"Long before it's in the papers"
August 12, 2014


PAST NEWS - 2013

Scientists said to get DNA-like molecule to assemble itself
New findings may hint at how life orig­i­nat­ed. (Dec. 23, 2013) 


Earlier brain “pruning” may explain girls’ faster maturation
The brain re-organizes its con­nec­tions through­out life, but the pro­cess be­gins ear­li­er in girls, sci­ent­ists say. (Dec. 19, 2013) 

“Impossibly” large stellar explosions find explanation
A newly iden­ti­fied type of stel­lar ex­plo­sion breaks all the old rules—and records—for such ex­plo­sions, a study has found. (Dec. 19, 2013) 

An apple a day really does keep the doctor away, scientists say
Research­ers say a pro­verb dat­ing back to Vic­tor­ian times ri­vals a good deal of modern med­i­cal ad­vice in use­ful­ness. (Dec. 17, 2013)


Huge geysers on Jupiter moon?
Huge plumes con­tain­ing wa­ter va­por escape Eu­ro­pa’s icy crust, hints to the ocean be­neath, sci­ent­ists report. (Dec. 14, 2013) 

Medical costs rise steadily with any excess weight, study finds
Health care costs rise in par­al­lel with body mass mea­sure­ments, even be­gin­ning at a mod­er­ate weight, a study finds. (Dec. 16, 2013) 

Scientists developing way to “see” pain in the body
A new tech­nique might give doc­tors a way to ass­ess pain that goes bey­ond pa­tients’ own some­times un­clear ac­counts. (Dec. 12, 2013) 


First documented tool use by reptiles claimed
Some croc­o­diles use sticks as lures to catch birds, ac
­cord­ing to a study. (Dec. 11, 2013)

Deep-rock microbes found to be similar worldwide
Sci­en­tists are dig­ging deep in­to the Earth’s sur­face col­lect­ing cen­sus da­ta on the mi­cro­bi­al denizens of the hard­ened rocks. (Dec. 10, 2013)

Huge underwater cliff may hold clues to dinos’ fate
Clues to what killed the di­no­saurs may lie in the wall of a Grand-Can­yon-like cliff un­der the Gulf of Mex­i­co, ge­ol­o­gists say. (Dec. 9, 2013)


“Entangled” particles could build wormhole
A strange nat­u­ral phe­nom­e­non that Al­bert Ein­stein once de­scribed as “spooky ac­tion at a dis­tance” could be even spook­i­er than he thought. (Dec. 6, 2013)

Global warming could lead to more anxious fish, study reports
Ris­ing ocean ac­id­ity linked to glob­al warm­ing may be mak­ing fish more anx­ious, hun­ker­ing down in darker wa­ters. (Dec. 5, 2013)


Scientists decode oldest DNA of extinct human
Sci­en­tists were able to study DNA so old that pre­vi­ous sam­ples of si­m­i­lar age could only be re­trieved from per­ma­nently fro­zen ground. (Dec. 5, 2013)

Tidy Neanderthals? Study probes their use of living space
Ne­an­der­thals didn’t just throw their stuff eve­ry­where, but org­anized things, arch­aeo­lo­gists say. (Dec. 3, 2013)

Comet seems to survive solar approach
Con­tin­u­ing a his­to­ry of sur­pris­ing be­hav­ior, Com­et ISON van­ished from view then re­appeared. (Dec. 2, 2013)


Scientists identify brain area responsible for bird smarts
A por­tion of the bird brain with no direct coun­ter­part in hu­mans may be re­spon­si­ble for some of birds’ stra­te­gic, in­tel­li­gent be­hav­ior, ac­cord­ing to sci­en­tists. (Nov. 28, 2013)

A price on happiness? Study cites $36,000
In Eu­rope, an av­er­age in­come of about $36,000 per pe­rson is as­so­ci­at­ed with the high­est lev­els of hap­pi­ness, econ­omists re­port. (Nov. 28, 2013)


“Hippie chimp” quickly losing ground to people: study
One of hu­mans’ two clos­est liv­ing rel­a­tives is quickly los­ing living space to us, a study re­ports. (Nov. 26, 2013) 

Find said to confirm time of Buddha’s life
A sixth-cen­tu­ry B.C. wood­en shrine may be as­so­ciated with the Bud­dha’s birth, re­search­ers say. (Nov. 25, 2013)

Scientists ID brain region that helps you make up your mind
One of the small­est parts of the brain is get­ting a sec­ond look af­ter new re­search sug­gests it plays a cru­cial role in de­ci­sion mak­ing. (Nov. 24, 2013) 


Ancient wine cellar spills secrets
Would you drink wine fla­vored with mint, hon­ey and a dash of psy­cho­trop­ic resins? An­cient Canaan­ites did more than 3,000 years ago, ex­perts say. (Nov. 22, 2013) 

“Strong evidence” of jet in Milky Way center
A weak jet of high-ener­gy part­i­cles cha­ract­erizes our ga­l­axy’s black hole, like many others, a study indi­cates. (Nov. 21, 2013)


“Evolvability” may itself evolve
The abil­ity to evolve can it­self evolve, a study sug­gests. (Nov. 18, 2013)

The “evolution” of Little Red Riding Hood
Ev­o­lu­tion­ary anal­y­sis can be used to study si­m­i­lar­i­ties among folk­ta­les, ac­cord­ing to new re­search. (Nov. 15, 2013) 

Study: Your brain sees things you don’t
The brain may pro­cess and un­der­stand vis­u­al in­put that we nev­er con­sciously per­ceive. (Nov. 14, 2013) 


Musical training found to change brain anatomy,  function
Thor­ough mu­si­cal train­ing af­fects the brain more pro­found­ly than pre­vi­ously thought, ac­cord­ing to new re­search. (Nov. 13, 2013)

Just getting hungry may change your politics
Peo­ple are more sup­port­ive of a wel­fare state when they them­selves get hun­gry, a study sug­gests. (Nov. 12, 2013) 

