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Older Neanderthal survived with a little help from his friends
10/23/2017 04:15 PM
An older Neanderthal from about 50,000 years ago, who had suffered multiple injuries and other degenerations, became deaf and must have relied on the help of others to avoid prey and survive well into his 40s, indicates a new analysis.

Archaeologists uncover cuneiform archive in Iraq’s Kurdish region
10/23/2017 04:03 PM
Archaeologists have made sensational finds in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq. The researchers found a cuneiform archive of 93 clay tablets dating from 1250 BCE -- the period of the Middle Assyrian Empire. What the tablets record remains a mystery for the time being. The researchers will have to decipher them -- a long and difficult task.

'Mind-reading' brain-decoding tech
10/23/2017 11:20 AM
Researchers have demonstrated how to decode what the human brain is seeing by using artificial intelligence to interpret fMRI scans from people watching videos, representing a sort of mind-reading technology.

Smart birds: Canada geese give hunters the slip by hiding out in Chicago
10/23/2017 11:20 AM
It's open season for Canada geese in Illinois from mid-October to mid-January. Unfortunately for hunters, Canada geese are finding a new way to stay out of the line of fire. Rather than being 'sitting ducks' in a rural pond, they're setting up residence in the city. Ornithologists conducted a recent study to try to find out why there were so many Canada geese in Chicago in the winter.

Drug can dramatically reduce weight of people with obesity
10/23/2017 11:19 AM
A drug that targets the appetite control system in the brain could bring about significant weight loss in people with clinical obesity, according to new research.

Scientists warn that saline lakes in dire situation worldwide
10/23/2017 10:35 AM
Saline lakes around the world are shrinking in size at alarming rates. But what -- or who -- is to blame? Lakes like Utah's Great Salt Lake, Asia's Aral Sea, the Dead Sea in Jordan and Israel, China's huge Lop Nur and Bolivia's Lake Popo are just a few that are in peril. These lakes and others like them are suffering massive environmental problems according to a group of scientists and water managers.

Mongolian microfossils point to the rise of animals on Earth
10/23/2017 10:35 AM
A cache of embryo-like microfossils has been discovered in northern Mongolia that may shed light on questions about the long-ago shift from microbes to animals on Earth.

Transparent solar technology represents 'wave of the future'
10/23/2017 10:35 AM
See-through solar materials that can be applied to windows represent a massive source of untapped energy and could harvest as much power as bigger, bulkier rooftop solar units, scientists report.

Western US Quake? Fifty simulations of the 'Really Big One' show how a 9.0 Cascadia earthquake could play out
10/23/2017 08:18 AM
The largest number yet of detailed simulations for how a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake might play out provides a clearer picture of what the region can expect when the fault unleashes a 9.0 earthquake.

Crops evolving ten millennia before experts thought
10/23/2017 07:49 AM
Ancient hunter-gatherers began to systemically affect the evolution of crops up to thirty thousand years ago -- around ten millennia before experts previously thought -- according to new research.

Taming 'wild' electrons in graphene
10/23/2017 07:44 AM
Graphene -- a one-atom-thick layer of carbon -- is a better conductor than copper and is very promising for electronic devices, but with one catch: Electrons that move through it can't be stopped. Until now, that is. Scientists have learned how to tame the unruly electrons in graphene, paving the way for the ultra-fast transport of electrons with low loss of energy in novel systems.

Pollution responsible for 16 percent of early deaths globally
10/20/2017 04:25 PM
Diseases caused by pollution were responsible in 2015 for an estimated 9 million premature deaths -- 16 percent of all deaths worldwide, according to a report.

Mountain glaciers shrinking across Western U.S.
10/20/2017 04:25 PM
A technique using satellites to create twice-yearly elevation maps of US mountain glaciers provides new insight into thinning of glaciers in the lower 48 states.

Life goes on for marine ecosystems after cataclysmic mass extinction
10/20/2017 07:22 AM
One of the largest global mass extinctions did not fundamentally change marine ecosystems, scientists have found.

NASA's MAVEN mission finds Mars has a twisted magnetic tail
10/19/2017 04:18 PM
Mars has an invisible magnetic 'tail' that is twisted by interaction with the solar wind, according to new research using data from NASA's MAVEN spacecraft.

New NASA study improves search for habitable worlds
10/19/2017 04:18 PM
New NASA research is helping to refine our understanding of candidate planets beyond our solar system that might support life.

Climate shifts shorten marine food chain off California
10/19/2017 03:16 PM
Environmental disturbances such as El Niño shake up the marine food web off Southern California, new research shows, countering conventional thinking that the hierarchy of who-eats-who in the ocean remains largely constant over time.

Field trips of the future?
10/19/2017 02:42 PM
A biologist examines the benefits and drawbacks of virtual and augmented reality in teaching environmental science.

