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E.g., 11/18/2018
E.g., 11/18/2018
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  • News

    Skull damage suggests Neandertals led no more violent lives than humans

    Neandertals are shaking off their reputation as head bangers.

    Our close evolutionary cousins experienced plenty of head injuries, but no more so than late Stone Age humans did, a study suggests. Rates of fractures and other bone damage in a large sample of Neandertal and ancient Homo sapiens skulls roughly match rates previously reported for human foragers and farmers who have lived...

    11/14/2018 - 13:00 Anthropology, Human Evolution
  • News

    Sound-absorbent wings and fur help some moths evade bats

    Some moths aren’t so easy for bats to detect.

    The cabbage tree emperor moth has wings with tiny scales that absorb sound waves sent out by bats searching for food. That absorption reduces the echoes that bounce back to bats, allowing Bunaea alcinoe to avoid being so noticeable to the nocturnal predators, researchers report online November 12 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of...

    11/14/2018 - 06:00 Animals, Evolution
  • News in Brief

    U.S. cases of a polio-like illness rise, but there are few clues to its cause

    The cause of a rare polio-like disease continues to elude public health officials even as the number of U.S. cases grows.

    Confirmed cases of acute flaccid myelitis cases have risen to 90 in 27 states, out of a possible 252 under investigation, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced November 13. That’s up from 62 confirmed cases out of 127 suspected just a month ago...

    11/13/2018 - 17:23 Health
  • Feature

    How mammoths competed with other animals and lost

    The Gray Fossil Site, a sinkhole in northeastern Tennessee, is full of prehistoric treasures. Between 7 million and 4.5 million years ago, rhinoceroses, saber-toothed cats and other creatures, even red pandas, perished here by the edge of a pond. But that bounty of fossils pales next to the site’s biggest find: a mastodon’s skeleton, nearly 5 million years old, preserved in exquisite detail...

    11/13/2018 - 12:30 Ecosystems, Archaeology, Paleontology
  • News

    Climate change may have made the Arctic deadlier for baby shorebirds

    Climate change may be flipping good Arctic neighborhoods into killing fields for baby birds.

    Every year, shorebirds migrate thousands of kilometers from their southern winter refuges to reach Arctic breeding grounds. But what was once a safer region for birds that nest on the ground now has higher risks from predators than nesting in the tropics, says Vojtěch Kubelka, an evolutionary...

    11/13/2018 - 10:45 Animals, Climate
  • Introducing

    One of Earth’s shimmering dust clouds has been spotted at last

    Meet the Kordylewski dust clouds, shimmering pseudo-satellites that orbit Earth near the moon. A team of Hungarian astronomers say they have spotted light scattered from one of these clouds, providing evidence that the clouds really exist after nearly 60 years of controversy.

    The twin dust clouds gather at two of the points in space where the gravity of Earth and the moon cancel each...

    11/13/2018 - 06:00 Astronomy, Planetary Science
  • News in Brief

    Physicists wrangled electrons into a quantum fractal

    Physicists have created an oddity known as a quantum fractal, a structure that could reveal new and strange types of electron behaviors.

    Fractals are patterns that repeat themselves on different length scales:  Zoom in and the structure looks the same as it does from afar. They’re common in the natural world. For instance, a cauliflower stalk looks like a miniature version of the full...

    11/12/2018 - 11:00 Quantum Physics, Condensed Matter
  • Science Stats

    Car tires and brake pads produce harmful microplastics

    There’s a big problem where the rubber meets the road: microplastics.

    Scientists analyzed more than 500 small particles pulled from the air around three busy German highways, and found that the vast majority — 89 percent — came from vehicle tires, brake systems and roads themselves. All together, these particles are classified by the researchers as microplastics, though they include...

    11/12/2018 - 08:38 Pollution, Technology
  • News

    China is about to visit uncharted territory on the moon

    China is about to make space history. In December, the country will launch the first spacecraft ever to land on the farside of the moon. Another craft, slated for takeoff in 2019, will be the first to bring lunar rocks back to Earth since 1976.

    These two missions — the latest in China’s lunar exploration series named after the Chinese moon goddess, Chang’e — are at the forefront of...

    11/11/2018 - 07:00 Planetary Science
  • News

    A potent fish oil drug may protect high-risk patients against heart attacks

    Cholesterol-lowering drugs may one day gain a sidekick in the battle against heart disease. Taking a potent drug derived from fish oil along with a statin lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke in some high-risk people, researchers report.

    A clinical trial called REDUCE-IT tested the approach in more than 8,000 participants who either had cardiovascular disease or were at high risk...

    11/10/2018 - 15:00 Health, Clinical Trials