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R & D

Baby maths

Two cognitive neuro scientists from Duke University, US, have shown that babies have an abstract numerical sense even before they learn to speak. This is demonstrated by their ability to match the number of voices they hear to the number of faces that they expect to see, according to a report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Reverse orbits

NASA astronomers have discovered an unusual solar system where the inner and outer planets revolve in opposite directions. Itís possible that the system, about 500 light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Ophiuchus, formed from two different clouds of material, which were rotating in opposite directions, the astronomers write in the Astrophysical Journal.

Healthy wine

Resveratrol (an organic compound found in wines) extends the life span of fish, according to a study published in the journal Current Biology. Previous research had shown that resveratrol prolongs the life span of yeast and insects, but this is first proof of its anti-ageing effects in a vertebrate, neuroscientists at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Italy, said.

Memory store

Researchers from the University of Texas have shown that when electric fish zap each other in dark waters, their neurons store a memory of the sizzling communiqu' by turning on special cell membrane channels. The finding, published in the journal Neuron, could help researchers better understand memory formation and neural disorders like epilepsy in humans.

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