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  • News

    Parasitic worm eggs found on Silk Road latrine artifacts

    Rare evidence has emerged that humanborne infectious diseases moved across Asia around 2,000 years ago via the famous Silk Road. Clues to this ancient illness spread come from cloth wrapped around the ends of sticks once used by travelers as the equivalent of toilet paper.

    Preserved feces on cloth caps of sticks previously excavated from a latrine at a Silk Road way station in north...

    07/29/2016 - 11:03 Archaeology, Health
  • 50 Years Ago

    50 years ago, humans could pick the oceans clean

    Seafood is exhaustible — Man is capable of using up the resources of the ocean … and if he is going to exploit them intelligently, he has a lot to learn…. The world’s annual fish catch went up from 23 million to 46 million tons...

    07/28/2016 - 07:00 Oceans, Sustainability
  • News

    Vaping’s toxic vapors come mainly from e-liquid solvents

    Over the last three years, growing evidence has shown that electronic cigarettes are not the harmless alternative to smoking that many proponents have argued. Now, a new study traces a large share of e-cigs’ toxic gases to a heat-triggered breakdown of the liquids used to create the vapors. And the hotter an e-cig gets — and the more it’s used — the more toxic compounds it emits, the study...

    07/27/2016 - 08:00 Chemistry, Health
  • Wild Things

    Sea ice algae drive the Arctic food web

    As happens every summer, sea ice in the Arctic is shrinking as temperatures warm. But this year is a particularly warm year, and there is less sea ice than there usually is. Scientists say Earth is on track to matchor perhaps even exceed the record low extent of summertime sea ice seen in...

    07/26/2016 - 13:00 Oceans, Ecology
  • It's Alive

    To prevent cannibalism, bring chocolate

    Here’s another reason to show up with a box of chocolates: It doubles as a shield if she bites.

    Edging slowly toward a female, male nursery web spiders clutch in front of their bodies their version of courtship candy: a big dead insect wrapped in white silk. “It’s pretty spectacular actually,” says Søren Toft of Denmark’s Aarhus University. It’s also prudent, he and colleague Maria Albo...

    07/26/2016 - 09:00 Animals, Evolution
  • 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
  • Science Ticker

    Some primates prefer nectar with a bigger alcohol kick

    Some primates have a taste for the good stuff. Groups of chimpanzees sometimes indulge in alcoholic palm sap, and some primates, including humans, produce a form of the enzyme responsible for breaking down alcohol that gets them more bang for their buck in alcohol digestion. Higher alcohol content...

    07/20/2016 - 14:00 Animals, Ecology
  • Wild Things

    Tiny ants move a ton of soil

    Those little piles of dirt that ant colonies leave on the ground are an indication that ants are busy underground. And they’re moving more soil and sediment than you might think. A new study finds that, over a hectare, colonies of Trachymyrmex...

    07/20/2016 - 09:00 Animals
  • News in Brief

    No one-fits-all healthy diet exists

    ORLANDO, Fla. — Weight gain may depend on how an individual’s genes react to certain diets, a new study in mice suggests.

    Four strains of mice fared differently on four different diets, William Barrington of North Carolina State University in Raleigh reported July 15 at the Allied Genetics Conference.

    One strain, the A/J mouse, was nearly impervious to dietary...

    07/18/2016 - 17:01 Nutrition, Genetics
  • News

    Two groups spread early agriculture

    The cradle of agricultural civilization was culturally diverse.

    Two societies lived side-by-side 10,000 years ago in the rich Near Eastern valleys of the Fertile Crescent, where humans first learned to farm, a new study finds. Over time, one group expanded west, carrying agriculture into Europe. The other spread east,...

    07/14/2016 - 14:27 Anthropology, Archaeology, Genetics