOVED

September 14, 2008

Hey everyone!  From all the staff to all the readers of our blog and the watchers of our live news programming broadcasted live over the internet directly to your desktop, we want to thank you for all your support and participatiion.  We have relocated our blog to iNPLACENEWS.COM.  There you will find all our blogs, including the old posts, your comments you made, the place to download our free desktop player and all of the current news from around the world.  Stay up-to-date on all the current events by watching our broadcasts, reading our blogs, and watching videos-on-demand.  Again, go to iNPLACENEWS.COM for all the newest blogs and the older posts you love to go back to read.  Thank you again for your time, support, and participation.

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Body of Bigfoot Possibly Discovered in Georgia

August 15, 2008

Two men claim they’ve bagged Bigfoot, and they say the have the hairy corpse of the legendary creature stored away in a freezer. Matt Whitton and Rick Dyer say they stumbled across the corpse in the woods of northern Georgia, across the country from the remote regions of the Northwest where people usually claim to see the man-ape.

Still, the Georgia men say DNA will prove once and for all that the frozen creature is Sasquatch. They plan to present DNA test results and photographs during a news conference Friday in Palo Alto, Calif.

They’re not winning over any skeptics, though.

“What I’ve seen so far is not compelling in the least, and I think the pictures cast grave doubts on their claim,” Jeffrey Meldrum, a Bigfoot researcher and Idaho State University professor, told the Scientific American. “It just looks like a costume with some fake guts thrown on top for effect.”

Meldrum said the DNA test likely won’t prove anything and, at best, might yield a gene sequence that doesn’t match any other known primates.

Whitton, an officer on medical leave from the Clayton County Police Department, and Dyer, a former corrections officer, announced the discovery in early July.

The picture they sent out in a news release and on their Web site – http://www.bigfoottracker.com – shows what appears to be a hairy corpse crammed into a chest freezer. The accompanying announcement describes the creature as a 7-foot-7 male, weighing 550 pounds with 16-inch human-like feet and reddish hair.

Messages left for Whitton and Dyer early Friday on their Bigfoot Tipline were not returned. They have so far offered three different tales so far about how they came to find the creature:

In one, the animal was shot by a former felon, and the men followed it into the woods. In a second version, they found a “family of Bigfoot” in North Georgia mountains. In the third, the two were hiking and stumbled upon the corpse with open wounds.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Reserve spokesman Tom Mackenzie said officers also are not taking the claim seriously and will not investigate Bigfoot because it not a federal priority.

“It’s not on endangered species on any list that we’ve got,” Mackenzie said.

***Above video courtesy of Fox News and YouTube!

Article by Juanita Cousins

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1900 Year Old Chariot Discovered In Bulgaria

August 7, 2008


Archaeologists have unearthed a 1,900-year-old well-preserved chariot at an ancient Thracian tomb in southeastern Bulgaria, the head of the excavation said Thursday.

Daniela Agre said her team found the four-wheel chariot during excavations near the village of Borisovo, around 180 miles east of the capital, Sofia.

“This is the first time that we have found a completely preserved chariot in Bulgaria,” said Agre, a senior archaeologist at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

She said previous excavations had only unearthed single parts of chariots — often because ancients sites had been looted.

At the funerary mound, the team also discovered table pottery, glass vessels and other gifts for the funeral of a wealthy Thracian aristocrat.

In a separate pit, they unearthed skeletons of two riding horses apparently sacrificed during the funeral of the nobleman, along with well preserved bronze and leather objects, some believed to horse harnesses.

The Culture Ministry confirmed the find and announced $3,900 in financial assistance for Agre’s excavation.

Agre said an additional amount of $7,800 will be allocated by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences for an initial restoration and conservation of the chariot and the other Thracian finds.

The Thracians were an ancient people that inhabited the lands of present day Bulgaria and parts of modern Greece, Turkey, Macedonia and Romania between 4,000 B.C. and the 6th century, when they were assimilated by the invading Slavs.

Some 10,000 Thracian mounds — some of them covering monumental stone tombs — are scattered across Bulgaria.

