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Landmark study suggests mice can pass the mirror test, a standard for measuring self-awareness

A study in the journal Neuron revealed something surprising about mouse intelligence — specifically, that they can recognize their own reflections. That may seem insignificant, but sociologists starting with Charles H. Cooley in 1912 argue that animals which pass the so-called “mirror test” possess an advanced sense of self-awareness, which has intriguing implications for the evolution of our own intelligence....

Originally posted on salon.com

Mice embryos successfully grown in space, a promising milestone for human space exploration

Most of the recent news about the International Space Station (ISS) hasn’t been very positive recently, from Russian cosmonauts dodging a cooling leak during a space walk to NASA’s ongoing plan to crash the ISS into the ocean (which will largely benefit private space exploration companies). Yet in a major leap forward for biological sciences, a new study in the journal iSciences reveals that humans were able to successfully culture mouse embryos while aboard the ISS....

Originally posted on salon.com

A common plant-based supplement was able to restore hearing in mice. Human ears could be next

While the term “high cholesterol” is usually associated with health problems, there is at least one way in which most people would prefer to have high cholesterol: In their inner ear, so that they will continue to have strong hearing as they get older. At least, that is the premise a recent study in the scientific journal PLOS Biology, whose authors found that plant-based substances called phytosterols — which look and act like cholesterol — improved the hearing in mice who had grown deaf while losing their inner ear cholesterol....

Originally posted on salon.com