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E.g., 08/30/2016
E.g., 08/30/2016
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  • News

    Dog brains divide language tasks much like humans do

    Dogs process speech much like people do, a new study finds. Meaningful words like “good boy” activate the left side of a dog’s brain regardless of tone of voice, while a region on the right side of the brain responds to intonation, scientists report in the Sept. 2 Science.

    Similarly, humans process the meanings of words in the left hemisphere of the brain, and interpret...

    08/30/2016 - 15:49 Animals, Language, Neuroscience
  • News

    Tasmanian devils evolve resistance to contagious cancer

    A few Tasmanian devils have started a resistance movement against a contagious cancer that has depleted their numbers.

    Since devil facial tumor disease was first discovered in 1996, it has wiped out about 80 percent of the Tasmanian devil population. In some places, up to 95 percent of devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) have succumbed to facial tumors, spread when devils bite each...

    08/30/2016 - 11:00 Cancer, Genetics, Molecular Evolution
  • Science Ticker

    Mosquito moms can pass Zika to offspring

    Female mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus can pass the infection to the next generation, lab tests show.

    Among Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, thought to be the main species spreading Zika in the Americas, at least...

    08/29/2016 - 17:00 Biomedicine, Animals
  • News

    Fossil autopsy claims Lucy fell from tree

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    In a macabre twist, the hominid evolutionary tree’s most famous fossil star, Lucy, tumbled to her death from high up in a tree, a controversial new study suggests.

    Some of the damage to Lucy’s 3.2-million-year-old partial skeleton most likely occurred when she fell from a height of 13 meters or more, say paleoanthropologist John Kappelman of the...

    08/29/2016 - 11:00 Anthropology
  • Introducing

    GluMI cells are anything but

    Despite its name, the newly identified GluMI cell (pronounced “gloomy”) is no downer.

    It’s a nerve cell, spied in a mouse retina, that looks like one type of cell but behaves like another. Like neighboring retina nerve cells that subdue, or deaden, activity of other nerve cells, GluMI cells have a single arm extending from their body. But unlike those cells, GluMI cells actually seem to...

    08/29/2016 - 09:00 Neuroscience
  • News

    Bacteria-sized molecules created in lab

    Scientists have created giant molecules — the size of bacteria — that may be useful in future quantum computers.

    The molecules of unusual size are formed from pairs of Rydberg atoms — atoms with an electron that has been boosted into a high-energy state. Such electrons orbit far from their atom’s nucleus and, as a result, can feel the influence of faraway atoms.

    To create the...

    08/29/2016 - 07:00 Physics
  • Science Visualized

    Spacecraft reveal diversity in solar system's landscapes

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    Over the last several years, spacecraft have beamed back images from all across the solar system, revealing a complex tapestry of landscapes. Dust shapes the scenery on comet 67P, whereas ice rules on Pluto and the moons of Saturn.

    At first glance, many of these terrains seem the same — mountains, craters and canyons show up everywhere. But...

    08/28/2016 - 09:00 Planetary Science
  • News

    Venus once possibly habitable, study suggests

    Venus might have once been prime real estate. New computer simulations suggest that the hellish planet next door could have been habitable in the not-too-distant past, with moderate temperatures, plenty of seaside locales and even a few spots for skiing.

    Modern Venus is harsh: sulfuric acid rain, crushing atmospheric pressure and a surface temperature around 460° Celsius. But if Venus...

    08/26/2016 - 11:25 Planetary Science
  • Say What?

    Clean inside those bagpipes — and trumpets and clarinets

    Bagpipe lung
    \BAGpīp ləng\ n.

    An inflammatory lung disease caused by regular inhalation of fungi living inside bagpipes.

    In 2014, a 61-year-old man died after seven years of a mysterious illness that left him breathless, with a dry cough.

    Doctors diagnosed him with hypersensitivity pneumonitis, a rare disease caused by breathing in particles that...

    08/26/2016 - 07:00 Health, Fungi
  • Context

    Visits to Proxima Centauri’s planet are probably millennia away

    If you’d like to vacation at the newly found planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, you might want to reconsider. It’s nearby astronomically — a mere 4.2 light-years away — but still too far away for any plausible transportation technology to reach within the current millennium.

    In fact, it’s a pretty safe bet the Chicago Cubs will win the World Series before any human steps foot on Earth’s...

    08/25/2016 - 15:00 Planetary Science