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


PAST NEWS - 2014

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. (Dec. 30, 2014)


Study finds police body-cameras can prevent violence
Research­ers are work­ing to re­peat the stu­dy with 30 po­lice forc­es across the globe. (Dec. 26, 2014)

Light human skeleton may have come after agriculture
The rel­a­tively light skele­tons of mod­ern hu­mans arose late in our ev­o­lu­tion­ary his­to­ry, re­search­ers re­port. (Dec. 23, 2014)


Crows found able to reason by “analogy”
Crows in a study were said to re­cog­nize how dif­fer­ent pairs of ob­jects have si­m­i­lar rela­t­ion­ships. (Dec. 19, 2014)

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. (Dec. 20, 2014)

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. (Dec. 17, 2014)


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. (Dec. 17, 2014)

Herd mentality: Are we programmed to make bad decisions?
A de­sire to be part of the “in crowd” is a result of our evo­lu­tion but can de­grade our de­ci­sion­mak­ing abil­ity, a study has found. (Dec. 16, 2014)


Probe of comet’s water yields surprises
New da­ta from the Ro­set­ta space­craft sug­gest most of Earth’s wa­ter came from as­ter­oids, not com­ets. (Dec. 14, 2014)

Birds diversified in “big bang” after dinosaurs died out
A ma­jor new study looks at how and when birds evolved and gained fea­tures such as feath­ers, flight and song. (Dec. 12, 2014)


Hummingbird’s hover surprisingly easy to “hack”
Hum­ming­birds’ re­mark­a­ble abil­ity to hov­er in place de­pends on a mo­tion­less field of view, a study finds. (Dec. 10, 2014)

Punishing kids for lying doesn’t work, study suggests
In an experiment, pos­i­tive en­cour­age­ments led many fewer children to lie than the threat of being “in trou­ble.” (Dec. 9, 2014)


Two giant stars seen starting to merge
The­o­ret­i­cal mod­els pre­dict that the big­gest stars form through mergers. (Dec. 7, 2014)

Human reasoning attributed to special brain network
New find­ings focus on brain ar­eas known the front­al and pa­ri­e­tal lobes. (Dec. 3, 2014)


Men’s “Y chromosome” may be a vulnerability
A DNA struc­ture that only males have may be the un­doing of some, es­pe­cially smo­kers, re­search sug­gests. (Dec. 4, 2014)


Mars rock called possible evidence of biological activity
Did Mars ev­er have life? Might it still? A me­te­or­ite iden­ti­fied as com­ing from Mars has re­ig­nit­ed the old de­bate. (Dec. 3, 2014)

Parasites found to use “Trojan horses” to quell resistance
Patho­gens dump un­friendly genetic mater­ial sealed in friend­ly-look­ing pack­ages, a stu­dy says. (Nov. 26, 2014)


“Invisible” infrared light made human-visible
Any sci­ence text­book will tell you we can’t see in­fra­red light, but that can change un­der some cond­i­tions. (Dec. 1, 2014)

Vultures evolved extreme gut to handle disgusting food, scientists say
Vul­tures live on rot­ting, often poop-con­tam­i­nated meat that would poi­son or kill most oth­er an­i­mals. (Nov. 25, 2014)


Voice may reveal who has clout
Be­ing in a po­si­tion of pow­er can change the sound of your voice, a study finds. (Nov. 24, 2014)

Ancient landslide could be record breaker
A giant land­slide some 21 mil­lion years ago is said to have cov­ered an ar­ea great­er than Rho­de Is­land with­in min­utes. (Nov. 21, 2014)


Comet lander said to find dusty ice, organics
Preliminary data came from a lan­der that spent two days on a com­et be­fore los­ing pow­er. (Nov. 18, 2014)

Spooky alignments of galaxies detected
Simi­lar­i­ties in the ways that ga­la­xies spin can extend over vast reaches of space, a study sug­gests. (Nov. 20, 2014)

Social status may persist across eight centuries or more
At least in Eng­land, so­cial sta­tus has tended to per­sist for some 28 genera­t­ions, a study finds. (Nov. 17, 2014)


Comet lander loses power but completes “primary” job
Mission sci­entists hope the probe may re­awaken later with more light. (Nov. 15, 2014)

Lander in awkward spot on comet, but sends pictures
The Phi­lae land­er is not quite where it was meant to be, but it’s work­ing, sci­ent­ists report. (Nov. 13, 2014)


Lander touches down on comet
The first-in-his­tory feat is ex­pected to lead to many more im­ages and data. (Nov. 12, 2014)

Storms flare up on Uranus
The planet’s nor­mally placid blue-green face is seeing changes vis­i­ble even in am­a­teur as­tro­no­mers’ tele­scopes. (Nov. 12, 2014)

Newfound particle might not be famous Higgs, team claims
What was ident­ified as a Higgs bo­son might in­stead be some­thing re­lated to the myster­ious “dark mat­ter,” some argue. (Nov. 10, 2014)


