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Adjective: Abstruse (ub-STROOSS) Definition: Difficult to comprehend. Sample sentence: The author’s new book is not as abstruse as his previous works and is likely to attract a much larger readership.

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Lead levels in lipsticks aren’t typically very high, but they have edged up since the FDA began tracking them in 2007. A new report issued by the agency in December 2011 after testing 400 lipsticks, found amounts of lead ranging from 0.026 parts per million (ppm) to 7.19 ppm. The highest level in 2007 was […]

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Noun: Spiel (SPEEL) Definition: A voluble line of often extravagant talk: a speech delivered especially to sell or promote something. Sample sentence: Jonathan called the wireless company with a question about his bill; he was not expecting a spiel from a representative trying to sell him on a more expensive data plan.

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Eating oranges and grapefruit daily seem to help lower the risk of stroke among women, thanks to compounds called flavones they contain. This news comes from reviewing 14 years of follow-up data gathered from 70,000 women participating in the U.S. Nurses’ Health Study, a landmark trial that has been on-going since 1976 and is still […]

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Noun: Patagium (puh-TAY-jee-um) Definition: 1. The fold of skin connecting the forelimbs and hind limbs of some tetrapods (as flying squirrels). 2. The fold of skin in front of the main segments of a bird’s wing. Sample sentence: The parrot plucked his feathers so badly that he exposed the patagium on his right wing.

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We know that artificial light at night appears to affect breast cancer risk: studies have shown that the incidence of the disease is higher among women who are working night shifts. This may be because the body’s reaction to light suppresses the normal nighttime production of melatonin, which has the effect of boosting estrogen levels […]

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Adjective: Unabashed (un-uh-BASHT) Definition: Not disconcerted, undistinguished, unapologetic. Sample sentence: I will admit that I am an unabashed fan of the Singing Bee.

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Don’t count on a big breakfast to promote weight loss. Earlier research suggested that a hearty morning meal cuts down on your appetite – and calorie intake – at lunch and dinner. Apparently not. A new study from Germany found that eating a breakfast that totaled 400 calories more than a small one didn’t change […]

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Verb: Oppugn (uh-PYOON) Definition: 1. To fight against 2. To call in question Sample sentence: The local papers have begun to oppugn the candidate’s claims, arguing that the facts do not support her statements about her past business ventures.

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Some decreased hearing ability seems inevitable with age – a new study found that the prevalence of partial hearing loss is about 21 percent in adults aged 48 to 59 years, but rises to 90 percent in those over 80. The investigators, from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, analyzed data […]

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