Article by VESELIN TOSHKOV

Andre Jetmir for iNPLACENEWS

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DNA Tests To Be Conducted on Possible Offspring of King Tut

August 6, 2008

Scientists will conduct DNA tests on two tiny mummified bodies found in the tomb of King Tutankhamun to determine whether they were the young pharaoh’s offspring, Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities said Wednesday.

There has been no archaeological evidence that King Tut, who died around the age of 19 under mysterious circumstances more than 3,000 years ago, left any offspring. But mummies found in his tomb contained the bodies of two females born prematurely between five to seven months gestation who may be his stillborn children, said Zahi Hawass, head of the antiquities authority.

The DNA tests will also seek to establish Tutankhamun’s family lineage, a mystery among many Egyptologists.

“All of these results will be compared to each other, along with those of the mummy of King Tutankhamun,” Hawass said in a statement.

Tutankhamun was one of the last kings of Egypt’s 18th Dynasty. Scholars believe that at age 12, he married his half-sister Ankhesenamun but the couple had no surviving children.

Hawass has announced ambitious plans for DNA tests on Egyptian mummies, including all royal mummies and the nearly two dozen unidentified ones stored in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. He has said the tests may show that some royal mummies on display are not who archaeologists thought them to be.

There is some secrecy surrounding Egypt’s DNA testing of mummies. Hawass has long rejected such testing by foreign experts, and only recently allowed it on condition the tests be done exclusively by Egyptians.

He has never disclosed the full outcome of the examinations of the mummy of Hatshepsut, Egypt’s most powerful queen and the only female pharaoh. Nor has he submitted the results for a test by second lab, as it is a common practice. This has raised concerns about the validity of the Egyptian results.

Last year, Egypt announced that archaeologists had identified the mummy of Hatshepsut. But scientists later said they were still analyzing DNA from the bald, 3,500-year-old mummy to try to back up the claim.

Ashraf Selim, a radiologist and member of the Egyptian team, said the tests could take several months. So far, the team has carried out CT scans on the two small mummies and taken samples for DNA tests. Since they were found in the tomb in Luxor as part of the 1922 King Tut discovery, the two mummies have been kept in storage at the Cairo School of Medicine and were never publicly displayed or studied, Selim said.

“We want to find out the truth and facts relevant to the history of these kings,” Selim told The Associated Press.

Abdel-Halim Nour el-Deen, a former head of the antiquities council and a leading Egyptologist, said DNA testing on mummies thousands of years old is very difficult.

“It is doubtful that it could produce a scientific result to determine such important issues such as the lineage of pharaohs,” el-Deen told the AP. El-Deen also criticized the Council for not making public the results of the tests already carried out.

Article by Salah Naswari
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Researchers Discover 125000 Western Lowland Gorillas in Congo

August 5, 2008

Wildlife researchers said Tuesday that they’ve discovered 125,000 western lowland gorillas deep in the forests of the Republic of Congo, calling it a major increase in the animal’s estimated population.

The Wildlife Conservation Society, based at New York’s Bronx Zoo, and the Republic of Congo said their census counted the newly discovered gorillas in two areas of the northern part of the country covering 18,000 square miles.

Previous estimates, dating to the 1980s, put the number of western lowland gorillas at less than 100,000. But the animal’s numbers were believed to have fallen by at least 50 percent since then due to hunting and disease, researchers said. The newly discovered gorilla population now puts their estimated numbers at between 175,000 to 225,000.

“This is a very significant discovery because of the terrible decline in population of these magnificent creatures to Ebola and bush meat,” said Emma Stokes, one of the research team.

The researchers in the central African nation of Republic of Congo – neighbor of the much larger Congo – worked out the population figures by counting the sleeping “nests” gorillas make. The creatures are too reclusive and shy to count individually.

Craig Stanford, professor of anthropology and biology at the University of Southern California, said he is aware of the new study. “If these new census results are confirmed, they are incredibly important and exciting, the kind of good news we rarely find in the conservation of highly endangered animals.” He added that independent confirmation will be valuable because nest counts vary depending on the specific census method used.