Seal-like beast gave rise to dinosaur-era sea monsters, study says
A fossil is said to rep­re­sent an an­ces­tral form of gi­ant sea rep­tiles called icthyosaurs. (Nov. 5, 2014)

People deny a problem when they dislike the solution, study finds
Phe­no­mena such as glo­bal warm­ing de­nial­ism might not stem direct­ly from the na­ture of the prob­lem itself. (Nov. 7, 2014)

Astronomers identify mystery object at center of galaxy
As­tro­no­mers say they have solved a puzzle about a thin, bi­zarre ob­ject near our gal­axy’s mon­ster black hole. (Nov. 4, 2014)


Strange, fanged deer re-appears in Afghanistan
An endangered deer with vampire-like fangs lives on in north­east Af­ghan­i­stan, sci­en­tists re­port. (Oct. 31, 2014)

Childhood beliefs about soul may stick with us despite what we say
What we be­lieved as chil­dren about the soul and af­ter­life shapes our adult views more than we may admit, re­search sug­gests. (Nov. 3, 2014)

Why did dinos have feathers long before flight?
Display and commun­ica­tion may have spurred the initial evo­lution of feath­ers, a fea­ture later passed down to birds. (Oct. 30, 2014)


Comeback seen for endangered giant tortoise
A popula­t­ion of tor­toises was down to just 15 a half-cen­tu­ry ago on the Galapa­gos is­land of Es­pañola. (Oct. 28, 2014)

Study: isolating only “likely non-survivors” can stop Ebola
Promptly iso­lat­ing just the sick­est pa­tients would elim­i­nate the ep­i­dem­ic in Li­be­ria, re­search sug­gests. (Oct. 27, 2014)


Lizards seen evolving in just 15 years
Sci­en­tists have doc­u­mented rapid ev­o­lu­tion of a na­tive Flor­i­da liz­ard spe­cies as a re­sult of pres­sure from an in­vad­ing liz­ard. (Oct. 23, 2014)

Dinosaur stabbing said to reveal stegosaurs’ deadly skill
A huge hole in a predator’s skeleton may show that a seem­ingly lumber­ing plant-eater could use its tail spikes with lethal effect.  (Oct. 21, 2014)


Feeling of seeing world in detail is illusory, scientists say
The brain uses mem­o­ry to fill in a lot of blanks, a study pro­poses. (Oct. 20, 2014)

Hint of dark matter found?
Sci­en­tists have measured a sig­nal that they say might come from the mys­te­ri­ous sub­stance de­tected so far only through its gra­vity. (Oct. 17, 2014)


Family tree traces evolution of mysterious birds
Cotingas are some of the bright­est, loud­est, oddest-look­ing, least-under­stood birds. (Oct. 14, 2014)

Birds beat turbulence by folding wings, study finds
Re­search­ers ex­am­ined how soar­ing birds manage to fly in tur­bu­lence that would keep a light air­craft ground­ed. (Oct. 16, 2014)

“Dark matter” may be half what was thought—at least locally
Astronomers made a new meas­ure­ment of “dark mat­ter” in our gal­axy, in­visible stuff de­tected only through its gra­vit­a­tion­al pull. (Oct. 9, 2014)


Sharing our “epic” moments may cost us
Talking about ordin­ary stuff might help you feel more in­cluded in a con­ver­sa­tion than re­count­ing the ex­cep­tional, psych­ol­o­gists have found. (Oct. 6, 2014)

Hungry black hole found to eat faster than thought possible
It’s swal­low­ing star ma­terial in an amount esti­mated as the equiv­a­lent of 100 bil­lion bil­lion hot dogs a min­ute. (Oct. 8, 2014)

Feeling down? Head to Facebook, find someone worse off
People in a bad mood were found more likely to search sites to find friends who are do­ing even worse than they are. (Oct. 3, 2014)


Mystery fossils seem to represent tiny balls of cells
No one knows quite where they sit on the evo­lu­tion­ary tree of life. (Sept. 25, 2014)

“Cousin” planets reported found
As­tro­no­mers say they have found two plan­ets, each or­bit­ing one star—while the stars or­bit each oth­er. (www.world-science.net/othernews/141001_CousinPlanets.htm)

Out in space, the most complex organic molecule yet
The find­ing sug­gests an eas­ier path to the form­ation of life on ma­ny planets, the re­search­ers ar­gue. (Sept. 28, 2014)


Anomaly in spacecraft flybys puzzles scientists
The laws of gra­vity don’t seem to be work­ing ex­actly as they should around Earth. (www.world-science.net/othernews/140922_anomaly.htm)

An image, or its inter­pre­ta­tion? New­found brain cells show sur­pris­ing role
Scientists combined im­ages of celeb­rities to make view­ers’ brains do a little extra work. Aris­totle would have ap­pre­ciated the results, they say. (www.world-science.net/othernews/140927_brain.htm)