Homing pigeons go by smell, study suggests
“Virtual pigeons” in a com
­pu­ter may have helped crack a mys­tery cen­turies old. (Nov. 11, 2013)


“Freakish” asteroid resembles spinning sprinkler
As­tro­no­mers have found a “weird and freak­ish ob­ject” re­sem­bling a spin­ning lawn sprink­ler in the as­ter­oid belt. (Nov. 8, 2013) 

Torture permanently damages normal pain perception, study finds
A study looked at sol­diers who had suf­fered se­vere beat­ings, burns, elec­tric shocks, starva­t­ion, and worse, 40 years later. (Nov. 7, 2013)

Russian meteor studied in detail
The me­te­or that burst over Chel­ya­binsk, Rus­sia Feb. 15 had col­lided with some­thing before, scient­ists say. (Nov. 6, 2013)


Galaxy growth examined like tree rings
Sci­en­tists have gained more ev­i­dence for an “inside-out” the­o­ry of gal­axy growth. (Nov. 4, 2013)

1 in 5 Sun-like stars may host habitable worlds
A sun-like star with an Earth-size plan­et in its “hab­it­a­ble zone” is pro­bably close enough to be seen by the na­ked eye, a study finds. (Nov. 5, 2013) (Nov. 5, 2013)

“Earliest galaxy” offers surprises
As­tro­no­mers say they have iden­ti­fied the most dis­tant con­firmed gal­axy, in a sur­vey not even de­signed to find one like it. (Nov. 4, 2013) 


Mystery world baffles astronomers
Earth-like in size, the plan­et Kep­ler-78b is where no plan­et should be, sci­ent­ists say. (Oct. 30, 2013) 

Honesty gets harder as day wears on, researchers find
The self-con­trol that helps us re­sist cheat­ing or ly­ing may de­ter­ior­ate as a day passes. (Oct. 30, 2013) 


Brain cells for snake-spotting found?
New research may boost a theory that says snakes forced our ape-like an­ces­tors to ev­o­lve good vi­sion.  (Oct. 28, 2013) (Oct. 28, 2013)

Better gifts, better sex for spiders
A male spi­der that pro­vides a nup­tial gift gets to mate for long­er, boost­ing his chances of fa­ther­ing off­spring, scient­ists say. (Oct. 27, 2013) (Oct. 27, 2013) (Oct. 27, 2013)


Childhood poverty, stress may affect brain in adulthood
Child­hood pov­er­ty and chron­ic stress may lead to prob­lems reg­u­lat­ing emo­tions as an adult, ac­cord­ing to new re­search. (Oct. 22, 2013)

Why hazing? Anthropologist investigates
With a long his­to­ry of wide­spread ac­cept­ance, the prac­tice of haz­ing is an en­dur­ing an­thro­po­log­i­cal puz­zle. (Oct. 24, 2013)

Human relationship to Neanderthals remains murky
Re­search con­cludes that no known crea­ture is the last com­mon an­ces­tor of mo­dern hu­mans and Nean­der­thals. (Oct. 21, 2013) 


Findings could simplify human lineage
Sev­er­al an­ces­tral forms of hu­mans were really one spe­cies, not sep­a­rate ones as pre­vi­ously thought, ac­cord­ing to new re­search. (Oct. 17, 2013) 

Marmoset monkeys chat politely, scientists say
Mar­mo­set mon­keys take turns when they vocalize, en­gaging each oth­er that way for up to 30 min­utes, a study finds. (Oct. 18, 2013)

Low-voiced men love ’em and leave ’em, yet still attract more women: study
Low-voiced men are pre­ferred for flings, but less de­sired for long-term part­ner­ships, scient­ists say. (Oct. 16, 2013)


Lightning helps shape mountains, study finds
Light­ning strikes cause rocks to ex­plode, a pro­cess that helps shape moun­tain land­scapes, scient­ists pro­pose. (Oct. 15, 2013) 

Royal-sounding last name could aid your career
Ger­mans with last names mean­ing “em­per­or,” “king,” and “prince” get man­a­ge­ri­al po­si­tions more of­ten than oth­ers, a stu­dy finds. (Oct. 14, 2013) 


Sahara pebble said to come from comet
Sci­en­tists have re­ported what they call the first di­rect ev­i­dence of a com­et having en­tered the sky and ex­plod­ed. (Oct. 11, 2013) (Oct. 11, 2013)

Elephants get pointing, with no help, study finds
Ele­phants spon­ta­ne­ously get the gist of hu­man point­ing and can use it as a cue for find­ing food, re­search­ers re­port. (Oct. 10, 2013)


“Free-floating planet” photographed for 1st time
But oth­er new find­ings are al­so blur­ring the bound­aries be­tween such plan­ets, and stars. (Oct. 9, 2013) 

Meerkat moms kill rivals’ pups—and get rewarded for it
A rather bru­tal sys­tem pre­vails among the cute, in­tel­li­gent African mam­mals known as meer­kats, re­search found. (Oct. 7, 2013)


“Pristine” gas from birth of universe detected
Gas formed mi­nutes after the “Big Bang” is feed­ing a distant ga­laxy—a pro­cess our own might have under­gone, astron­o­mers say. (Oct. 3, 2013)

157 scientific journals said to accept bogus report in “sting”
Re­search jour­nals re­port­edly ac­cept­ed for pub­lica­t­ion a de­lib­er­ately err­or-rid­dled sci­en­tif­ic paper, with lit­tle or no vet­ting. (Oct. 4, 2013) 


Could bouncing droplets help us sort out the nature of reality?
The ex­quis­ite dan­ces of ti­ny drop­lets may be re­lat­ed to the ways sub­atom­ic particles act, physi­cists say (Oct. 2, 2013) 

Not funny when it’s you: drug might cure erections that don’t stop
Pri­ap­ism is a con­di­tion caus­ing erec­tions so long-lasting that they can dam­age the pe­nis per­ma­nent­ly. (Oct. 1, 2013) 


