Scientific discoveries this week: 4/14/14

Geneva, Switzerland – The Large Hadron Collider beauty collaboration has announced the discovery, to a certainty of 13.9 sigma, of exotic hadrons. These hadrons are exotic because the type of matter discovered cannot be classified within the traditional quark model of matter. The exotic particle is currently known as Z(4430), which was discovered after 25000 decays of B mesons, after 180 trillion proton-proton collisions inside of the Large Hadron Collider.

Durham, North Carolina – Biomedical engineers at the Pratt School of Duke University have grown in a lab skeletal muscle that is able to contract and expand, self-repair, and be integrated into animals easily. According to researchers, the lab made muscles are able to contract as strongly as neonatal skeletal muscle. The breakthrough has started other work for the researchers as work has begun on seeing on whether this lab grown muscle will be able to heal damaged muscle tissue in humans.

Boulder, Colorado – A study done by University of Colorado Boulder researchers have found that a predisposition to procrastinate is genetic. The study also links genetically the predisposition to procrastination to a predisposition to be impulsive. The study involved surveying 181 pairs of identical twins and 166 pairs of fraternal twins. Study author Daniel Gustavson says “Learning more about the underpinnings of procrastination may help develop interventions to prevent it, and help us overcome our ingrained tendencies to get distracted and lose track of work”.

Queensland, Australia – Researcher at the University of Queensland have developed a painkiller that is judged to be 100 times more powerful than morphine while being non-addictive. The experimental drug was developed from conotoxin, the protein found in the venom of the cone snail. The venom works differently from non-venom based painkillers in that it blocks specific channels in the nervous system. The drug, if deemed safe for human use, could be used for the treatment and relief of severe chronic pain while not carrying the risk of addiction or death by overdose.

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