Western lowland gorillas are one of four gorilla subspecies, which also include mountain gorillas, eastern lowland gorillas and Cross River gorillas. All are labeled either endangered or critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

While calling the new census important, Stokes said it does not mean gorilla numbers in the wild are now safe.

“Far from being safe, the gorillas are still under threat from Ebola and hunting for bush meat. We must not become complacent about this. Ebola can wipe out thousands in a short period of time,” she said.

The report was released as primatologists in Edinburgh, Scotland warned that nearly half of the world’s 634 types of primates are in danger of becoming extinct due to human activity. That figure, carried in a comprehensive review of the planet’s apes, monkeys, and lemurs, included primate species and subspecies.

Scientists meeting at the International Primatological Society Congress in Edinburgh said they hoped the report will help spur global action to defend mankind’s nearest relatives from deforestation and hunting.

Primatologists warned that species from the giant mountain gorillas of central Africa to the tiny mouse lemurs of Madagascar are on the “Red List” for threatened species maintained by the IUCN.

The review was funded by Conservation International, the Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and the IUCN. It is part of an examination of the state of the world’s mammals due to be released at the 4th IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona, Spain, in October.

“It is not too late for our close cousins the primates, and what we have now is a challenge to turn this around,” said Russell A. Mittermeier, president of Conservation International and the chairman of the IUCN Species Survival Commission’s primate specialist group.

“The review paints a bleak picture. Some primates are quite literally being eaten to extinction. But it is by no means a doomsday scenario. There is a lot of will here among these scientists in Edinburgh and in the countries where primates live.”

Article by Ben McConville

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CDC Report Says Mississippi Is Most Obese

July 17, 2008

Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee lead the nation when it comes to obesity, a new government survey reported Thursday.

More than 30 percent of adults in each of the states tipped the scales enough to ensure the South remains the nation’s fattest region.

Colorado was the least obese, with about 19 percent fitting that category in a random telephone survey last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The 2007 findings are similar to results from the same survey the three previous years. Mississippi has had the highest obesity rate every year since 2004. But Alabama, Tennessee, West Virginia and Louisiana have also clustered near the top of the list, often so close that the difference between their rates and Mississippi’s may not be statistically significant.

Why is the South so heavy? The traditional Southern diet – high in fat and fried food – may be part of the answer, said Dr. William Dietz, who heads CDC’s nutrition, physical activity and obesity division.

The South also has a large concentration of rural residents and black women – two groups that tend to have higher obesity rates, he said.

Colorado, meanwhile, is a state with a reputation for exercise. It has plentiful biking and hiking trails, and an elevation that causes the body to labor a bit more, Dietz said.

Obesity is based on the body mass index, a calculation using height and weight. A 5-foot, 9-inch adult who weighs 203 pounds would have a BMI of 30, which is considered the threshold for obesity.

CDC officials believe the telephone survey of 350,000 adults offers conservative estimates of obesity rates, because it’s based on what respondents said about their height and weight. Men commonly overstate their height and women often lowball their weight, health experts say.

“The heavier you are, the more you underestimate your weight, probably because you don’t weigh yourself as often,” Dietz said.

Overall, about 26 percent of the respondents were obese, according to the study, published this week in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

A different CDC survey – a gold-standard project in which researchers actually weigh and measure survey respondents – put the adult obesity rate at 34 percent in 2005 and 2006, the most recent years for which there are data.

Article by Mike Stobbe

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Watermelons May Help In The Bedroom According To Research

July 3, 2008

Watermelons contain an ingredient called citrulline that can trigger production of a compound that helps relax the body’s blood vessels, similar to what happens when a man takes Viagra, according to researchers. Found in the flesh and rind of watermelons, citrulline reacts with the body’s enzymes when consumed in large quantities and is changed into arginine, an amino acid that benefits the heart and the circulatory and immune systems.

“Arginine boosts nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, the same basic effect that Viagra has, to treat erectile dysfunction and maybe even prevent it,” said Bhimu Patil, a researcher and director of Texas A&M’s Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center. “Watermelon may not be as organ-specific as Viagra, but it’s a great way to relax blood vessels without any drug side effects.”