“Cloud map” of planet beyond our system a first
Light from a dis­tant plan­et’s star is bounc­ing off its cloud tops, as­tro­nom­ers say (Oct. 1, 2013)

Could changes to your chro­mo­somes make you aggressive?
Chron­ic ag­gres­sion in some boys from poor­er fam­i­lies may stem from “epi­ge­net­ic” changes in early life, stu­dies sug­gest. (Sept. 29, 2013) 


“Maternal instincts” seen in group of colorful beetles
A group of re­lat­ed bee­tles in the thick fo­li­age of trop­i­cal forests shows signs of ma­ter­nal in­stincts and act­ive care, sci­en­tists say (Sept. 27, 2013) 

Nanotube computer could revo­lution­ize elec­tron­ics, re­searchers say
En­gi­neers have made a bas­ic com­put­er us­ing car­bon nano­tubes, a spag­hetti-like ma­terial they hope will re­place the less effi­cient si­li­con. (Sept. 25, 2013) 


Our “home” black hole’s last big blast dated to 2 million years ago
A sleeping “vol­cano” lies at the heart of our gal­axy (Sept. 22, 2013) 

Playing with blocks may boost math skills
An old play­room stand­by may help kids de­vel­op skills that sup­port learn­ing in sci­ence and re­lat­ed fields, re­search­ers say. (Sept. 24, 2013) 

Norwegian boys becoming more girly—and that’s good, study says
Young schoolboys in Nor­way are talk­ing about their feel­ings, hold­ing hands and learn­ing kind­ness, ac­cord­ing to a so­cial an­thro­pol­o­gist. (Sept. 20, 2013)


Domestic abuse seen rising in U.K. during soccer matches
The problem gets worse if the home team loses, a study has found
. (Sept. 20, 2013) 

Study: Earth to be livable 2-3 billion years more, but not for all
A move to Mars might make sense should we be around in a dis­tant fu­ture, sci­en­tists say. (Sept. 17, 2013)


Drivers of market bubbles found to lie in the mind
­ists watched the brain ac­ti­vity of stu­dent vol­un­teers as they placed trades with­in a staged fi­nan­cial mar­ket. (Sept. 19, 2013)

Life’s ingredients could form through cometary impact, study finds
While past stud­ies have sug­gested a com­et could br­ing some in­gre­di­ents of life to Earth, new re­search goes fur­ther. (Sept. 17, 2013)


Orangutans found to plan, communicate future routes
Male orangutans plan their trav­el route up to a day in ad­vance and com­mu­ni­cate it to oth­er orangutans, re­search in­di­cates. (Sept. 13, 2013)

Are anti-bullying programs making the problem worse?
Stu­dents at schools with an­ti-bul­ly­ing pro­grams may ac­tu­ally face an in­creased risk of be­ing bul­lied, a study has found. (Sept. 12, 2013) 


Darwin’s dilemma resolved? Evolution’s “big bang” explained by 5x faster rates
A burst of nov­el­ty in an­i­mal body forms and ha­bits oc­curred dur­ing the Cam­bri­an ex­plo­sion, 540 to 520 mil­lion years ago. (Sept. 11, 2013) (Sept. 11, 2013)

Technology for detecting those distant signs of life advances
Tele­scopes be­ing planned may be sen­si­tive enough to de­tect signs of life in other so­lar sys­tems, sci­en­tists say. (Sept. 10, 2013)

In parts of the world, nearly 1/4 of men admit to having raped
If men are asked about it in a way that avoids the word “rape,” dis­turb­ing find­ings can arise, a study has found. (Sept. 10, 2013) 


Earth’s biggest volcano found to lurk under Pacific
Its exist­ence was known, but not whe­ther it was one vol­cano or ma­ny. (Sept. 6, 2013) 

Chemical found to reverse Down syndrome-like symptoms in mice
A one-time injection seems to en­a­ble the cer­e­bel­lum, part of the brain, to grow to a nor­mal size, sci­en­tists say. (Sept. 4, 2013)


African fish live fast, die young
Re­search sheds add­i­tional light on some pud­dle-dwell­ers whose life cycle is so short, par­ents die before ever get­ting to meet with their spawn. (Sept. 3, 2013) 

Tendency to wage war not on the wane, analysis finds
Statistics suggest­ing a more peace­ful world are some­what mis­lead­ing, a re­search­er says.  (Sept. 2, 2013) 

Are we all Martians?
A mineral need
­ed to gener­ate life was pro­bably only pre­sent on Mars, a scient­ist pro­poses. (Aug. 29, 2013) 


Video games don’t stir violence in vulnerable teens, study finds
Vi­o­lent vi­deo games don’t lead teenagers with symp­toms of de­pres­sion or at­ten­tion def­i­cit dis­or­der to be­come ag­gres­sive or delin­quent, re­search in­di­cates. (Aug. 27, 2013)

Tendency to hate or like everything is measurable, scientists decide
Are you a hater? A new test can supposedly tell. (Aug. 26, 2013) 

More cases show skills tied to art can survive serious brain illness
Art is “bet­ter than many med­ica­t­ions” as a tool to pre­serve a mean­ing­ful life amid mem­ory loss, one doc­tor says. (Aug. 23, 2013)


Free-floating planets can be born free, study says
Lit­tle round, cold clouds in space have right char­ac­ter­is­tics to form plan­ets with no par­ent star, as­tro­no­mers are re­port­ing. (Aug. 22, 2013)

Astronomers take sharpest photos of night sky
As­tro­no­mers have de­vel­oped a type of cam­era that al­lows sharp­er im­ages. (Aug. 21, 2013) 

Bullying may have effects long into adulthood
Ill­ness, job troubles and poor so­cial rela­t­ion­ships are among the last­ing out­comes, a study finds. (Aug. 20, 2013) 


Will to win may form at about four years
An under­stand­ing of com­pe­ti­tion is linked to a more de­vel­oped grasp of oth­er peo­ple’s per­spec­tives, re­search sug­gests. (Aug. 18, 2013)

