The Philadelphia woman’s ten-day old infant had supposedly died in her crib in a house fire six years previously. She was convinced that the little girl at the birthday party was her own daughter, however; on a pretext, she obtained several strands of her hair and confirmed her hunch with DNA testing. The girl had been kidnapped from her crib by a family acquaintance (with a history of a prior arson conviction) who raised her as her own after setting the fire as a cover. — Atlanta Journal Constitution
First redesign of the lowly nickel in 66 years. Jefferson remains on the front but, on the rear, Monticello is gone in favor of a commemoration of the Louisiana Purchase (left). Another new nickel acknowledging the Lewis and Clark expedition (right) debuts this fall. — Chicago Tribune
The anatomy of prion disease: “In the novel Cat’s Cradle, an eccentric scientist develops a substance called Ice-9 that crystallizes every drop of water it touches. Eventually, it freezes the world’s oceans.
Now, 40 years after writer Kurt Vonnegut imagined Ice-9, researchers think his creation is the perfect analogy for the renegade proteins that destroy the brains of people infected by the human form of mad-cow disease.
Once prion diseases infect a body, the proteins change shape and, with a kiss of death, turn their neighbors into clones of themselves. Clumps of misshapen proteins form, overwhelming neurons and poking holes in the brain. Death is inevitable.” — Wired
Bill would let certain companies own facts, and exact a fee to access them: “Ostensibly, the Database and Collections of Information Misappropriation Act (HR3261) makes it a crime for anyone to copy and redistribute a substantial portion of data collected by commercial database companies and list publishers. But critics say the bill would give the companies ownership of facts — stock quotes, historical health data, sports scores and voter lists. The bill would restrict the kinds of free exchange and shared resources that are essential to an informed citizenry, opponents say.” — Wired