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"Long before it's in the papers"
March 28, 2015

 = EXCLUSIVES = 

.

* * * LATEST * * *

 

Study links war, global warming—in Syria
Re­search­ers have pub­lished the first ma­jor study to draw a link be­tween glob­al warm­ing, drought and on­go­ing civ­il un­rest.

 

Smarter mice with a “humanized” gene?
In­tro­duc­ing a “hu­man­ized” ver­sion of a lan­guage-linked gene in­to mice ac­cel­er­ates their learn­ing, ac­cord­ing to a stu­dy.

At least one in 25 death-sentenced people are innocent, study claims
In new work, re­search­ers argue that the false-con­vic­tion rate is not every­where as un­know­able as is some­times said.


Scientists take step toward usable fusion energy
Sci­en­tists are clos­er than ever to us­ing the pro­cess that pow­ers the Sun to pro­duce en­er­gy, says a re­port to ap­pear in the re­search jour­nal Na­ture.

An evolutionary role for “Jackass”-like stunts?
Risk-prone people are per­ceived as larg­er and strong­er, new re­search finds.

 

DNA “markings” may transmit learned experiences
So-called epige­net­ic changes have gar­nered in­creas­ing at­tent­ion as a route by which na­ture trans­mits traits across gen­er­a­tions.

Love your enemy? Hormone spray may help with that, too
Inhaling the hor­mone oxy­to­cin may make peo­ple em­pa­thize more with out­siders, a stu­dy sug­gests.

 

Scientists probe how Inca kids were drugged for sacrifice
Chil­dren of the an­cient In­ca Em­pire may have con­sumed in­ten­si­fying doses of al­co­hol and co­ca leaf for as long as a year be­fore a ri­tual slaugh­ter.

A reputation sealed? Finding suggests T. rex hunted for real
A toothy dis­cov­ery sug­gests the icon­ic di­no­saur Ty­ran­no­saur­us rex was a real hunt­er af­ter all—not a mere scav­en­ger.

 





Study explores how power gets to the brain
Pow­er may or may not cor­rupt, but it does change you. New re­search ex­plores what hap­pens in the brain as that takes place.

Studies may have overestimated our generosity
Scientists recre­ated a game of­ten used to as­sess peo­ple’s al­tru­ism—but this time there was a twist, and a darker re­sult.

 

Already-approved drug tied to longer, healthy lives in mice
The first drug to suc­cess­fully ex­tend the life­span of nor­mal lab mice al­so does so in a way that pro­longs their healthy ex­ist­ence, a stu­dy sug­gests.

Men want status from romantic relationships, research finds
A set of surveys suggests men and women get self-es­teem from rela­t­ion­ships in dif­fer­ent ways.

 

Killed twice in 1600s, hoax “dragon” slain again—in creationism dispute
Scient­ists say they’ve proven what some suspected three centuries ago: the swamp dra­gon from Rome was a hoax. And maybe now it mat­ters more.

Yes, gentlemen, size matters—but something else matters more, study finds
Scientists as­sessed how pe­nis size, body height and body shape inter­act to in­flu­ence fe­male rank­ings of male al­lure.

 

Babies may be drawn to those who mistreat the “different”
Re­searchers report new evi­dence that hard-to-eradi­cate bia­ses based on race, sex and other diff­er­ences take root early in life.

Your brain cells may be capable of outliving you—by a lot
New findings make scient­ists hope­ful that if hu­man life­span is increased, brain cells will coop­erate by liv­ing long­er accord­ing­ly.

 

Chimps found to play fairness game like people
In some im­por­tant ways, chimps may have more hu­man-like con­cepts of fair­ness than pre­vi­ously rec­og­nized, bi­ol­o­gists say.

For signs of life, some strange planetary systems may be most promising
Atmos­pheric chem­icals be­tray­ing the pre­sence of alien life might be de­tect­able around white dwarf stars, a study says.