High debt may harm your health
Peo­ple who are drown­ing in debt may suf­fer high­er blood pres­sure and poorer health, re­search­ers warn. (Aug. 15, 2013)

Researchers measure consciousness through brain activity
A study seems to back up pro­pos­als that the lev­el of com­plex­ity of your brain ac­ti­vity largely de­ter­mines wheth­er you’re con­scious or not. (Aug. 14, 2013) (Aug. 14, 2013) 


Intelligent people as racist as others, study finds
Are smart peo­ple are just bet­ter at con­ceal­ing their prej­u­dice?  (Aug. 13, 2013) 

Higgs boson could explain facets of “dark energy,” physicists say
The mys­te­ri­ous “dark en­er­gy” of the uni­verse seems to be much less than cal­cu­la­tions show it should be, leav­ing phys­i­cists puz­zled. (Aug. 12, 2013) 

Upcoming meteor shower predicted to be better than usual
The an­nu­al Per­seids me­te­or show­er, to peak early next week, should be good this year, as­tro­no­mers say. (Aug. 9, 2013) (Aug. 9, 2013)


Dolphins found to remember their friends at least 20 years
Dol­phins can rec­og­nize their old friends’ whis­tles even after long se­par­a­tion, re­search in­di­cates.  (Aug. 7, 2013)

More TV linked to problems in toddlers
For kids a bit more than two years old, eve­ry ex­tra hour of daily TV time is linked to poorer vo­cab­u­lary, math and phys­i­cal skills, a study finds. (Aug. 8, 2013) 

Blast lights up invisible galaxy from “dark ages”
A bril­liant flash trav­eled across space for 12.7 bil­lion years to a plan­et that had­n’t even ex­isted back then—Earth. (Aug. 6, 2013) 


Warming seen driving fish toward poles at alarming rate
Con­tra­ry to pre­vi­ous think­ing, ma­rine spe­cies are head­ing to­ward the poles, and much faster than land crea­tures, a re­port says. (Aug. 5, 2013) 

Evolution punishes selfish jerks over time, study finds
Two bi­ol­o­gists have pub­lished ev­i­dence that ev­o­lu­tion does­n’t fa­vor the self­ish—dis­prov­ing, they claim, a the­o­ry pop­u­lar­ized last year. (Aug. 1, 2013)

Could cancer cells’ sugar addiction be their undoing?
Sci­en­tists are ex­plor­ing a way to treat breast can­cer by tar­get­ing can­cer cells’ hab­it of over-indulging in sug­ar. (July 31, 2013) 


Exercise may help stave off Alzheimer’s
Mod­er­ate ex­er­cise seems to im­prove mem­o­ry in peo­ple at risk for Alz­heim­er’s dis­ease, researchers re­port. (July 30, 2013)

Did monogamy arise to prevent infanticide?
In­fanti­cide, the kill­ing of in­fants, is wide­spread among apes and other ev­o­lu­tion­ary rel­at­ives of hu­mans. (July 29, 2013) (July 29, 2013)

“Inflation” theory of infant cosmos may need revision
A de­tailed map of the early uni­verse is re­new­ing ques­tions among phys­i­cists. (July 26, 2013) (July 26, 2013)


“False memories” planted in mice
Scient­ists are trying to under­stand how false mem­ories form in hu­mans, of­ten an issue in court test­i­mony. (July 25, 2013) 

Adolescence may be key time when pot harms the brain
Mari­juana can perm­an­ently throw off nerve cell act­ivity pat­terns if smoked reg­u­larly in youth, re­search sug­gests. (July 24, 2013) 

Evolution is predictable, study suggests
If you could hit “re­set” on ev­o­lu­tion and start over, would bas­ic­ally the same spe­cies ap­pear? Yes, ac­cord­ing to a study of liz­ards. (July 21, 2013)


Scientists: our gold came from colliding neutron stars
Earth’s gold was probably formed in an ex­plo­sive col­li­sion be­tween the dead cores of spent stars, ac­cord­ing to a new stu­dy. (July 19, 2013) 

“Intelligent knife” tells surgeon where the cancer is
Sci­en­tists have re­portedly de­vel­oped a knife that can reveal im­me­di­ately wheth­er the tis­sue being cut is can­cer­ous or not. (July 18, 2013) 


Bizarre dino with giant nose and horns turns up
A 76-mil­lion-year-old plant-eater said to be re­lated to Tri­cer­a­tops was un­earthed in south­ern Utah. (July 17, 2013) 

Someone needs to eat these things, say scientists shocked by lionfish surge
Popular, eye-catch­ing aquar­ium pets, lion­fish are also vor­a­cious pred­a­tors whose At­lant­ic toe­hold has ex­ploded to a full-fledged in­va­sion. (July 12, 2013) 


Planet outside our system assigned a color for first time
A near­by “hot Jupiter,” where it poss­ibly rains glass side­ways, hap­pens to be co­balt blue, astro­n­om­ers say. (July 12, 2013)

Neanderthals may have talked—even contributed to our language, scholars claim
Surprising pro­pos­als come on the heels of find­ings that Nean­der­thals interbred with an­cestors of mod­ern hu­mans. (July 10, 2013)


“Virtual schoolgirl” designed to trap online perverts
A simulated 14-year-old plays along while gath­er­ing in­for­ma­tion on sus­pect­ed ped­o­philes. (July 10, 2013)

Air pollution found to slash life expectancy in China
People through­out some parts of China are lo­sing five years of life on aver­age thanks to coal pol­lu­tion, an ana­lysis indi­cates. (July 8, 2013) 


Smart parrots solve five-step puzzle to unlock treat
A few feath­ery burg­lars re­vealed new depths to phys­i­cal in­tel­li­gence in birds, sci­en­tists say. (July 3, 2013)

