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  • News

    Cows produce powerful HIV antibodies

    An unlikely hero has emerged in the quest to fight HIV: the cow. In a first for any animal, including humans, four cows injected with a type of HIV protein rapidly produced powerful antibodies against the virus, researchers report. Learning how to induce similar antibodies in humans may be key to a successful HIV vaccine.

    The antibodies, called broadly neutralizing antibodies, can stop...

    07/20/2017 - 14:46 Biomedicine, Health, Immune Science
  • Science Ticker

    Elephant seals recognize rivals by the tempo of their calls

    The tempo of a male elephant seal’s call broadcasts his identity to rival males, a new study finds.

    Every male elephant seal has a distinct vocalization that sounds something like a sputtering lawnmower — pulses of sound in a pattern and at a pace that stays the same over time.

    At a California state park where elephant seals breed each year, researchers played different variations...

    07/20/2017 - 12:00 Animals
  • Science Ticker

    New Horizons’ next target caught making a star blink

    With Pluto in its rearview mirror, the New Horizons spacecraft is zipping towards a more far-out object. But it’s not flying blind. Using ground-based telescopes, the New Horizons team has spotted its next destination eclipsing a distant star. The event will reveal the rock’s specs in advance of the spacecraft’s visit in a year and a half.

    The object, called 2014 MU69, lives in the...

    07/20/2017 - 07:00 Planetary Science, Astronomy
  • Science Ticker

    This robot grows like a plant

    View the video

    Robots are branching out. A new prototype soft robot takes inspiration from plants by growing to explore its environment.

    Vines and some fungi extend from their tips to explore their surroundings. Elliot Hawkes of the University of California in Santa Barbara and his colleagues designed a bot that works on similar principles. Its mechanical body sits inside a plastic...

    07/19/2017 - 17:26 Robotics, Plants
  • News

    These genes may be why dogs are so friendly

    DNA might reveal how dogs became man’s best friend.

    A new study shows that some of the same genes linked to the behavior of extremely social people can also make dogs friendlier. The result, published July 19 in Science Advances, suggests that dogs’ domestication may be the result of just a few genetic changes rather than hundreds or thousands of them.

    “It is great to see initial...

    07/19/2017 - 14:00 Genetics, Animals
  • News

    Humans first settled in Australia as early as 65,000 years ago

    Tools, paints and other artifacts excavated from an ancient rock-shelter in northern Australia are giving new glimpses into early life Down Under. The first humans may have arrived on the continent 65,000 years ago — 5,000 years earlier than previously thought — and they were sophisticated craftspeople, researchers report July 19 in Nature.

    Archaeologists unearthed three distinct layers...

    07/19/2017 - 13:00 Archaeology, Anthropology
  • The –est

    The incredible shrinking transistor just got smaller

    Carbon nanotubes may be the key to shrinking down transistors and squeezing more computer power into less space.

    Historically, the number of transistors that can be crammed onto a computer chip has doubled every two years or so, a trend known as Moore’s law. But that rule seems to be nearing its limit: Today's silicon transistors can’t get much smaller than they already are.

    Carbon...

    07/19/2017 - 07:00 Technology, Computing
  • News

    Common drugs help reverse signs of fetal alcohol syndrome in rats

    A common blood sugar medication or an extra dose of a thyroid hormone can reverse signs of cognitive damage in rats exposed in utero to alcohol. Both affect an enzyme that controls memory-related genes in the hippocampus, researchers report July 18 in Molecular Psychiatry.

    That insight might someday help scientists find an effective human treatment for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders,...

    07/18/2017 - 14:47 Health, Development
  • News

    Dog domestication happened just once, ancient DNA study suggests

    People and pooches may have struck up a lasting friendship after just one try, a new genetic study suggests.

    New data from ancient dogs indicates that dogs became distinct from wolves between 20,000 and 40,000 years ago, researchers report July 18 in Nature Communications. Dogs then formed genetically distinct eastern and western groups 17,000 to 24,000 years ago, the researchers...

    07/18/2017 - 11:18 Genetics, Animals, Archaeology
  • News

    Scientists peek inside the mind of Maxwell’s demon

    Physicists have now probed the memory of Maxwell’s demon, a devious, hypothetical beast. By peeking at information retained by a laboratory version of the creature, scientists confirmed the role of information in saving the second law of thermodynamics from the onslaught of a tiny, superpowerful being intent on wreaking havoc.

    In work reported online July 3 in the Proceedings of the...

    07/17/2017 - 07:00 Physics