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The Royal Disease

During the winter of 1884, Queen Victoria's youngest son, Prince Leopold, was convalescing in France. While there, he slipped and fell and couldn't stop bleeding. Within a few hours, he died. Prince Leopold was the first monarch known to suffer from hemophilia—a blood disorder that causes excessive bleeding. It appears Victoria was responsible for the spread of the "royal disease" among monarchs across Europe (her relatives in Russia, Spain, France and Germany all had the disease).

There are several versions of the disease, but no one knew what type Victoria carried and this strain is now extinct. Evgeny Rogaev from the University of Massachusetts was curious about Victoria—she is particularly interesting because none of her ancestors carried the gene, and scientists believed the Queen suffered from a spontaneous mutation. Using the remains of the Romanov family (Czar Nicholas II and Czarina Alexandra's children are Victoria's great grandchildren), researchers examined DNA to learn more.

Publishing the results in the journal Science, Rogaev notes that Victoria and her descendants suffered from a rare and severe form of hemophilia B, or Christmas disease. Using multiplex target amplification and parallel sequencing, Rogaev and his colleagues noticed a mutation on the F9 gene on the X chromosome, which controls the blood clotting agent, Factor IX, and can alter RNA splicing. This mutation matches those found in hemophilia B. Women generally only carry the mutation on one of their X chromosomes, meaning they rarely suffer from the disease and most often pass it on to their male descendants. Those male descendants do suffer from the disease, because it expresses itself on their only X chromosome.

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7 Science-Backed Ways to Improve Your Memory
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Being cursed with a bad memory can yield snafus big and small, from forgetting your gym locker combination to routinely blowing deadlines. If your New Year's resolution was to be less forgetful in 2018, it's time to start training your brain. The infographic below, created by financial website Quid Corner and spotted by Lifehacker Australia, lists seven easy ways to boost memory retention.

Different techniques can be applied to different scenarios, whether you're preparing for a speech or simply trying to recall someone's phone number. For example, if you're trying to learn a language, try writing down words and phrases, as this activates your brain into paying more attention. "Chunking," or separating long digit strings into shorter units, is a helpful hack for memorizing number sequences. And those with a poetic bent can translate information into rhymes, as this helps our brains break down and retain sound structures.

Learn more tips by checking out the infographic below.

[h/t Lifehacker.com.au]

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19 Times That Actors Have Been Injured On Set. Some of the scenes were then included in the finished film.

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