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Birds May Spread, Not Halt, Fever-Bearing Ticks

Turkey raises and releases thousands of non-native guineafowl to eat ticks that carry the deadly Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus. Yet research suggests guineafowl eat few ticks, but carry the parasites on their feathers, possibly spreading the disease they were meant to stop, says a Turkish biologist working at the University of Utah.

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How Infidelity Helps Nieces and Nephews

A University of Utah study produced new mathematical support for a theory that explains why men in some cultures often feed and care for their sisters’ children: where extramarital sex is common and accepted, a man’s genes are more likely to be passed on by their sister’s kids than by their wife’s kids.

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U Electrical Engineer Turns Brain Implant Research into Products

University of Utah electrical engineering professor Florian Solzbacher is helping turn science fiction into reality through his research and related startup companies. Solzbacher is pushing the boundaries of electrical devices that can be implanted into the brain and used as an interface between neurons and computers. If you’re thinking about the “Six Million Dollar Man,” you’re not entirely off base.

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How Insects Domesticate Bacteria

Two years ago, a 71-year-old Indiana man impaled his hand on a branch after cutting down a dead crab apple tree, causing an infection that led University of Utah scientists to discover a new bacterium and solve a mystery about how bacteria came to live inside insects.

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Utah Engineering Prof Invents Smart Insole to Correct Walking Abnormalities

Move over Nike Plus. University of Utah (the U) professor Stacy Bamberg, of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, is developing a shoe insole that can gather comparable data to Nike’s popular line of high-tech sneakers and does more than track laps and airtime. The new insole, which Bamberg calls the Rapid Rehab system, will eventually help correct walking problems for people with artificial legs, hip replacements and broken legs.

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When Galaxies Eat Galaxies

Using gravitational “lenses” in space, University of Utah astronomers discovered that the centers of the biggest galaxies are growing denser – evidence of repeated collisions and mergers by massive galaxies with 100 billion stars.

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