Rare brown bear dies in Italy capture operation

A national park in central Italy is investigating the death of a rare brown bear during an operation to capture it.

Biologists at the park in the Apennine Mountains had trapped the animal to fit him with a radio collar so they could track his movements, according to BBC.

But the male Marsican bear began to struggle to breathe as he was being sedated and died shortly afterwards, despite efforts to revive him.

Imagining an object can change how we hear sounds later

Seeing an object at the same time that you hear sound coming from somewhere else can lead to the "ventriloquist illusion" and its aftereffect, but research suggests that simply imagining the object produces the same illusory results, according to Science Daily.

"The sensory information we imagine is often treated by the brain in the same way as information streaming in to us from the outside world," says researcher Christopher C. Berger. "Our work shows that what we imagine in our 'mind's eye' can lead to changes in perception across our sensory systems, changing how we perceive real information from the world around us in the future."

Meteorite diamonds 'came from lost planet'

A diamond-bearing space rock that exploded in Earth's atmosphere in 2008 was part of a lost planet from the early Solar System, a study suggests.

The parent "proto-planet" would have existed billions of years ago before breaking up in a collision and was about as large as Mercury or Mars, according to BBC.

The team argues that the pressures necessary to produce diamonds of this kind could only occur in planet of this size

Study identifies more than a hundred new genes that determine hair color

A team of scientists have discovered 124 genes that play a major role in determining human hair colour variation, according to Science Daily.

The discovery sheds new light on our understanding of the genetic complexity underpinning variations in human pigmentation, and could advance our knowledge of conditions linked to pigmentation, such as skin, testicular, prostate and ovarian cancers. The new findings are also relevant for forensic sciences.

Although previous studies have found that a large percentage of hair colour variation is explained by heritable factors, previous genetic studies only identified a dozen or so hair colour genes.

Extinct monitor lizard had four eyes, fossil evidence shows

Researchers have evidence that an extinct species of monitor lizard had four eyes, a first among known jawed vertebrates. Today, only the jawless lampreys have four eyes, according to Science Daily.

The third and fourth eyes refer to pineal and parapineal organs, eye-like photosensory structures on the top of the head that play key roles in orientation and in circadian and annual cycles. The new findings help to elucidate the evolutionary history of these structures among vertebrates.

The photosensitive pineal organ is found in a number of lower vertebrates such as fishes and frogs, the researchers explain. It's often referred to as the "third eye" and was widespread in primitive vertebrates.

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