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  • News

    Debate accelerates on universe’s expansion speed

    A puzzling mismatch is plaguing two methods for measuring how fast the universe is expanding. When the discrepancy arose a few years ago, scientists suspected it would fade away, a symptom of measurement errors. But the latest, more precise measurements of the expansion rate — a number known as the Hubble constant — have only deepened the mystery.

    “There’s nothing obvious in the...

    07/22/2016 - 12:00 Cosmology, Physics
  • News

    How dinosaurs hopped across an ocean

    Two land bridges may have allowed dinosaurs to saunter between Europe and North America around 150 million years ago.

    The bridges would explain how dinosaurs, mammals and other animals were able to hop from one continent to the other after the Atlantic Ocean formed during the breakup of the Pangaea supercontinent. Some species of Stegosaurus, for instance, appear in the fossil...

    07/22/2016 - 10:48 Earth, Paleontology
  • Science Stats

    U.S. lags in road safety

    U.S. drivers love to hit the road. The problem is doing so safely.

    In 2013, 32,894 people in the United States died in motor vehicle crashes. Although down since 2000, the overall death rate — 10.3 per 100,000 people — tops 19 other high-income countries, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention...

    07/21/2016 - 16:00 Health, Science & Society
  • News

    Yeasts hide in many lichen partnerships

    The discovery of unknown yeasts hiding in lichens from six continents could shake up a basic idea of what makes up a lichen partnership.

    For more than a century, biologists have described a lichen as a fungus growing intimately with some microbes (algae and/or cyanobacteria) that harvest solar energy. The fungus is treated as so important that its name serves as the name for the whole...

    07/21/2016 - 14:43 Fungi, Microbes, Ecology
  • Science Ticker

    Getting rid of snails is effective at stopping snail fever

    To stop snail fever, control the snails.

    That’s the takeaway of a new study of snail fever, or schistosomiasis, a tropical disease that affects more than 250 million people worldwide. It’s caused by a water-borne parasite that reproduces inside some snails. Parasite larvae burrow through people’s skin and can cause infertility, cognitive problems and even cancer. Today, most countries...

    07/21/2016 - 14:00 Animals, Health, Science & Society
  • News

    Humans, birds communicate to collaborate

    When asked the right way, a savvy bird species steers African hunter-gatherers to honey. All it takes is a loud trill followed by a grunt that sounds like “brrr-hm.”

    Birds known as greater honeyguides (Indicator indicator) lead hunter-gatherers in Mozambique to honey-rich bees’ nests after hearing humans make this signature call, say evolutionary ecologist Claire Spottiswoode of...

    07/21/2016 - 14:00 Anthropology, Human Evolution, Animals
  • News

    Evolution of gut bacteria tracks splits in primate species

    Microbes may have played a role in making us, us. A new study shows similar patterns in the evolution of gut bacteria and the primates they live in, suggesting that germs and apes could have helped shaped one another.

    For at least 10 million years, bacteria have been handed down from the common ancestor of humans and African apes. As apes split into separate species,...

    07/21/2016 - 14:00 Genetics, Molecular Evolution
  • News

    Antibiotics might fight Alzheimer’s plaques

    A long course of antibiotics reduced the levels of a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease in the brains of mice, possibly by changing the species of bacteria in the gut. The results, described July 21 in Scientific Reports, suggest that gut bacteria may be linked in some way to Alzheimer’s.

    The finding is preliminary, cautions...

    07/21/2016 - 05:00 Neuroscience, Biomedicine, Health
  • Science Ticker

    Latest search for dark matter comes up empty

    Dark matter has once again given scientists the slip. Physicists with the Large Underground Xenon experiment, or LUX, report that their final set of data, collected from October 2014 to May 2016, contains no evidence of dark matter, the mysterious substance that makes up more than 25 percent of the...

    07/21/2016 - 04:30 Particle Physics, Cosmology, Physics
  • News

    To douse hot hives, honeybee colonies launch water squadrons

    When a honeybee colony gets hot and bothered, the crisis sets tongues wagging. Middle-aged bees stick their tongues into the mouths of their elders, launching these special drinker bees to go collect water. That’s just one detail uncovered during a new study of how a colony superorganism cools in hot weather.

    Using lightbulbs to make heat waves in beehives, researchers have traced how...

    07/20/2016 - 18:00 Animals, Ecology