Every hipster knows that something is only cool before it becomes popular. There’s no point in liking a band once it hits the big time. That shirt is no good once it’s no longer ironic. And it’s certainly not enough to go clean shaven or grow a short beard — that’s much too mainstream. Recent years have seen a resurgence of moustaches, mutton chops and Fu Manchus. A style that really stands out...
04/15/2014 - 19:01
One question fascinates people like no other: Where did we come from? In a new PBS series, Your Inner Fish, paleobiologist Neil Shubin hosts a journey through time that answers the question in evolutionary terms. The six-hour, three-part documentary shows how the human body came to be the way it is today, starting with the first fish...
04/15/2014 - 17:24
News in Brief
Sneezing out antimicrobial snot may sound like a superpower, but it actually could be a handicap.Triclosan, an omnipresent antimicrobial compound found in products ranging from soaps and toothpaste to medical equipment, is already known to show up in people’s urine, serum and breast milk. It seeps in through ingestion or skin exposure. Now, researchers have found that it gets into snot, too. And...
04/15/2014 - 14:46
Health, Microbes, Toxicology
An icy object within Saturn's rings may be a new moon in the making.Images taken April 15, 2013, with NASA's Cassini spacecraft captured an arc at the edge of the planet's rings that appeared 20 percent brighter than everything around it. The arc, along with protusions in the rings' usually smooth edge, suggest that...
04/15/2014 - 14:36
Planetary Science, Astronomy
Tanzania’s Hadza hunter-gatherers have guts teeming with bacteria much more diverse than what's found in Italians' intestines. But the foragers don't have Biﬁdobacterium, which is considered healthy, and do have more Treponema and other microbes that signal disease in Western populations. Hadza men and women even have major differences in their gut microbes.These differences...
04/15/2014 - 12:27
News in Brief
CALGARY, Alberta — Hominids that left footprints in volcanic ash at Laetoli, Tanzania 3.6 million years ago walked differently than people today do, Kevin Hatala, an anthropologist George Washington University in Washington, D.C., reported on April 11 at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists annual meeting. His conclusion challenges a recent study suggesting that Laetoli folk took...
04/15/2014 - 11:27
News in Brief
CALGARY, Alberta — A pit where Athenians living 2,200 years ago typically deposited fetuses and babies who had died of natural causes contained a grim surprise for Maria Liston, an anthropologist at the University of Waterloo, Canada. In the pit, she found the skeleton of a roughly 1-year-old child who was probably beaten to death before being thrown into what’s known as the “...
04/15/2014 - 10:11
News in Brief
CALGARY, Alberta— A nearly 2-million-year-old Australopithecus sediba skeleton from South Africa belonged to a boy who was just 7.5 years old when he plunged to his death in an underground cave, Harvard University’s Adeline Le Cabec reported on April 11 at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists annual meeting. Researchers previously assumed that the boy...
04/14/2014 - 16:34
Carbon dioxide can really mess with fishes’ heads. Dissolved in ocean water, the acidic chemical turns timid young reef fish into tipsy little daredevils, researchers report April 13 in Nature Climate Change.The findings are the first to show that carbon dioxide makes fish in the wild act just as crazy as fish dosed with the greenhouse...
04/14/2014 - 16:17
Climate, Oceans, Animals
The ocean is full of unique communities. Hydrothermal vents along deep ocean ridges feed chemosynthetic bacteria, specialized tubeworms and bacteria-farming shrimp. Sharks, worms, mollusks and more feed off dead whales as the carcasses fall to the...
04/14/2014 - 15:45
Oceans, Animals, Ecology