DNA damage found in veterans with Gulf War illness
10/19/2017 02:41 PM
Researchers say they have found the 'first direct biological evidence' of damage in veterans with Gulf War illness to DNA within cellular structures that produce energy in the body.

New tyrannosaur fossil is most complete found in Southwestern US
10/19/2017 12:30 PM
A fossilized skeleton of a tyrannosaur discovered in Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument was airlifted by helicopter Oct 15, and delivered to the Natural History Museum of Utah where it will be uncovered, prepared, and studied. The fossil is approximately 76 million years old and is likely an individual of the species Teratophoneus curriei.

Ancient DNA offers new view on saber-toothed cats' past
10/19/2017 12:30 PM
Researchers who've analyzed the complete mitochondrial genomes from ancient samples representing two species of saber-toothed cats have a new take on the animals' history over the last 50,000 years. The data suggest that the saber-toothed cats shared a common ancestor with all living cat-like species about 20 million years ago. The two saber-toothed cat species under study diverged from each other about 18 million years ago.

Evolution in your back garden: Great tits may be adapting their beaks to birdfeeders
10/19/2017 12:30 PM
A British enthusiasm for feeding birds may have caused UK great tits to have evolved longer beaks than their European counterparts, according to new research. The findings identify for the first time the genetic differences between UK and Dutch great tits which researchers were then able to link to longer beaks in UK birds.

H7N9 influenza is both lethal and transmissible in animal model for flu
10/19/2017 12:30 PM
In 2013, an influenza virus began circulating among poultry in China. It caused several waves of human infection and as of late July 2017, nearly 1,600 people had tested positive for avian H7N9. Nearly 40 percent of those infected had died. In 2017, a medical researcher received a sample of H7N9 virus isolated from a patient in China who had died of the flu. He and his research team subsequently began work to characterize and understand it.

Liquid metal discovery ushers in new wave of chemistry and electronics
10/19/2017 12:30 PM
Researchers use liquid metal to create atom-thick 2-D never before seen in nature. The research could transform how we do chemistry and could also be applied to enhance data storage and make faster electronics.

Six degrees of separation: Why it is a small world after all
10/19/2017 09:10 AM
This study examines how small-world networks occur within bigger and more complex structures.

Itsy bitsy spider: Fear of spiders and snakes is deeply embedded in us
10/19/2017 09:09 AM
Snakes and spiders evoke fear and disgust in many people, even in developed countries where hardly anybody comes into contact with them. Until now, there has been debate about whether this aversion is innate or learnt. Scientists have recently discovered that it is hereditary: Even babies feel stressed when seeing these creatures - long before they could have learnt this reaction.

A mosquito's secret weapon: a light touch and strong wings
10/19/2017 08:10 AM
How do mosquitoes land and take off without our noticing? Using high-speed video cameras, researchers have found part of the answer: mosquitoes' long legs allow them to slowly and gently push off, but their wings provide the majority of the lift, even when fully laden with a blood meal. For comparison, mosquitoes push off with forces much less than those of an escaping fruit fly.

Noxious ice cloud on Saturn's moon Titan
10/19/2017 08:10 AM
Researchers with NASA's Cassini mission found evidence of a toxic hybrid ice in a wispy cloud high above the south pole of Saturn's largest moon, Titan.

Scientists see order in complex patterns of river deltas
10/19/2017 08:10 AM
River deltas, with their intricate networks of waterways, coastal barrier islands, wetlands and estuaries, often appear to have been formed by random processes, but scientists see order in the apparent chaos.

Scientists pinpoint jealousy in the monogamous mind
10/19/2017 08:10 AM
Scientists find that in male titi monkeys, jealousy is associated with heightened activity in the cingulate cortex, an area of the brain associated with social pain in humans, and the lateral septum, associated with pair bond formation in primates. A better understanding of jealousy may provide important clues on how to approach health and welfare problems such as addiction and domestic violence, as well as autism.

Slow Internet? New technology to speed up home broadband dramatically
10/19/2017 08:10 AM
Slow internet speeds and the Internet 'rush hour' -- the peak time when data speeds drop by up to 30 percent -- could be history with new hardware that provides consistently high-speed broadband connectivity.

Fossil coral reefs show sea level rose in bursts during last warming
10/19/2017 08:09 AM
Scientists have discovered that Earth's sea level did not rise steadily when the planet's glaciers last melted during a period of global warming; rather, sea level rose sharply in punctuated bursts.

Dogs are more expressive when someone is looking
10/19/2017 08:09 AM
Dogs produce more facial expressions when humans are looking at them, according to new research.

More than 75 percent decrease in total flying insect biomass over 27 years across Germany
10/19/2017 08:09 AM
The total flying insect biomass decreased by more than 75 percent over 27 years in protected areas in Germany, according to a new study.