New process could make hydrogen fuel without using costly platinum
A new find­ing might ad­vance the quest to cre­ate a “hy­dro­gen econ­o­my” fueled by a source of abun­dant, clean en­ergy. (July 3, 2013) (July 3, 2013)

Clouds may make many more planets livable than thought
A new study dou­bles the es­ti­mat­ed num­ber of po­ten­tially hab­it­a­ble plan­ets circ­ling red dwarfs, the most com­mon stars. (July 1, 2013) 


Being too generous may make you unpopular
People ostracize those who are too ge­ner­ous be­cause they’re non­con­formists, ac­cord­ing to a stu­dy. (June 27, 2013) 

Computer model said to help explain why skin ages
A dwindling po­pu­lation of stem cells in the skin ex­plains why old­er skin is slow­er to heal, re­search­ers say.  (June 27, 2013) (June 27, 2013)

Poor people get fewer painkillers from ER, study finds
Doctors are con­stantly ba­lanc­ing the concern of nar­cotics abuse against le­gi­ti­mate pain com­plaints. (June 26, 2013) 


Scans might reveal even past brain activity
Re­search hints that sci­en­tists could probe the brain and un­cov­er the his­to­ry of past ex­pe­ri­ences. (June 25, 2013) 

Study confirms contamination near some “fracking” sites
Stray gases seep in­to the drink­ing water in some areas where a con­tro­vers­ial en­ergy ex­trac­tion me­thod is used, re­search finds.  (June 24, 2013)

9/11 stress linked to resurgence in smoking
The Sept. 11, 2001 at­tacks led about a mil­lion form­er smok­ers across the Un­ited States to re­sume the ha­bit, a study sug­gests. (June 23, 2013) 


Ball-shaped robot debuts
A new ro­bot that’s basically just a roll­ing ball has been tested and seems to work fi­ne, re­search­ers say. (June 21, 2013) 

Applause spreads like “disease”
People pick up the clap­ping “in­fec­tion” by hear­ing the vol­ume of ap­plause, rath­er than see­ing their neigh­bors clap­ping, a study finds. (June 20, 2013) (June 20, 2013)


Scientists report reading emotions from brain activity
The lat­est sys­tem of “mind-read­ing” through brain scans seems to be best at re­cog­niz­ing hap­pi­ness, and worst with en­vy. (June 19, 2013)

Particle may combine nature’s building blocks in new way
A new­found par­t­i­cle may con­sist of four quarks—fun­da­ment­al units pre­vi­ously thought to group only in twos and threes. (June 18, 2013)

Research paints new picture of “dinobird” feathers
Ar­chae­op­ter­yx, a fa­mous fos­sil link­ing di­no­saurs and birds, had light-col­ored feath­ers with a dark edge and tip, an anal­y­sis in­di­cates. (June 13, 2013)


Bacteria found to arrange themselves in hidden patterns
Sci­en­tists have dis­cov­ered strange, branch­ing pat­terns in bac­te­ri­al popula­t­ions. (June 12, 2013) 

Eww! 95% don’t wash hands properly
Re­mem­ber mom’s ad­vice about wash­ing your hands thor­oughly af­ter us­ing the re­stroom? (June 10, 2013) 


Study: Hidden wildfires taking big toll on Amazon rainforest
A pre­vi­ously un­mapped type of Am­a­zon rain­for­est wild­fire is de­stroy­ing sev­er­al times more for­est than defor­esta­t­ion wipes out, sci­en­tists say. (June 8, 2013)

Bird has different dances for different songs
Male su­perb lyre­birds of­ten move their bod­ies to the mu­sic in a chore­ographed way, say re­search­ers. (June 7, 2013) 


Oldest nearly complete primate fossil reported
A fossil from Chi­na could help scient­ists under­stand the story of prim­ates, a line­age that includes peo­ple, apes and mon­keys. (June 5, 2013)

Sunscreen slows skin aging, study finds
Daily use of sun­screen slows skin ag­ing in the young and mid­dle-aged, a study has found. (June 4, 2013)


Meeting online may lead to happier marriages
If you’re still turn­ing up your nose at “on­line dat­ing,” you might want to think again, a study sug­gests. (June 3, 2013) 

Ending poverty, protecting nature go hand in hand: UN report
Wip­ing out pov­er­ty will re­quire pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment, a Un­ited Na­t­ions pan­el con­cludes. (June 1, 2013) 

Astronomers hope to find alien civilizations through heat
A new proposal in­volves watch­ing plan­ets to check for ab­nor­mal amounts of in­fra­red, or heat, ra­dia­tion. (May 31, 2013) 


Some may beat “guilt-detection” tests by suppressing memories
Tests de­signed to check brain ac­ti­vity for signs of guilty mem­o­ries are in use in sev­er­al coun­tries—but they’re not fool­proof, a study sug­gests. (May 29, 2013) 

Rats have “double view” of world
Keeping the world over­head in per­ma­nent view seems to come at the ex­pense of an abil­ity that hu­mans take for granted, scien­tists say. (May 28, 2013) 


Even farm animal diversity is waning, experts say
A new con­serva­t­ion group mod­eled on the In­ter­gov­ern­ment­al Pan­el on Cli­mate Change is try­ing to ad­dress bio­div­ers­ity loss. (May 28, 2013)

Overeating learned in infancy, study suggests
Some sim­ple par­ent­ing prac­tices may sub­stant­ially re­duce a child’s risk of obe­sity, re­search­ers say. (May 23, 2013) 


Allosaurus ate more like a falcon, T. rex more like a croc, study finds
Seem­ing­ly simi­lar dino­saurs may have had quite different feed­ing styles (May 22, 2013) 

Hurricanes are part of forecast—for Saturn moon
Ti­tan might be in for wild weath­er and some of its first known waves. (May 22, 2013) 

Mammoths may have died after impact from space
Tiny balls of car­bon hint at a dis­aster that melted rock and af­fected at least four cont­i­nents, sci­ent­ists say. (May 20, 2013)