Did some Neanderthals learn advanced skills from “moderns”?
Sur­pris­ing­ly, some Ne­an­der­thal peo­ple seem to have made body or­na­ments and soph­is­t­icated tools, a study re­ports.


Theory that cooking gave us big brains gains support
New research backs up a the­o­ry that the ad­vent of cook­ing al­most two mill­ion years ago en­abled hu­mans to get smart­er.

Friendliness to minorities may often be a performance—a fragile one
Many whites be­have ex­tra nicely to mi­nor­i­ties, but it’s often an act that ar­ises from a sense of obli­ga­t­ion, new re­search sug­gests.


 

Gospel of Matthew linked to trail of bizarre self-mutilations
A particu­lar set of verses from a book in the Bi­ble has crea­ted con­stern­ation among some med­i­cal pro­fes­sionals.

“Racial purity” DNA testing slammed as perversion, but halting practice might not be easy
A pol­i­ti­cian has sparked out­rage af­ter re­port­ed­ly tak­ing a DNA test for a shock­ing pur­pose. But just where the red line lies is not wide­ly agreed up­on.

Moral “taint” still seeps along familial lines
We are still blamed to some de­gree for the mis­deeds of our rel­a­tives, ac­cord­ing to a set of newly re­ported sur­veys.


American heads have been changing shape, but why?
White people’s heads in the Unit­ed States have got­ten taller and nar­row­er since the days the steam­ship was king, re­search indi­cates.

Cold case solved? Study probes riddle of sinking beer bubbles
Bub­bles in dark beer are seen to slide down­ward, iron­ic­ally, be­cause they’re trying to head up­ward, a study re­ports.

Move elephants into Australia, scientist proposes
Does the Land Down Under need an in­fu­sion of large mam­mals to solve its ec­o­log­i­cal and wild­fire prob­lems?


Was blackmail essential for marriage to evolve?
A study takes a cold new look at a cus­tom as ancient and firmly estab­lished as it is sa­cred to mil­lions.

A human bias against creativity is hindering science, research claims
Most of us love crea­ti­vi­ty—until it ac­tually comes knock­ing, some psy­cho­lo­gists say.

Pluto has even colder “twin” of similar size, studies find
A “d­warf plan­et” or­bit­ing our sun three times fur­ther away than Plu­to is about the size of that better-known, frig­id world, as­tro­no­mers say.

 

Could simple anger have taught people to cooperate?
A new study chal­lenges one of the lead­ing the­o­ries as a sol­u­tion for an evo­lu­tion­ary puz­zle.

 = MORE NEWS = 

Global warming doesn’t cause extreme winters, study says
That a warming trend doesn’t cause cold snaps might seem ob­vious, but re
­cent events had raised the ques­tion.

Study ties education, not just genes, to IQ
A study com­pared the in­tel­li­gence test scores of Swed­ish twins raised in dif­fer­ent en­vi­ron­ments.

 

Colliding stars could explain 17th-century mystery explosion
A “new star” that Eu­ro­pe­an as­tro­no­mers saw in 1670 was ac­tu­ally a stel­lar smash­up, a study pro­poses.

Little fish found to kill smaller ones by posing as family
The dusky dot­ty­back’s dis­guise—ac­com­plished by chang­ing col­ors—al­so helps pro­tect it from its own preda­tors, ac­cord­ing to the stu­dy.

 

Jupiter moon may conceal ocean with more water than Earth’s
Glowing ribbons of gas called au­ro­rae give it away, scien­tists claim.

Music can affect your genes, study finds
Lis­ten­ing to clas­si­cal mu­sic can en­hance the ac­ti­vity of genes in­flu­enc­ing the flow of brain chem­i­cals, learn­ing and mem­o­ry.

 

New findings suggest Mars had an ocean
A study sought to measure how much wa­ter must have been lost to space, based on char­act­er­ist­ics of Mar­tian wa­ter now.

Do heroes win sexiness points? Only if they’re soldiers, male—and decorated, study finds
Perhaps any
­one can be a hero. Get­ting re­warded for it is an­other mat­ter.

