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All Stories by Ruth Bennett
The science of decision making grapples with sex, race, and power.
Study gives new answer for muddy mystery
Geologists provide evidence that quartz silt in ancient seabeds doesn't come from eroded land rocks, but rather from the dissolved skeletons of tiny primitive creatures, possibly altering the fossil record and changing models of prehistoric climate and ocean geography.
Promiscuity in guppies has its virtues
Mating with multiple partners benefits the female Trinidadian guppy and her offspring by reducing gestation time and producing youngsters more adept at forming protective schools and at evading capture.
Feedback matters for getting the joke
Plausible information about how others react to jokes colors a college student's own perception of the humor value of the material.
In gauging beauty, congeniality counts
People judge others who have positive personality traits by more lenient physical criteria for attractiveness than they do those about whom they have no personality information.
Older isn’t wiser in moral reasoning
Researchers find more endorsement of immanent justice, the belief that the natural world punishes human misdeeds, among college students than sixth-graders.
Health & Medicine
Lessons from gene therapy promote viruses as cancer fighters.
Young pulsar has a split personality
A new pulsar, the youngest discovered to date, unexpectedly exhibits properties of both regular pulsars and a recently explored class of supermagnetic pulsars, the magnetars.
Yeast sex: Only for certain partners
Two studies independently confirm that Candida albicans, a strain of yeast long believed to be asexual, can sexually reproduce under certain conditions.
Metal in diet harms Colorado birds
Cadmium, a metal naturally present in south-central Colorado, concentrates at deadly levels in willow plants, poisoning the ptarmigan that rely on the plant during winter months.
Virus boosts fat in chickens and mice
Injecting mice and chickens with a type of adenovirus that causes colds in humans led to higher body fat, though not higher body weight, and researchers point to indirect evidence for a role for the virus in human obesity as well.
Mom, is that you? Seals show family recall
Researchers found that northern fur seal mothers and offspring in Alaska remember and respond to each other's calls for as long as 4 years, the first demonstration of such long-term recall in a mammal species other than humans.