Stacking 2-D materials leads to surprises
A near­ly perf­ectly flat “won­der mat­erial” called graph­ene lacks one key property. Phy­sic­ists hope to reme­dy that (May 17, 2013) 

Does your physical strength influence your politics?
Men’s upper-body strength pre­dicts some of their po­liti­cal views, ac­cord­ing to new re­search. (May 19, 2013)

NASA planet-hunting telescope breaks down
A NASA space­craft de­signed to hunt for Earth-like plan­ets has bro­ken, and agen­cy sci­en­tists don’t know wheth­er they will be able to fix it. (May 15, 2013) 


Cotton may offer “eco-friendly” way to clean up oil spills
A cheap form of raw cot­ton re­port­edly can sop up more than 30 times its weight in oil (May 15, 2013) 

New principle may help explain why nature is quantum
Like chil­dren, sci­en­tists are al­ways ask­ing “why?” One ques­tion they’ve yet to an­swer is why na­ture pick­ed quan­tum phys­ics. (May 14, 2013) 

Study may overturn thinking on human intellect
The hu­man edge in in­tel­li­gence is­n’t due mainly to the large size of the front part of our brain, new research indicates. (May 13, 2013) 


Moon, Earth water traced to same source: ancient meteorites
The moon’s wa­ter, like Earth’s, came from small, prim­i­tive me­te­orites in the first 100 mil­lion years or so of the so­lar sys­tem, re­search­ers say (May 10, 2013) 

Anti-cocaine vaccine getting ready for prime time
Preliminary tests are done and hu­man test­ing should beg­in with­in a year, sci­ent­ists re­port. (May 12, 2013) (May 12, 2013)

Scientists boost cellular “trash collection” to gives flies extra life
Biologists say they have iden­ti­fied a gene­tic pro­cess that could event­ually help hu­mans. (May 7, 2013) 


Blocking single gene makes cancer cells nicer, study finds
The gene is nor­mally sup­posed to be turned off long be­fore we’re born (May 3, 2013) 

Stem cells found to cure epilepsy in mice
A study is said to be the first re­port­ed in which treat­ment ended seiz­ures mice with a rodent version of adult ep­i­lep­sy. (May 6, 2013) (May 6, 2013)

DNA similarities increasingly seen in different cancers
A large study of en­do­me­trial can­cer hints at new ways to class­i­fy tum­ors that might aid treat­ment, sci­ent­ists say. (May 1, 2013) 


Stunning new view of Saturn storm shows eye about the size of India
The first close-up views of a gi­gan­tic hur­ri­cane at Sat­urn’s north pole could help us un­der­stand Earth hurri­canes too, scien­t­ists say (April 29, 2013) 

Moon blamed in death of US Civil War general
Stone­wall Jack­son has gone down in le­gend as a hero of the South, but his friendly-fire death has fueled long de­bate. (April 30, 2013) 

Empathy processes seen lacking in psychopaths’ brains
Pris­on­ers who are psy­chopaths lack the bas­ic brain pro­cesses that let them care for oth­ers, ac­cord­ing to a stu­dy. (April 25, 2013) (April 25, 2013)


To understand far-off worlds, astronomer looks closer to home
Scientists are bet­ting that com­par­ing dis­tant, plan­et-hosting stars to bet­ter-known ones near­by could help reveal their properties (April 26, 2013)

Carrying baby leads to comfort—from mice to people, study says
Mothers’ car­ry­ing of ba­bies to calm them down is a ritual that has worked through­out a long evol­u­tion­ary per­iod, re­search sug­gests. (April 23, 2013)


Bacteria may help pummel one of toughest cancers
A weak­ened, ra­di­o­ac­t­ive strain of bac­te­ria killed tu­mor cells in mice with pan­cre­at­ic can­cer, re­search­ers re­port (April 23, 2013)

Depression-like symptoms seen in flies
Animals faced with im­pos­si­ble cir­cum­stances often hun­ker down in a cond­ition called learned help­less­ness. (April 22, 2013)


“Earth-like,” possibly habitable planets identified
Re­search­ers say they have iden­ti­fied the first fairly Earth-sized plan­ets in a Sun-like star’s “hab­it­able zone.” (April 19, 2013) 

DNA of “living fossil” decoded
The Af­ri­can coe­la­canth is thought to be one of the clos­er liv­ing rel­a­tives of the first land-walk­ing, four-legged an­i­mals. (April 17, 2013) 


“Tantalizing hint” of dark matter particles
Phys­i­cists said they found with 99.8 cer­tain­ty a par­t­i­cle of a type the­o­rized to make up a mys­terious por­tion of the universe (April 16, 2013)

Inedible plant material may be convertible to food
Re­search­ers say they have man­aged to turn an in­ed­i­ble plant ma­te­ri­al called cel­lu­lose in­to starch. (April 16, 2013)


Study tracks “rain” from Saturn’s rings
Water drops from Sa­turn’s rings more exten­sively than pre­viously thought, a study finds (April 11, 2013)

NASA plan to grab asteroid could spur other technologies, too
An ambit­ious new pro­posal could also drive deve­lop­ment of techn­ol­ogies to save Earth from as­ter­oids and to ex­plore deep­er space. (April 12, 2013)

Laziness genes possibly found
Sci­en­tists have added a new twist to the ar­gu­ment over wheth­er obes­ity stems from la­zi­ness or an un­for­tu­nate mix of genes. (April 10, 2013)


More evidence of swimming dinos reported
Dinosaurs includ­ing an an­ces­tral form of T. rex may have been able to pad­dle long dis­tances, re­search sug­gests (April 9, 2013).

New heart disease-red meat link also involves popular supplement
A com­pound plenti­ful in red meat and added as a sup­ple­ment to pop­u­lar en­er­gy drinks has been found to pro­mote ath­er­o­scle­rosis. (April 7, 2013)


3-D view inside proton may be coming into focus
Phys­i­cists are measuring how the most basic known par­t­i­cles—quarks—are ar­ranged to make up pieces of the atom­ic nu­cle­us (April 4, 2013).