Millions of modern men found to be descendants of 11 kingpins
Ge­neti­cists have found that mil­lions of mod­ern Asians de­scend from 11 pow­er­ful dy­nas­tic lead­ers who lived up to 4,000 years ago.

 

First-ever photo said to capture light acting as both particle and wave
Quan­tum me­chan­ics tells us that light can be­have as a par­t­i­cle or a wave, but both aspects have never been seen at once.

Thoughts of “God” found to increase risk-taking
Find­ings sug­gest peo­ple are will­ing to take these risks be­cause they think of God as a pro­tect­or, re­search­ers say.

 

A land where strange crocs proliferated
The swampy wa­ters of what is now north­east­ern Pe­ru were very different 13 mil­lion years ago, new re­search finds.

Mystery of early black holes deepens with huge new find
The discovery of a too-large, too-ancient black hole does­n’t square with stand­ard the­o­ries of cos­mic ev­o­lu­tion.

Study: publicizing hospital ratings doesn’t always spur improvement
The well-intentioned idea of rating health cent­ers is having show­ing dis­ap­point­ingly lit­tle bene­fit so far, sci­ent­ists say.

 

Little star probably grazed our solar system, astronomers conclude
The event could have trig­gered a deadly “com­et show­er” had the star come much clos­er, a study sug­gests.

Fire ants spread globally on 17th-century ships, study finds
Some lit­tle ant con­querors, too, put hu­man­kind’s Age of Disc­overy to good use, scient­ists re­port.

Strange cloudy features high over Mars baffle scientists
Sci­en­tists can’t fig­ure out the cause of mys­te­ri­ous plumes pho­to­graphed high over Mars by am­a­teur as­tro­no­mers.

 

Dogs can tell apart human facial expressions, study finds
Ev­i­dence also sug­gests dogs pre­fer to ap­proach “hap­py” rath­er than “an­gry” pho­tos, ac­cord­ing to the re­search.

Study finds first stars were born “late”
New findings are based on the cosmic micro­wave back­ground, light believed to have been tra­vel­ing toward us since almost the dawn of time.

 

Satellite to check alien skies for traces of life
It’s the “first mis­sion ded­i­cat­ed” to study­ing these at­mo­spheres, said pro­ject leader Gio­van­na Tinetti of Uni­vers­ity Col­lege Lon­don.

Student scientists find partially drug-resistant germs, scraps of anthrax DNA—all in subway
High school students sam­pled some of the smaller liv­ing things crowded into New York City's sub­way system.

 

Sea slug turns itself into plant-like creature by eating algae
A bright green sea slug man­ages to live like a plant and skip meals thanks to genes it steals from the al­gae it eats, sci­en­tists say.

Zoo chimps said to learn grunt for “apple” from each other
Cap­tive chimps can learn grunts from each oth­er that re­fer to spe­cif­ic foods, a study has found.

Mining the Moon becomes a real prospect, report says
Companies and nations dream of obtain­ing rocket fuel and rare-earth ele­ments from the Moon's re­sources.

 

New find spotlights super-long-necked dinos
An unusual dino­saur lin­eage known as ma­men­chi­saur­ids may be more di­verse than pre­viously realized.

Study: war-for-oil “conspiracy theorists” are often right
While many claims are simp­lis­tic, research­ers say, sta­tis­tics show oil does mo­ti­vate coun­tries to inter­fere in conflicts.

 

Star found to have little planets over twice as old as our own
Find­ings raise the poss­i­bil­ity of life far more ancient than Earth it­self, scientists say.

“Kindness curriculum” may boost success in preschoolers
An experimental pro­gram was de­signed to cul­ti­vate “mind­ful­ness” and com­pas­sion in 4-to-6-year olds.

 

Craft closes in on dwarf planet, takes pictures
NASA is pre­par­ing for what would be a space­craft’s first visit to a dwarf plan­et.