Earth’s water is older than the Sun, scientists claim
The find­ings may indi­cate that wa­ter is com­mon in plane­tary sys­tems. (Sept. 25, 2014)


Scientists report first “semiaquatic” dino
A huge di­no­saur dis­cov­ered over a cen­tu­ry ago turns out to have been adapted for liv­ing and hunt­ing in a wa­ter en­vi­ron­ment, sci­en­tists say. (Sept. 11, 2014)

Study: population won’t stabilize this century
New pro­ject­ions con­tra­dict past pre­dic­tions of a peak near 2050. (Sept. 19, 2014)

Not our fault chimps kill each other, study concludes
Chimps’ evo­lu­tion­ary close­ness to hu­mans has fueled interest in why these apes be­come viol­ent, and what that might say about us. (Sept. 19, 2014)


Parrot found to “teach” tool use to others
Goffin’s cock­a­toos can not only make and use tools but al­so teach oth­ers to do it, a study con­cludes. (Sept. 10, 2014)

Study suggests delaying aging may be easier than thought
Research on people and fruit flies has re­newed att­en­tion on a pro­cess of cell­ular “garb­age dis­posal.” (Sept. 9, 2014)

Deadly sophistication seen in trout-eel hunting partnership
The coral trout’s col­la­bo­ra­tive skills ri­val those of the much bigger-brained chimp, sci­ent­ists say. (Sept. 8, 2014)


New dino described as largest weighable specimen ever
Sci­en­tists say they have dis­cov­ered a fos­sil of the larg­est land an­i­mal whose weight can be ac­cu­rately cal­cu­lat­ed. (Sept. 4, 2014)

Cutting carbs may beat cutting fat
A study sug­gests peo­ple could re­duce their weight and heart dis­ease risk with­out a low-fat diet. (Sept. 2, 2014)


How the brain chooses between truth and lies
Most of us want to be hon­est, but at some point, we’ll lie if the ben­e­fit is great enough. (Sept. 3, 2014)

Training might teach the brain to prefer healthy food
It may be pos­si­ble to train the brain to pre­fer healthy low-calorie foods over un­healthy higher-calorie foods, re­search sug­gests. (Sept. 1, 2014)

Movie recreates in detail past visit to far-off moon
Sci­en­tists work­ing with NASA re­stored 1989 foot­age from the Voy­ager 2 space­craft to make a map and film of Nep­tune's moon Tri­ton. (Aug. 26, 2014)

Tiny “cannon” shoots single light particles
The in­ven­tion is part of an at­tempt to de­vel­op su­per-fast com­put­ers us­ing pho­tons. (td id="xpnetdiagInfo" alig)

Sheepdogs found to use simple rules to herd sheep
Sci­en­tists used GPS tech­nol­o­gy to un­der­stand how sheep­dogs do their jobs so well. (Aug. 27, 2014)

Past global warmings were good times for sea crocs
Past spells of nat­u­rally caused warm­ing were gold­en op­por­tun­i­ties for sea croc­o­diles to spread, ac­cord­ing to a stu­dy. (Aug. 19, 2014)

Parasitic ant may have evolved from its own host, at home
If con­firmed, the bi­zarre phe­nom­e­non would chal­lenge tra­di­tion­al ver­sions of ev­o­lu­tion­ary the­o­ry. (Aug. 22, 2014)

Kids with autism found to have extra connections in brain
Researchers ex­am­ined brains of young peo­ple with au­tism who had died from oth­er causes. (Aug. 22, 2014)

Turtles found to communicate, care for young
Gi­ant South Amer­i­can riv­er tur­tles use va­rious calls to co­or­di­nate their activ­ities, a study re­ports. (Aug. 15, 2014)

Dust gathered by spacecraft found to come from outside solar system
Grains col­lected by NA­SA’s Star­dust craft could be much like the ma­terial that formed our sun and plan­ets. (Aug. 18, 2014)

“Terminator” fish worries scientists
A fish that’s in­vad­ing the At­lantic hunts more like the re­lent­less ro­bot of mov­ie fame than an or­di­nary pred­a­tor, sci­en­tists say. (Aug. 14, 2014)

3-D study of comets reveals “chemical factory” within
Research iden­ti­fied some chem­i­cals that may have been im­por­tant to the or­i­gin of life. (Aug. 12, 2014)

Office windows may boost health
Of­fice day­light may lead to im­proved sleep and other bene­fits, ac­cord­ing to a study. (Aug. 11, 2014)

Spacecraft reaches comet for first up-close study
A European spacecraft came with­in 100 km (60 miles) on Aug. 6. (Aug. 6, 2014)

Playing up “manly” side may help women enter male-dominated fields
Though it’s not job seek­ers’ re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­sure their own fair treat­ment, re­search­ers in a stu­dy hoped to improve real “out­comes.” (Aug. 7, 2014)