Dream-reading machine in the works?
Sci­en­tists have ap­plied com­put­er pro­cess­ing to brain scans to see what im­ages pop up in sleep­ing peo­ple’s heads. (April 4, 2013)


Simulations may reveal how galaxies become spiral
How ga­lax­ies like ours get and main­tain their char­ac­ter­is­tic arms has proved to be an en­dur­ing puz­zle (April 2, 2013).

Buddhists are right: meditation makes you kinder, scientists say
Medi­tat­ors in a con­trolled study were found more apt to become that nice stran­ger who steps for­ward to help when no one else will. (April 2, 2013)


Scientists use robots to replicate ant colony behavior
New experi­ments show that ants don’t need great smarts to navi­gate effi­cient­ly, re­search­ers say (April 1, 2013).

A new way to lose weight?
Mice were found to quick­ly shed weight when im­planted with gut mi­crobes from oth­er mice that had un­der­gone gas­tric by­pass. (March 28, 2013)


How one microscopic creature juggles seven sexes
Biolo­gists say they have fi­gured out how nature de­ter­mines which of se­ven sexes a new­born Tetra­hy­me­na is as­signed (March 27, 2013).

“Near-death experience” memories found to share qualities with true ones
The mys­ti­cal, mean­ing­ful ex­per­iences some­times de­scribed by sur­vi­vors of close brush­es with death have long fas­cin­ated sci­ent­ists. (March 28, 2013)

Who pays for sex, anyway? New findings offer surprises
Most men don’t visit pros­ti­tutes, yet those who do seem to be pret­ty typ­i­cal guys, a U.S. study sug­gests. (March 26, 2013)


Dodos weren’t alone: Huge bird die-off blamed on ancient man
The last re­gion on col­o­nized by peo­ple har­bored more than 1,000 spe­cies of birds that then died out, a study says (March 25, 2013).

In earliest image of cosmos, “strange” features
The most ac­cu­rate map ev­er made of the old­est light in the uni­verse re­veals some sur­prises, as­tro­no­mers re­port. (March 21, 2013)


First man-made object may have left solar system—or not
The Voy­ag­er 1 space­craft may have es­caped the Sun’s zone of in­flu­ence, a stu­dy says, but not all agree (March 20, 2013).

Newborn stars make a splash with astronomers
The find­ings br­ing sci­en­tists “closer to wit­ness­ing the mo­ment when a star be­gins to form,” one says. (March 19, 2013)


“Black Death” could return in force, study warns
An­ti­bi­ot­ic-re­sist­ant strains of a bac-ter-ium that de­ci­mated me­die­val peo­ples are being called a se­rious con­cern (March 16, 2013).

Scientists said to clone embryos of extinct frog
Although “Ju­rassic Park” may be im­possible, sci­enti­sts hope to re­vive some ex­tinct spe­cies through clon­ing tech­no­logy. (March 18, 2013)

Mars rover finds conditions once suited for life
An anal­y­sis of a sam­ple col­lect­ed by NASA’s Cu­ri­os­ity rov­er sug­gests an­cient Mars could have sup­ported liv­ing mi­crobes. (March 13, 2013)


Hidden stellar companions revealed almost next door
A pair of newly dis­cov­ered stars is the third-clos­est star sys­tem to us, and might har­bor plan­ets, ac­cord­ing to a re­port (March 11, 2013).

Using magic tricks to study the brain
An en­gi­neer is us­ing his ex­pert­ise with mag­ic to re­search the brain’s pow­ers of per­cep­tion and mem­o­ry. (March 12, 2013)


Scientists report breaking barrier to efficient cloning
Se­quent­ial clon­ing—mak­ing copies of cop­ies, and so forth—may be no long­er be the prob­lem it has been (March 8, 2013).

Bright comet to visit Northern sky
Sky­watch­ers in the north­ern hem­i­sphere should en­joy a rare treat in the weeks ahead. (March 7, 2013)


Study proposes violent past for Milky Way
Stars flung out of the ga­lac­tic center thanks to a long-ago black hole col­lis­ion should still be identi­fiable, new re­search claims (March 6, 2013).

Baby reported cured of HIV
Scientists want to find out if a treat
­ment that worked on one infant can also help oth­er “high-risk” new­borns. (March 4, 2013)


Study links rat brains together electronically
Scientists envision an “or­ganic com­put­er” that could al­low shar­ing of in­forma­t­ion among groups of an­i­mals. (March 1, 2013) 

Five mental illnesses linked to same areas of genome
Several wide
­spread psych­iat­ric dis­orders share com­mon gen­etic risk fact­ors, accordi­ng to a large study. (March 1, 2013)


Giant black hole found to spin like mad
A black hole at the cen­ter of one spir­al gal­axy is mea­sured to be spin­ning at near light speed at its sur­face. (Feb. 28, 2013) 

Honesty may not be best policy when it comes to that talk about drugs
Be­ing open with your kids about your past drug use may help you sleep bet­ter at night—but it should­n’t, a new study sug­gests. (Feb. 27, 2013)

Humans may be “upside-down” with respect to jelly ancestors
The ev­o­lu­tion­ary or­i­gin of the head is trace­a­ble to a struc­ture usu­ally con­sid­ered the “foot” of jel­ly­fish-like crea­tures, sci­en­tists say. (Feb. 22, 2013)


Tiny planet found
A plan­et es­ti­mat­ed as be­ing about the size of Earth’s moon was iden­ti­fied us­ing NA­SA’s Kep­ler space­craft (Feb. 20, 2013).

Extra spatial abilities in males may be hormonal “side effect”
There is no deep evolu­tion­ary sig­ni­fi­cance to the male edge in spa­tial na­vi­ga­tion skills, a study pro­poses. (Feb. 19, 2013)


Mood-changing drugs enter waterways, affect fish, study finds
Medicines, even when prop­erly used, can af­fect eco­sys­tems, scient­ists warn (Feb. 14, 2013).

