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  • Wild Things

    A protein battle underlies the beauty of orchids

    One of the main characteristics that make orchids so attractive to us and to pollinators is shape. Unlike a flower such as a daisy, orchids don’t have a uniform pattern of petals and sepals. Instead, one of the orchid flower petals has been modified into a lip that can serve as a...

    04/28/2015 - 16:00 Plants, Evolution
  • News

    Childhood bullying leads to long-term mental health problems

    Bullying by peers scars children’s mental health over the long haul as much as — or more than — abuse by adults does, a new analysis of U.S. and British kids finds.

    By young adulthood, many victims of repeated bullying experience anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicidal thinking and behavior. Their rates of these mental health issues are at least as high as those reported by victims...

    04/28/2015 - 15:00 Psychology
  • Feature

    The Martian Diaries

    04/28/2015 - 13:19 Planetary Science, Astronomy
  • News

    Stronger quakes could strike other segments of Nepal fault

    The April 25 earthquake that devastated Nepal, killing thousands, isn’t the end of seismic hazards in the region. The magnitude 7.8 earthquake relieved pent-up stress along just one segment of the tectonic plate boundary between India and the rest of Asia. Even larger quakes could strike to the west and in nearby Bhutan to the east, scientists warn.

    Where and how intensely future...

    04/28/2015 - 12:07 Earth
  • Science Stats

    Just 1 percent of Amazon’s trees hold half of its carbon

    The Amazon rainforest holds more carbon than any other ecosystem, but only a handful of tree species do most of the work of keeping carbon out of the air. Surveying 530 areas throughout the rainforest, researchers found that roughly 1 percent of Amazonian tree species handle half of the forest’s carbon storage.

    The Amazon...

    04/28/2015 - 11:00 Ecology, Climate
  • News

    Hidden water found deep beneath Antarctica desert valley

    The underside of Antarctica’s dry valleys isn’t so dry after all.

    Researchers have discovered extensive saltwater basins more than 100 meters beneath the permafrost, glaciers and frozen lakes that cover one of the McMurdo Dry Valleys. Scientists had previously believed this underground realm was hard, frozen earth. The newly discovered groundwater may have been sealed off for millions of...

    04/28/2015 - 11:00 Earth, Microbes
  • Scicurious

    For the blind, hearing the way forward can be a tradeoff

    There’s a common notion that people who have deficiencies in one sensory area must have enhancements in others: People with hearing loss have better sight, and people who are blind certainly must have better hearing. That idea even shows up in our superhero stories. Mild-mannered lawyer by day, vigilante by night, Marvel’s Daredevil cannot see...

    04/28/2015 - 07:41 Neuroscience
  • The Science Life

    Brain on display

    Studying the human brain requires grandiose thinking, but rarely do actual theatrical skills come into play. In her latest stint as a video star, MIT neuroscientist Nancy Kanwisher does not buzz saw her skull open to give viewers a glimpse of her brain. But she does perhaps the next best thing: She clips off her shoulder-length gray hair and shaves her head on camera.

    Kanwisher’s smooth...

    04/27/2015 - 16:06 Neuroscience, Science & Society
  • Science Ticker

    Woolly mammoth DNA shows toll of low diversity

    Even before woolly mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius) went extinct, signs of decline were written in their DNA, researchers report in the May 18 Current Biology.

    The team sequenced genomes from a 44,800-year-old specimen from Siberia and a 4,300-year old specimen from Wrangel Island...

    04/27/2015 - 13:39 Animals, Genetics
  • News

    Warming’s role in extreme weather quantified

    Scientists have long suspected that some surges in extreme weather — from devastating droughts to thrashing superstorms — are caused by global warming. And now scientists have numbers to support that idea.

    About 75 percent of extreme heat spikes and 18 percent of extreme precipitation over land worldwide can be blamed on this largely human-driven climate change, researchers...

    04/27/2015 - 11:00 Climate