The nitric oxide can also help with angina, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems, according to the study paid for by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

More citrulline, about 60 percent, is found in watermelon rind than in the flesh, according to the research, but that can vary. Scientists may be able to find ways to boost the concentrations in the flesh. Citrulline is found in all colors of watermelon and is highest in the yellow-fleshed types, said Penelope Perkins-Veazie, a USDA researcher in Lane, Okla.

According to Perkins-Veazie, the research is valid, but with a caveat: One would need to eat about six cups of watermelon to get enough citrulline to boost the body’s arginine level. “The problem you have when you eat a lot of watermelon is you tend to run to the bathroom more,” Perkins-Veazie said. Watermelon is a diuretic and was a homeopathic treatment for kidney patients before dialysis became widespread.

Another issue is the amount of sugar that much watermelon would spill into the bloodstream – a jolt that could cause cramping, Perkins-Veazie said.

The relationship between citrulline and arginine might also prove helpful to those who are obese or suffer from type-2 diabetes. The beneficial effects are beginning to be revealed in research. Citrulline is present in other curcubits, like cucumbers and cantaloupe, at very low levels, and in the milk protein casein. The highest concentrations of citrulline are found in walnut seedlings, Perkins-Veazie said.

“But they’re bitter and most people don’t want to eat them,” she said.

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Watch Out For The Atom Smasher

June 28, 2008

In Meyrin, Switzerland, the most powerful atom-smasher ever built could make some bizarre discoveries, such as invisible matter or extra dimensions in space, after it is switched on in August.
But some critics fear the Large Hadron Collider could exceed physicists’ wildest conjectures: Will it spawn a black hole that could swallow Earth? Or spit out particles that could turn the planet into a hot dead clump?

Ridiculous, say scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French initials CERN – some of whom have been working for a generation on the $5.8 billion collider, or LHC.

“Obviously, the world will not end when the LHC switches on,” said project leader Lyn Evans.

David Francis, a physicist on the collider’s huge ATLAS particle detector, smiled when asked whether he worried about black holes and hypothetical killer particles known as strangelets.

“If I thought that this was going to happen, I would be well away from here,” he said.

The collider basically consists of a ring of supercooled magnets 17 miles in circumference attached to huge barrel-shaped detectors. The ring, which straddles the French and Swiss border, is buried 330 feet underground.

The machine, which has been called the largest scientific experiment in history, isn’t expected to begin test runs until August, and ramping up to full power could take months. But once it is working, it is expected to produce some startling findings.

Scientists plan to hunt for signs of the invisible “dark matter” and “dark energy” that make up more than 96 percent of the universe, and hope to glimpse the elusive Higgs boson, a so-far undiscovered particle thought to give matter its mass.

The collider could find evidence of extra dimensions, a boon for superstring theory, which holds that quarks, the particles that make up atoms, are infinitesimal vibrating strings.

The theory could resolve many of physics’ unanswered questions, but requires about 10 dimensions – far more than the three spatial dimensions our senses experience.

The safety of the collider, which will generate energies seven times higher than its most powerful rival, at Fermilab near Chicago, has been debated for years. The physicist Martin Rees has estimated the chance of an accelerator producing a global catastrophe at one in 50 million – long odds, to be sure, but about the same as winning some lotteries.

By contrast, a CERN team this month issued a report concluding that there is “no conceivable danger” of a cataclysmic event. The report essentially confirmed the findings of a 2003 CERN safety report, and a panel of five prominent scientists not affiliated with CERN, including one Nobel laureate, endorsed its conclusions.

Critics of the LHC filed a lawsuit in a Hawaiian court in March seeking to block its startup, alleging that there was “a significant risk that … operation of the Collider may have unintended consequences which could ultimately result in the destruction of our planet.”

One of the plaintiffs, Walter L. Wagner, a physicist and lawyer, said Wednesday CERN’s safety report, released June 20, “has several major flaws,” and his views on the risks of using the particle accelerator had not changed.