Can too much TV lead to criminality?
Youths who watch a lot of TV are more likely to ex­hib­it an­ti­so­cial and crim­i­nal be­hav­ior as adults, new re­search indi­cates. (Feb 18, 2013)

Russia meteor unrelated to asteroid flyby, NASA says
A me­te­or over Chel­ya­binsk, Rus­sia, that caused hun­dreds of in­ju­ries is said to be un­re­lated to aster­oid 2012 DA14. (Feb. 15, 2013)


Mom’s obesity may affect unborn child’s brain
Obese wom­en’s fe­tuses were found to ex­hib­it gene ac­ti­vity sug­ges­tive of ab­nor­mal brain de­vel­op­ment (Feb. 11, 2013).

Face structure may predict expressions of prejudice
Men with rela­tively wide faces are more prone to ex­press ra­cist be­liefs, but are not actually more ra­cist, research suggests. (Feb. 13, 2013)

Cupid’s arrow: research aims to illuminate laws of attraction
New research rejects the notion that wom­en trade beau­ty for men’s sta­tus, and of­fers other find­ings. (Feb. 8, 2013)


Are super-Earths really mini-Neptunes?
Many re­cently dis­cov­ered plan­ets orig­i­nally judged to be some­what like gi­ant Earths are really very diff­er­ent, a study sug­gests. (Feb. 6, 2013)

Small insect-eater gave rise to today’s mammal diversity, study finds
New re­search traces the fa­mily tree of pla­cental mam­mals, which are those bear­ing live young. (Feb. 7, 2013)

Bones of King Richard III “confirmed” found
A ske­l­e­ton un­earthed last year is def­i­nitely that of Eng­land’s much-ma­ligned 15th-century mon­arch, sci­entists say. (Feb. 4, 2013)


“Mr. Mom” is not so much Mr. Bedroom, study suggests
Mar­ried men who spend more time do­ing tra­di­tion­ally fe­male house­hold tasks re­port hav­ing less sex than oth­er hus­bands, sur­veys ind­i­cate. (Jan. 30, 2013)

Plants help their own, too, study finds
Not un­like dol­phins, people and many other ani­mals, some plants may help their own kin. (Feb. 1, 2013)

Domestic cats seen as major killers of wildlife
Bil­lions of wild birds and mam­mals fall prey year­ly to free-rang­ing dom­es­tic cats, far more than previous esti­mates, scien­tists report. (Jan. 29, 2013)


New figures suggest global warming not so hopeless
Glob­al warm­ing may be milder than pre­vail­ing es­ti­mates pre­dict, but sci­ent­ists warn against comp­lac­ency. (Jan. 27, 2013)

Birdsong changes much like language, study finds
Changes in bird “cul­ture” ex­plain why male Sa­van­nah spar­rows have al­tered their mat­ing song over three dec­ades, sci­en­tists say. (Jan. 29, 2013)

In kids’ world, bullying makes you cool, troubling findings suggest
An­ti-bul­ly­ing pro­grams may have to be soph­is­t­icated and sub­tle to suc­ceed, re­search­ers say. (Jan. 25, 2013)


“Green-eyed monster” may stalk Facebook—and users’ lives
En­vy is a fre­quent and un­pleas­ant com­pan­ion to many Face­book users, es­pe­cially more pas­sive ones, a new study sug­gests. (Jan. 21, 2013)

Men may commit more research fraud
Men put out fraudu­lent re­search find­ings out of pro­por­tion to their re­pre­sent­ation in the scie­nces, new fig­ures in­di­cate.   (Jan. 22, 2013)

Power linked to tendency to punish harshly
They say abso­lute power cor­rupts ab­so­lute­ly. But can it also make you mean­er? (Jan. 18, 2013)


Fame as peace-lovers off-base for ancient Minoans, scholar says
One of the first Eu­ro­pe­an civ­il­iz­a­tions has been mis­un­der­stood, ac­cord­ing to new re­search. (Jan. 15, 2013)

Linkage between pot, low IQ “premature,” study says
Socioeconom­ic fac­tors may have skewed pre­vious find­ings about mari­juana, new re­search sug­gests. (Jan. 16, 2013)

Astronomers find structure so huge it disrupts cosmic uniformity
New find­ings chall­enge a long­stand­ing as­sump­tion among sci­entists. (Jan. 11, 2013)


When can a moon harbor life? Scientists get down to nitty-gritty
The fac­tors that might make a moon habi­table, or not, turn out to be more com­plex than you might ex­pect. (Jan. 10, 2013)

Toe tracks said to come from many little, swimming dinos
Mod­ern methods of ana­lyz­ing an­cient track marks in 3D are yield­ing some­times sur­prising re­sults, ac­cord­ing to sci­ent­ists. (Jan. 9, 2013)


Ancient bird’s teeth really stood out
A newly dis­cov­ered bird of the di­no­saur age had some of the most elab­o­rate teeth of any bird, sci­en­tists say. (Jan. 7, 2013)

“Basic” personality traits may not be universal
Psychologists often speak of the “Big Five” per­son­ality traits, but this does­n't fit every cul­ture, re­search indi­cates. (March 30, 2013)

Drug found to reverse “Alzheimer’s” memory loss in mice
Scient­ists are hop­ing a small mole­cule that seems to work won­ders in sick rodents will do the same in peo­ple. (Jan. 2, 2013)





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  • 3-D stu­dy of com­ets re­veals “chem­ical fac­tory” with­in

  • Of­fice win­dows may bo­ost health


  • Was black­mail essen­tial for marr­iage to evolve?

  • Plu­to has even cold­er “twin” of sim­ilar size, studies find

  • Could simple an­ger have taught people to coop­erate?

  • Diff­erent cul­tures’ mu­sic matches their spe­ech styles, study finds


  • F­rog said to de­scribe its home through song

  • Even r­ats will lend a help­ing paw: study

  • D­rug may undo aging-assoc­iated brain changes in ani­mals