Jupiter moon spouts “curtains of fire” in crazed series of eruptions
Io, about the size of our own moon, went nuts dur­ing two weeks last Aug­ust, astro­no­mers say. (Aug. 5, 2014)

Scientists report successfully Implanting brain cells in mice
A finding is said to raise hope for ther­a­pies to re­place cells in pa­tients with dis­eases such as Parkin­son’s. (Aug. 4, 2014)

Giant asteroids battered early Earth, NASA scientists say
New re­search in­di­cates huge im­pacts repeatedly melted, mixed and bur­ied Earth’s sur­face. (Aug. 1, 2014)

Particles can be physically separated from own properties, study suggests
Physicists explore yet an­other strange conse­quence of the laws of quan­tum me­chan­ics. (July 31, 2014)

Shrinking dinosaurs evolved into flying birds, scientists say
Mas­sive, meat-eating di­no­saurs evolved in­to ag­ile fly­ing birds by shrink­ing and shrink­ing, a study re­ports. (July 31, 2014)

Four billion-year-old chemistry in cells today?
Some of the chem­i­cal pro­cesses that first gave rise to life may be still at work in liv­ing cells. (July 24, 2014)

Study: fist-bumping more hygienic than shaking hands
Health care pro­vid­ers might want to switch to the “fist-bump” gest­ure, re­search­ers say. (July 28, 2014)

Some women really do prefer mean guys, research suggests
What your guy pals told you may be true, ac­cord­ing to new re­search. (July 26, 2014)

Don’t tell kids how healthy any food is, study suggests
Ac­cord­ing to a new study, when chil­dren hear about the ben­e­fits of healthy food, they’re less likely to eat it. (July 23, 2014)

Study: We could detect aliens by their pollution
Research suggests we could spot the fin­ger­prints of cer­tain com­mon pol­lu­tants. (July 23, 2014)

Mysterious dance of dwarfs may force cosmic rethink
A find­ing that many small ga­lax­ies don’t “swarm” around larg­er ones like bees but rath­er circle them is cre­at­ing a new co­nun­drum. (July 21, 2014)

Fossil suggests flight was common among bird-like dinosaurs
The ani­mal had an extre­mely long, feath­ered tail that bi­ol­o­gists think was cru­cial for safe land­ings. (July 17, 2014)

Newfound gene could play role in aging from birth
A de­vel­op­mental gene called Sp­ns1 was found to af­fect aging in ex­peri­ments with animals.  (July 17, 2014)

Prehistoric “bookkeeping” continued long after invention of writing
Ar­chae­o­lo­gists in Tur­key have found clay to­kens that served as rec­ords of trade un­til the ad­vent of writ­ing, or so it was thought. (July 14, 2014)

Consciousness research not dead, scientists insist
Why does a re­lent­less stream of ex­pe­ri­ences nor­mally fill your mind? (July 11, 2014)

Mysterious bursts of radio waves identified far outside galaxy
The mys­tery is rem­i­nis­cent of that of gamma-ray bursts, which are now thought to come from stars col­laps­ing to form black holes. (July 10, 2014)

Fossils of tiny, unknown hedgehog found
Scient­ists are in­vest­ig­ating a “lost world” in Can­ada. (July 8, 2014)

Astronomers detect most distant Milky Way stars known
They’re being called ghosts of galaxies past. (July 9, 2014)

Specific brain area may aid stock market success
Re­liance on a brain area called the an­te­ri­or in­su­lar cor­tex may have helped players avoid crashes in a stock market game. (July 7, 2014)

Chimp culture reaches new heights with “grass-in-the-ear” trend
Chim­panzees are cop­y­cats and, in the pro­cess, they form new tra­di­tions that are of­ten spe­cif­ic to just one group. (July 3, 2014)

Study: most people dislike being alone with their thoughts
Many would even rath­er give them­selves elec­tric shocks than just sit qui­et­ly, ac­cord­ing to new re­search. (July 4, 2014)

Poor physical, financial health tied to same factors
De­ci­sion to con­trib­ute to a re­tire­ment plan pre­dicts res­ponses to re­sults of a phys­i­cal exam, a stu­dy found. (July 2, 2014)

Caribbean coral reefs disappearing, study says
Glob­al warm­ing alone is­n’t to blame, ac­cord­ing to a new report. (July 2, 2014)

Three black holes found spiraling into each other
As­tro­no­mers are hop­ing si­m­i­lar sys­tems could give off de­tect­a­ble “rip­ples” in space and time. (June 26, 2014)

Three black holes found spiraling into each other
As­tro­no­mers are hop­ing si­m­i­lar sys­tems could give off de­tect­a­ble “rip­ples” in space and time. (June 26, 2014)

Bizarre parasite from Jurassic found
Re­search­ers have dis­cov­ered a fos­sil fly lar­va with a spec­tac­u­lar suck­ing ap­pa­rat­us. (June 25, 2014)