On Tuesday, U.S. Justice Department lawyers representing the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation filed a motion to dismiss the case.

The two agencies have contributed $531 million to building the collider, and the NSF has agreed to pay $87 million of its annual operating costs. Hundreds of American scientists will participate in the research.

The lawyers called the plaintiffs’ allegations “extraordinarily speculative,” and said “there is no basis for any conceivable threat” from black holes or other objects the LHC might produce. A hearing on the motion is expected in late July or August.

In rebutting doomsday scenarios, CERN scientists point out that cosmic rays have been bombarding the earth, and triggering collisions similar to those planned for the collider, since the solar system formed 4.5 billion years ago.

And so far, Earth has survived.

“The LHC is only going to reproduce what nature does every second, what it has been doing for billions of years,” said John Ellis, a British theoretical physicist at CERN.

Critics like Wagner have said the collisions caused by accelerators could be more hazardous than those of cosmic rays.

Both may produce micro black holes, subatomic versions of cosmic black holes – collapsed stars whose gravity fields are so powerful that they can suck in planets and other stars.

But micro black holes produced by cosmic ray collisions would likely be traveling so fast they would pass harmlessly through the earth.

Micro black holes produced by a collider, the skeptics theorize, would move more slowly and might be trapped inside the earth’s gravitational field – and eventually threaten the planet.

Ellis said doomsayers assume that the collider will create micro black holes in the first place, which he called unlikely. And even if they appeared, he said, they would instantly evaporate, as predicted by the British physicist Stephen Hawking.

As for strangelets, CERN scientists point out that they have never been proven to exist. They said that even if these particles formed inside the Collider they would quickly break down.

When the LHC is finally at full power, two beams of protons will race around the huge ring 11,000 times a second in opposite directions. They will travel in two tubes about the width of fire hoses, speeding through a vacuum that is colder and emptier than outer space.

Their trajectory will be curved by supercooled magnets – to guide the beams around the rings and prevent the packets of protons from cutting through the surrounding magnets like a blowtorch.

The paths of these beams will cross, and a few of the protons in them will collide, at a series of cylindrical detectors along the ring. The two largest detectors are essentially huge digital cameras, each weighing thousands of tons, capable of taking millions of snapshots a second.

Each year the detectors will generate 15 petabytes of data, the equivalent of a stack of CDs 12 miles tall. The data will require a high speed global network of computers for analysis.

Wagner and others filed a lawsuit to halt operation of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, or RHIC, at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York state in 1999. The courts dismissed the suit.

The leafy campus of CERN, a short drive from the shores of Lake Geneva, hardly seems like ground zero for doomsday. And locals don’t seem overly concerned. Thousands attended an open house here this spring.

“There is a huge army of scientists who know what they are talking about and are sleeping quite soundly as far as concerns the LHC,” said project leader Evans.

Originally found @ AssociatedPress.com

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Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Ventastega: 365 Million Year Old Fossil Skull Found

June 25, 2008


Scientists unearthed a skull of the most primitive four-legged creature in Earth’s history, which should help them better understand the evolution of fish to advanced animals that walk on land.

The 365 million-year-old fossil skull, shoulders and part of the pelvis of the water-dweller, Ventastega curonica, were found in Latvia, researchers report in a study published in Thursday’s issue of the journal Nature. Even though Ventastega is likely an evolutionary dead-end, the finding sheds new details on the evolutionary transition from fish to tetrapods. Tetrapods are animals with four limbs and include such descendants as amphibians, birds and mammals.

While an earlier discovery found a slightly older animal that was more fish than tetrapod, Ventastega is more tetrapod than fish. The fierce-looking creature probably swam through shallow brackish waters, measured about three or four feet long and ate other fish. It likely had stubby limbs with an unknown number of digits, scientists said.

“If you saw it from a distance, it would look like a small alligator, but if you look closer you would find a fin in the back,” said lead author Per Ahlberg, a professor of evolutionary biology at Uppsala University in Sweden. “I imagine this is an animal that could haul itself over sand banks without any difficulty. Maybe it’s poking around in semi-tidal creeks picking up fish that got stranded.”

