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Lunar eclipse of Venus, vitamins vs autism, 2 moms & 1 dad, 715 planets, etc.

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Lunar eclipse of Venus (NASA)

Last month, there was an eclipse of Venus by the Moon.

Vitamins vs autism (Science Daily)

People with autism are thought to be low in the brain hormones serotonin, oxytocin, and vasopressin. It may be possible to boost these by adding vitamin D and tryptophan as dietary supplements.

(However, tryptophan interacts in ways that are sometimes dangerous with medications, including several antidepressants such as the autistic often take. So proceed with caution. Or stick to the vitamin D.)

Two mommies and one daddy (Nature)

Britain is legalizing a controversial form of in vitro fertilization, using a sperm, and egg from one woman, and a nucleus from another. This is to avoid genetic diseases of the mitochondria, carried in the egg cell of the woman who donates the nucleus. So the resultant child would inherit genes from the father, nuclear genes from one mother, and mitochondrial genes from the other mother. This is without going into who might gestate the embryo as surrogate mother, and what couple might finally adopt the child. This brings us up to five mothers and two fathers...

715 confirmed planets (Discover)

The Kepler orbital telescope may be damaged, but it keeps on giving, even when out of commission. While it was off line, astronomers analyzed the data it had sent down and have now verified the existence of 715 newly discovered planets.

A taser for Algernon (New Scientist)

People with certain severe forms of brain damage can be reduced to a "vegetative state" or a "minimally conscious state." Sometimes they heal by themselves, often they don't. Now, there is something we can do for them: electrical stimulation of the brain can sometimes bring them to a higher level of awareness for a couple of hours. Research is eagerly continuing.

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