Back away, please: humans fear approaching objects
“Ap­proach avoid­ance” is a gen­er­al, and not en­tire­ly ra­tion­al, ten­den­cy, a study suggests. (June 24, 2014)

NASA sizing up “weird” asteroid candidates for capture
Aster­oids being looked at for a pro­posed NASA mis­sion may have rub­ble-pile like com­pos­itions.  (June 19, 2014)

New method could detect alien life, scientists claim
Scientists say they have de­vel­oped a new mod­el to de­tect methane on plan­ets out­side of our so­lar sys­tem. (June 17, 2014)

New dino species has “winged crest”
Sci­en­tists have named a new spe­cies of horned di­no­saur based on fos­sils col­lect­ed from Mon­tana and Al­ber­ta.  (June 17, 2014)

Anxious children found to have bigger “fear centers” in the brain
Development of the amyg­dala may affect anxiety traits, ac­cord­ing to a stu­dy. (June 16, 2014)

First intact pterosaur eggs found with their parents
The huge fly­ing rep­tiles lived to­geth­er in col­o­nies, ac­cord­ing to re­search­ers. (June 10, 2014)

How group membership can change our moral priorities
When peo­ple get to­geth­er in groups, un­usu­al things can hap­pen. (June 12, 2014)

Does “free will” stem from brain noise?
Our abil­ity to make choic­es—and mis­takes—might arise from ran­dom fluctua­t­ions, a study claims. (June 9, 2014)

Climate engineering can’t stop global warming, scientists warn
Tin­ker­ing with the cli­mate directly won’t help us avoid what’s needed, says a re­port. (June 4, 2014)

Spiders understand “music” of their own web
A spi­der web, plucked like a gui­tar string, pro­vides its in­hab­i­tants with in­forma­t­ion, sci­en­tists have found. (June 5, 2014)

Lasers help recreate supernova explosions in lab
Re­search­ers are using la­sers to rec­re­ate at a small scale what hap­pens when stars explode. (June 2, 2014)

Race against time to save vanishing Da Vinci “self-portrait”
Re­sults could help save oth­er old draw­ings and doc­u­ments, scient­ists say. (May 29, 2014)

Printable robots in development
En­gi­neers are work­ing on ro­bots that can be as­sem­bled from parts made by 3-D print­ers—some could be baked, too. (May 31, 2014)

Toxins in environment might make you older than your years
Why are some 75-year-olds down­right spry while oth­ers can barely get around? (May 28, 2014)

Personal judgments swayed by group opinion for 3 days: study
We all want to feel like free thinkers, but there’s noth­ing like so­cial pres­sure. (May 26, 2014)

Fruit flies found to “think” before acting
The insects take long­er to make hard de­ci­sions, a study noted. (May 22, 2014)

Breaking the rules may be “cool”—or not
A new study looks at which kinds of rule-break­ing can win “cool” points, and which fall flat. (May 21, 2014)

The more men with beards, the less they attract: study
Beards are of­ten said to confer a mas­cu­line or dom­i­nant look, but their role in male at­trac­tiveness is­n’t clear-cut. (May 20, 2014)

Favoritism, not hostility, seen behind much discrimination
Most dis­crimina­t­ion in the U.S. stems from plain fa­vor­it­ism aimed at help­ing peo­ple si­m­i­lar to us, a new re­port claims. (May 19, 2014)

Measurements show Jupiter’s “Red Spot” shrinking fast
The swirl­ing storm, larg­er than Earth, would be gone by about 2030 if shrink­age cont­in­ues as re­cent­ly meas­ured. (May 16, 2014)

Are jellyfish really taking over? Global database to shed light
Wor­ries lurk over wheth­er env­iron­ment­al des­truct­ion is creat­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for “nui­sance” species. (May 15, 2014)

Revenge not satisfying without attitude change, study finds
Re­venge may be a dish best served with a side of change. (May 14, 2014)

Species numbers found stable—but maybe thanks to invaders
Findings raise the pros­pect of a situa­t­ion re­sem­bling a so-called “planet of weeds.” (May 13, 2014)

First realistic universe simulation said to be created
A gi­ant com­pu­ter program mim­ics 13 bil­lion years of cos­mic evo­lu­tion. (May 9, 2014)

Scientists identify Sun’s “long-lost brother,” hope life might turn up
As­tro­no­mers say they’ve found a star al­most cer­tainly born from the same cloud of gas and dust as our star. (May 12, 2014)

Long-snouted T. rex cousin reported found
A newfound fos­sil re­veals a beast that like a cross be­tween T. rex and Don­ald Duck. (May 7, 2014)

Early depression, anger may taint love life for decades
Re­search­ers are try­ing to crack the code to hap­pi­ness by ex­plor­ing the long reach of de­pres­sion and an­ger. (May 8, 2014)