This all happened more than 100 million years before the first dinosaurs roamed Earth.

Scientists don’t think four-legged creatures are directly evolved from Ventastega. It’s more likely that in the family tree of tetrapods, Ventastega is an offshoot branch that eventually died off, not leading to the animals we now know, Ahlberg said.

“At the time there were a lot of creatures around of varying degrees of advancement,” Ahlberg said. They all seem to have similar characteristics, so Ventastega’s find is helpful for evolutionary biologists.

Ventastega is the most primitive of these transition animals, but there are older ones that are oddly more advanced, said Neil Shubin, professor of biology and anatomy at the University of Chicago, who was not part of the discovery team but helped find Tiktaalik, the fish that was one step earlier in evolution.

“It’s sort of out of sequence in timing,” Shubin said of Ventastega.

Ahlberg didn’t find the legs or toes of Ventastega, but was able to deduce that it was four-limbed because key parts of its pelvis and its shoulders were found. From the shape of those structures, scientists were able to conclude that limbs, not fins were attached to Ventastega.

One question that scientists are trying to figure out is why fish started to develop what would later become legs.

Edward Daeschler, associate curator of vertebrate zoology at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, theorizes that the water was so shallow that critters like Ventastega had an evolutionary advantage by walking instead of swimming.

Originally provided by the Associated Press

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Researchers Discover New Possible Link To Alzheimer’s

June 22, 2008


Researchers have uncovered a new clue to the cause of Alzheimer’s disease. The brains of people with the memory-robbing form of dementia are cluttered with a plaque made up of beta-amyloid, a sticky protein. But there long has been a question whether this is a cause of the disease or a side effect. Also involved are tangles of a protein called tau; some scientists suspect this is the cause.
Now, researchers have caused Alzheimer’s symptoms in rats by injecting them with one particular form of beta-amyloid. Injections with other forms of beta-amyloid did not cause illness, which may explain why some people have beta-amyloid plaque in their brains but do not show disease symptoms.

The findings by a team led by Dr. Ganesh M. Shankar and Dr. Dennis J. Selkoe of Harvard Medical School were reported in Sunday’s online edition of the journal Nature Medicine.

The researchers used extracts from the brains of people who donated their bodies to medicine.

Forms of soluble beta-amyloid containing different numbers of molecules, as well as insoluble cores of the brain plaque, were injected into the brains of mice. There was no detectable effect from the insoluble plaque or the soluble one-molecule or three-molecule forms, the researchers found.

But the two-molecule form of soluble beta-amyloid produced characteristics of Alzheimer’s in the rats, they reported.

Those rats had impaired memory function, especially for newly learned behaviors. When the mouse brains were inspected, the density brain cells was reduced by 47 percent with the beta-amyloid seeming to affect synapses, the connections between cells that are essential for communication between them.

The research, for the first time, showed the effect of a particular type of beta-amyloid in the brain, said Dr. Marcelle Morrison-Bogorad, director of the division of neuroscience at the National Institute on Aging, which helped fund the research.

It was surprising that only one of the three types had an effect, she said in a telephone interview.

Morrison-Bogorad said the findings may help explain the discovery of plaque in the brains of people who do not develop dementia. For some time, doctors have wondered why they find some brains in autopsy that are heavily coated with beta-amyloid, but the person did not have Alzheimer’s.

The answer may lie in the two types of beta-amyloid that did not cause symptoms.

Now, the question is why one has the damaging effect and not others.

“A lot of work needs to be done,” Morrison-Bogorad said. “Nature keeps sending us down paths that look straight at the beginning, but there are a lot of curves before we get to the end.”

Dr. Richard J. Hodes, director of the National Institute on Aging, said that “while more research is needed to replicate and extend these findings, this study has put yet one more piece into place in the puzzle that is Alzheimer’s.”

In addition to the Institute on Aging, the research was funded by Science Foundation Ireland, Wellcome Trust, the McKnight and Ellison foundations and the Lefler Small Grant Fund.

This was originally found @ AssociatedPress.com

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