Salmon sex linked to geological change
10/19/2017 08:08 AM
It turns out that sex can move mountains. Researchers have found that the mating habits of salmon can alter the profile of stream beds, affecting the evolution of an entire watershed. The study is one of the first to quantitatively show that salmon can influence the shape of the land.

Want to control your dreams? Here's how you can
10/19/2017 08:08 AM
New research has found that a specific combination of techniques will increase people's chances of having lucid dreams, in which the dreamer is aware they're dreaming while it's still happening and can control the experience.

More teens than ever aren't getting enough sleep
10/19/2017 08:04 AM
Researchers found that about 40 percent of adolescents in 2015 slept less than 7 hours a night, which is 58 percent more than in 1991 and 17 percent more than in 2009. They further learned that the more time young people reported spending online, the less sleep they got. Teens who spent 5 hours a day online were 50 percent more likely to not sleep enough than their peers who only spent an hour online each day.

Worldwide change in shallow reef ecosystems predicted as waters warm
10/18/2017 01:18 PM
A new study based on the first global survey of marine life by scuba divers has provided fresh insights into how climate change is affecting the distribution of marine life. The research predicts that as the oceans warm fish -- which appear to be superior predators in warm water -- will extend their ranges away from the equator and cause a decline in the diversity of invertebrates such as crabs, lobsters, sea urchins and whelks.

Scientists dig into the origin of organics on dwarf planet Ceres
10/18/2017 01:18 PM
Since NASA's Dawn spacecraft detected localized organic-rich material on Ceres, scientists have been digging into the data to explore different scenarios for its origin. After considering the viability of comet or asteroid delivery, the preponderance of evidence suggests the organics are most likely native to Ceres.

Understanding the coevolving web of life as a network
10/18/2017 11:32 AM
Coevolution, which occurs when species interact and adapt to each other, is often studied in the context of pair-wise interactions between mutually beneficial symbiotic partners. But many species have mutualistic interactions with multiple partners, leading to complex networks of interacting species.

Nature or nurture? Innate social behaviors in the mouse brain
10/18/2017 11:29 AM
The brain circuitry that controls innate, or instinctive, behaviors such as mating and fighting was thought to be genetically hardwired. Not so, neuroscientists now say.

Inflammation trains the skin to heal faster
10/18/2017 11:28 AM
Stem cells in the skin remember an injury, helping them close recurring wounds faster, researchers have found. The discovery could advance research and treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory diseases.

Petals produce a 'blue halo' that helps bees find flowers
10/18/2017 11:28 AM
Latest research has found that several common flower species have nanoscale ridges on the surface of their petals that meddle with light when viewed from certain angles.

Solar eruptions could electrify Martian moons
10/18/2017 10:41 AM
Powerful solar eruptions could electrically charge areas of the Martian moon Phobos to hundreds of volts, presenting a complex electrical environment that could possibly affect sensitive electronics carried by future robotic explorers, according to a new NASA study. The study also considered electrical charges that could develop as astronauts transit the surface on potential human missions to Phobos.

Stiff fibers spun from slime
10/18/2017 09:35 AM
Nanoparticles from the secretion of velvet worms form recyclable polymer fibers.

Potential human habitat located on the moon
10/18/2017 08:43 AM
A new study confirms the existence of a large open lava tube in the Marius Hills region of the moon, which could be used to protect astronauts from hazardous conditions on the surface.

Ancient preen oil: Researchers discover 48-million-year-old lipids in a fossil bird
10/18/2017 07:12 AM
As a rule, soft parts do not withstand the ravages of time; hence, the majority of vertebrate fossils consist only of bones. Under these circumstances, a new discovery from the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Messel Pit” near Darmstadt in Germany comes as an even bigger surprise: a 48-million-year old skin gland from a bird, containing lipids of the same age. The oldest lipids ever recorded in a fossil vertebrate were used by the bird to preen its plumage.

Battling flames increases firefighters' exposure to carcinogens
10/18/2017 07:02 AM
The threat of getting burned by roaring flames is an obvious danger of firefighting, but other health risks are more subtle. For example, firefighters have been found to develop cancer at higher rates than the general population. Now researchers have measured how much firefighters' exposure to carcinogens and other harmful compounds increases when fighting fires. Their study also points to one possible way to reduce that exposure.

Navigational view of the brain thanks to powerful X-rays
10/17/2017 02:37 PM
Imagine Google Earth with only the street view and a far-away satellite view but not much of a map view. Brain imaging, for the most part, has been missing just that, and a lot of research on how the brain computes happens on that map-like level. New imaging tackles this special view of the brain with the highest-energy X-rays in the country that illuminate thick sections of a mouse brain.

New research opens the door to 'functional cure' for HIV
10/17/2017 01:30 PM
Scientists have for the first time shown that a novel compound effectively suppresses production of the virus in chronically infected cells.