Warming already causing extreme weather, official report says
Climate change is affecting the United States right now in far-reach­ing ways, ac­cord­ing the Na­t­ional Cli­mate As­sess­ment re­port. (May 6, 2014)

Good institutions may prompt “fairer” behavior
Peo­ple are more likely to fa­vor their family and lo­cal com­mun­ity where in­sti­tu­tions are weak, a study found. (May 5, 2014)

For birds, predation linked to faster aging
Findings are said to sup­port an old the­o­ry ex­plain­ing why an­i­mals have such widely var­y­ing life­spans. (May 1, 2014)

Snobby staff may boost luxury sales
When it comes to lux­u­ry brands, the ruder the sales staff the bet­ter the re­tail sales, a study sug­gests. (April 29, 2014)

Weird ocean sound finally explained: a whale
The strange, deep un­der­wa­ter sound was first re­ported by sub­mar­ine sail­ors in the 1960s. (April 23, 2014)

People found to remember atrocities in ways that favor their group
People who learn of atro­cities usually for­get a few de­tails—not quite ran­dom­ly, re­search suggests. (April 23, 2014)

Test could provide “family tree” of a patient’s own tumors
Bio­log­ists hope the gene­tic test could help with treat­ment plan­ning. (April 21, 2014)


First Earth-sized planet in star’s “habitable zone” reported found
In a long-awaited first, as­tro­no­mers re­port finding an Earth-sized plan­et poss­ibly able to sup­port life. (April 17, 2014)

We’re over the hill at 24? So says computer-game study
If you’re over 24 you’ve al­ready peak­ed in terms of speed in ex­e­cut­ing de­ci­sions, a study sug­gests. (April 16, 2014)


Even moderate pot use tied to clear brain changes: study
Even once- or twice-a-week use can lead to ab­norm­a­lities, sci­ent­ists say. (April 16, 2014)

Saturn may be spawning tiny new moon
Astro­nom­ers sus­pect the ob­ject may be going through stages that char­act­erized the birth of other moons, and plan­ets. (April 14, 2014)


Scientists to explore deep ocean trench
What lives in the deep­est part of the ocean? Sci­en­tists plan to use the world’s only full-o­cean-depth un­der­wa­ter ro­bot and oth­er tech­nol­o­gy to find out. (April 11, 2014)

Possible alien moon detected, but never to be seen again
Though un­con­firm­able, the find­ing is seen as a tan­ta­liz­ing first step to­ward find­ing ex­o­moons. (April 10, 2014)

Neanderthals no strangers to good parenting, study says
Ne­an­der­thal par­ents were more at­ten­tive than tra­di­tion­ally sup­posed, a new study ar­gues. (April 9, 2014)


Saturn moon hides sea within, scientists conclude
Researchers al­so be­lieve the wa­ter is in con­tact with a rocky floor below, mak­ing it more suit­a­ble for a hypo­theti­cal origin of life. (April 3, 2014)

Zombie cancer cells eat themselves to live
Some can­cer cells may sur­vive che­mo­th­er­a­py attacks by eat­ing parts of them­selves, re­search sug­gests. (April 6, 2014)


“Dark matter” possibly seen destroying itself
Scientists report new clues in the hunt for a mys­ter­ious sub­stance thought to make up over 80 per­cent of the ma­te­ri­al uni­verse. (April 3, 2014) 

Did limits on lead cause huge U.S. crime drop?
Re­mov­al of lead from gas and paint con­tri­but­ed to a huge de­cline in vi­o­lence across the Un­ited States since the 1990s, a the­o­ry claims. (April 2, 2014) 


Tiny planet found to have Saturn-like rings
A mini-plan­et in our so­lar sys­tem has rings, con­tra­dict­ing a long­time as­sump­tion that only big plan­ets can have these, a study finds. (March 31, 2014)

Riddle of zebra’s stripes “solved”
Scient­ists say they now know why the zebra has stripes, but the solu­tion raises a new prob­lem. (April 1, 2014) (April 1, 2014)

Fair bosses “pay a price”
Bosses who are fair make their work­ers and com­pa­nies bet­ter off, but may be burn­ing them­selves out, a study finds. (March 30, 2014) 


Debris of Earth-like planets found to float around dead stars
Sci­en­tists say they have “solved” a dec­ades-old space mys­tery. (March 26, 2014)

Big, unseen planet may inhabit outer Solar System
A dwarf planet just found far outside the known So­lar Sys­tem also hints that a far bigger one lurks, astro­nom­ers re­port. (March 26, 2014) 

Study: E-cigarettes not linked to higher quit rates
Manufacturers shouldn’t advert­ise new de­vices as smok­ing-ces­sa­tion tools ab­sent more evi­dence, sci­ent­ists say. (March 24, 2014) 


Radar shows mirror-smooth sea on Saturn moon
The find­ing could be due to lack of winds at the time of the mea­sure­ments, scientists said. (March 20, 2014)