Jellyfish not just drifters, study finds
At least some jel­ly­fish can swim strong­ly ag­ainst a cur­rent, researchers re­port.

Could our galaxy be a wormhole?
It could conceiv­ably be a short­cut through space­time, a study con­cludes, though that path may or may not be nav­i­ga­ble.

 

Brain wiring may reflect gender identity
A study ex­am­ined our self-per­cep­tions as male or fema­les, as dis­tinct from our phys­i­cal form.

Top U.S. research institute accused of coverup
A professor's law­suit claims Cal­tech pro­tected an aca­demic sus­pected of ille­gally shar­ing U.S. Defense De­part­ment-funded tech­nol­ogy.

Ocean wildlife may collapse soon, study warns
The same pat­tern of events that led to the col­lapse of wild­life popula­t­ions on land is now hap­pen­ing in the sea, a report says.

 

Study links lifespan, solar activity
Talk about a rough start in life. Be­ing born when the sun is stormy might cut your lifespan, research says.

Study: a computer can figure you out as well as your spouse
A com­put­er can read your per­son­al­ity as well as your spouse if you give it 300 Face­book “Likes” to an­a­lyze, a study has found.

Part of our reactions to music may be “universal”
Wheth­er you’re from the Con­go­lese rain­for­est or a big city, some as­pects of mu­sic will tou­ch you in the same ways, a study sug­gests.

 

Scientists study whale that lives 200 years for clues
Changes in genes linked to cell di­vi­sion, DNA re­pair and more may help the bow­head live long, researchers say.

Is warfare linked to evolution?
In one farming society, males who par­ti­ci­pate in live­stock raids also may have more wives and child­ren, a study finds.

 

Study finds police body-cameras can prevent violence
Research­ers are work­ing to re­peat the stu­dy with 30 po­lice forc­es across the globe.

Light human skeleton may have come after agriculture
The rel­a­tively light skele­tons of mod­ern hu­mans arose late in our ev­o­lu­tion­ary his­to­ry, re­search­ers re­port.

 

Crows found able to reason by “analogy”
Crows in a study were said to re­cog­nize how dif­fer­ent pairs of ob­jects have si­m­i­lar rela­t­ion­ships.

Quantum physics may have just gotten simpler
New research claims to un­ite two strange fea­tures of the quan­tum world, or na­ture at the small­est scales.

Impact that killed dinos may have nearly snuffed mammals too
The di­no­saurs’ extinction 66 mil­lion years ago is thought to have opened the way for mam­mals to dom­i­nate the land.

 

Mars crater may be belching organic gas; biological origin not ruled out
Lev­els of meth­ane are per­i­od­ic­ally spik­ing at the Gale Crat­er on Mars, NASA sci­ent­ists say.

World Science Archive
 Download high-resolution image from NSF website

Blue sunflower? This is really a mi­cro­scope im­age of liq­uid drop­let res­i­due from water-based chem­i­cals, one-half mil­li­me­ter wide. The drop­lets on the out­er edges are 50 times less wide, and sev­en times less wide than a hu­man hair. This im­age, ti­tled "Blue Sun Flow­er," was cre­at­ed by Devin Brown, sen­ior re­search en­gi­neer at the In­sti­tute for Elec­tron­ics and Nan­otech­nol­ogy at the Geor­gia In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy. The im­age won grand prize in the 2013 EIPBN (Elec­tron, Ion and Pho­ton Beam Tech­nol­o­gy and Nanofab­ri­ca­tion) mi­cro­graph con­test. (Cred­it: Devin K. Brown, In­sti­tute for Elec­tron­ics and Nan­otech­nol­ogy, Geor­gia Tech)

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News alerts
* Scientists still waiting for clear signs of ozone hole healing (Reuters)

* 3 in US win chemistry Nobel for computer models (AP)

* Nobel prize for Higgs boson discovery (FT.com)
* NASA Mars rover finds no sign of methane, telltale sign of life (Reuters)

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