Cuckoo helps nestmates by releasing awful stench
Cuck­oos are the bird world’s most no­to­ri­ous freeload­ers, but one spe­cies is found to give some­thing in re­turn. (March 21, 2014) 

Social groups may ease depression
Clin­ic­ally de­pressed pa­tients re­cov­er more re­liably if they build strong ties to a group, re­search finds. (March 19, 2014)


Ripples in space-time detected, supporting theory
Scient­ists re­ported de­tect­ing waves de­scribed as the “first tremors of the Big Bang.” (March 17, 2014)

Males, females may deal with stress oppositely
Stress could be un­der­min­ing not only our health but al­so our rela­t­ion­ships with oth­ers. (March 19, 2014)

Journalism-by-robot may spread
Com­put­er-writ­ten ar­ti­cles may come across to read­ers as more bor­ing—yet more cred­i­ble—than those by hu­mans. (March 14, 2014) 


Soft robotic fish swims “like real thing”
Soft ro­bots have be­come a pop­u­lar re­search top­ic. (March 13, 2014)

Europeans may have evolved lighter skin in past 5,000 years
The skin changes may be a re­sult of the body’s need to pro­duce more Vit­a­min D, scient­ists say. (March 11, 2014) 


Space rock mysteriously falls apart
NASA’s Hub­ble Space Tel­e­scope has recorded the nev­er-be­fore-seen break-up of an as­ter­oid in­to as many as 10 smaller pieces. (March 6, 2014)

“5-second” food rule of urban legend found to have real basis
Folk­lore claims that many peo­ple use the rule, not nec­es­sarily that it really works. (March 10, 2014) (March 10, 2014)

Even “Dr. Barbie” may dampen girls’ career aspirations
“Sexualized” dolls may af
­fect young girls neg­atively regard­less of the dolls’ cos­tumes, re­search­ers sug­gest. (March 5, 2014) 


Invasive plants use our shoes, tires as transport, scientists say
Harsh, cold cli­mates don’t seem to stop al­ien plants from con­quer­ing moun­tain ar­eas. (March 4, 2014)

Policy to protect domestic violence victims may be killing them
Scientists called the find­ings a med­i­cal mys­tery. (March 3, 2014)

How learning new ideas alters brain cells
A new study iden­ti­fies an im­por­tant mo­lec­u­lar change that oc­curs in the brain when we learn and re­mem­ber. (Feb. 28, 2014)


Obesity rates for U.S. toddlers found to plummet
Sci­en­tists said the re­sults in­di­cat­ed that obes­ity-prevention pro­grams tar­geted at young chil­dren might be start­ing to bear fruit. (Feb. 25, 2014)

“Super-Earths” may be dead worlds
It may be dis
­ap­point­ing, but many seem­ing­ly Earth-like planets are not that at all, a study finds. (Feb. 26, 2014) 

Astronomers film record-breaking lunar impact
A rock the weight of a small car hit the Moon last Sep­tem­ber, ac­cord­ing to as­tro­no­mers who filmed the im­pact. (Feb. 24, 2014) 


“Artificial muscles” could be woven into clothing
Fibers from fish­ing line and thread can be used to make in­ex­pen­sive ar­ti­fi­cial mus­cles, re­search­ers say. (Feb. 21, 2014) 

Ants make well-organized rafts with own bodies
Ants facing a flood use their own brood as “flota­t­ion de­vices,” pro­tect the queen and manage to keep al­most every­one safe, ac­cord­ing to a stu­dy. (Feb. 23, 2014)

Distant quasars could close loophole in quantum mechanics
Scientists are try­ing to prove that lack of hu­man free will isn’t the rea­son na­ture seems to fol­low seeming­ly absurd pro­bab­il­istic laws. (Feb. 20, 2014) 


Elephants “console” distressed pals
Con­sola­t­ion be­hav­ior is rare in the an­i­mal king­dom, re­search­ers say. (Feb. 18, 2014) 

Scientists said to restore some youthful strength to old mice
Researchers hope to event­ual­ly try the treat­ment on peo­ple. (Feb. 17, 2014) 


Study suggests method to predict eruptions
De­tect­ing wheth­er the rock un­der a vol­ca­no is liq­uid enough to erupt might help nar­row down when that might hap­pen. (Feb. 16, 2014) 

No such thing as porn addiction, researcher says
So-called porn ad­diction treat­ment is a luc­ra­tive busi­ness based on ques­tion­a­ble sci­ence, a report claims. (Feb. 13, 2014) 

Beauty in math may touch same brain area as art, music
The math­e­mat­i­cal for­mu­la rated most beau­ti­ful in a new study was “Eu­ler’s ident­ity.” (Feb. 12, 2014)


Beast evolved “steak-knife” teeth before dinosaurs
The first top preda­tors to walk on land weren’t afraid to bite off more than they could chew, a study sug­gests. (Feb. 7, 2014) 

Aggression genes go way back
Aggression-causing genes have kept their roles for hun­dreds of mil­lions of years, in diff­er­ent ani­mals and con­texts, sci­ent­ists say. (Feb. 10, 2014)

Rats may take over the world and grow bigger, scientist predicts
The evo­lu­tion­ary suc­cess of rats so far leads one scho­lar to a dis­turb­ing pre­dic­tion. (Feb. 5, 2014)


Money makes people more right-wing, lottery study finds
Lot­tery win­ners tend to switch to­wards sup­port for a right-wing par­ty and be­come less egal­i­tar­ian, ac­cord­ing to new re­search. (Feb. 6, 2014) 

Just four basic emotions, not six, study says
Hu­mans have only four bas­ic emo­tions—not six, a new study based on fa­cial ex­pres­sions pro­poses. (Feb. 4, 2014) 


Two-sunned planets don’t form easily, study finds
Plan­ets with two stars—like Luke Sky­walk­er’s home plan­et from Star Wars—can only form very far from their suns, a new study con­cludes. (Feb. 3, 2014) 

Scientists develop “bendy” glass
In the fu­ture, when you drop a glass, it might just bend and be­come slightly de­formed. (Jan. 31, 2014) 

“Rogue” asteroids may be the norm
As­ter­oids found far from where they formed are evi
­dence of a long-ago shake­up in the Solar System, as­tro­no­mers say. (Jan. 30, 2014)


“Unique” brain area seen only in humans
The brain ar­ea is con­sid­ered to be in­volved in plan­ning and de­ci­sion-mak­ing. (Jan. 29, 2014) 

Anthrax faces silent war with giant, deadly virus
Al­though the an­thrax bac­te­ri­um strikes fear in the hearts of many, it has its own mor­tal en­e­my, sci­ent­ists re­port. (Jan. 27, 2014) 


Could space dust have brought life’s ingredients to Earth?
Space dust br­ings wa­ter and or­gan­ic mo­le­cules to Earth and si­m­i­lar rocky plan­ets, a study has found. (Jan. 24, 2014) 

Narcissism may be good in moderation
A little nar­cis­sism is good for lead­er­ship suc­cess, re­search­ers are sug­gest­ing. (Jan. 23, 2014) 

Link in “cosmic web” reported seen for first time
A net­work of fil­a­ments is thought to link ga­lax­ies through­out the uni­verse. (Jan. 20, 2014) 


Jellyfish drones coming? New flying machine moves like sea creature
Sci­en­tists have de­vised a lit­tle fly­ing ma­chine that moves like a jel­ly­fish does in wa­ter, though for now it has to re­main at­tached to a cord. (Jan. 26, 2014) 

Beer foam explodes like a “mushroom cloud,” scientists find
Sci­en­tists say they have ex­plained why beer foams up so quickly when a bot­tle gets bumped. (Jan. 21, 2014)

Study: Even prisoners think they’re nicer than most people
Just about eve­ry­one thinks they’re bet­ter than av­er­age—in­clud­ing con­victed crim­i­nals, a study has found. (Jan. 14, 2014)


Even microbes carry out tiny “commerce,” study finds
There’s big busi­ness go­ing on in a very small world, and some­times we are part of the trans­ac­tion, sci­ent­ists say. (Jan. 15, 2014) 

DNA said to disprove war elephant myths
Re­search­ers say they have cleared up ques­tions around the only known bat­tle be­tween Asian and Af­ri­can ele­phants. (Jan. 13, 2014) 


Prairie dogs may do version of “the wave” as alertness test
Black-tailed prai­rie dogs use a “jump­ing dis­play” that spreads through their com­mun­ity. (Jan. 10, 2014) 

Study said to explain giant underwater waves
In­ter­nal waves, hid­den to­tally with­in the ocean, can tow­er as high as sky­scrap­ers, sci­ent­ists say. (Jan. 8, 2013) 


Racism victims may age faster
Targets of rac­ism may suffer accelerated aging if they let the neg­a­tive at­ti­tudes about them sink in, a study finds.  (Jan. 7, 2014)

Search suggests no one from future lives amongst us
If time trav­el is ever to be in­vented, should­n’t some­body from the fu­ture be among us now? (Jan. 6, 2014) 


Microbe sex gets crazy, too
Re­search­ers have watched mat­ing in the mi­crobes that cause Af­ri­can sleep­ing sick­ness. (Jan. 3, 2013) 

Vitamin E may lessen Alzheimer’s symptoms
A regimen was tied to mod­er­ately slower decline and a 2-hour daily drop in care­giver time. (Jan. 5, 2014)





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  • Prema­ture birth could lead to prob­lems in adult­hood

  • Poss­ible Earth-like plan­et re­ported near sun-like star, an­other first


  • Study links global warming, war for first time—in Syria

  • Smart­er mice with a “hum­anized” gene?

  • Was black­mail essen­tial for marr­iage to evolve?

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


  • 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