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  • Science Ticker

    Chimps prefer roasted potatoes, hinting at origins of cooking

    Chimpanzees not only understand what it means for food to be cooked but prefer roasted over raw grub. Mental skills needed for cooking may have thus existed 7 million years ago or more, in the last common ancestor of apes and humans, researchers propose June 3 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B....

    06/02/2015 - 19:05 Anthropology, Animals, Evolution
  • Feature

    Chikungunya is on the move

    A crippling virus has slipped its bonds in Africa and Asia and is invading whole new continents faster than people canlearn to pronounce its name. In one decade, chikungunya (chihk-uhn-GUHN-yuh) fever has gone from an obscure tropical ailment to an international threat, causing more than 3 million infections worldwide. The virus has established itself in Latin America and may now have the...

    06/02/2015 - 15:49 Health, Biomedicine
  • Introducing

    Eruptions create new islands in the Red Sea

    Update your maps: Two new islands have popped up in the strip of ocean between Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

    Witnessing the birth of a volcanic island is incredibly rare, but thanks to satellite images, researchers from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, retraced the formation of two islands in the Red Sea.

    The new islands, called...

    06/02/2015 - 11:58 Earth
  • Science Visualized

    Cosmic superlens gives telescopes a boost

    The ultimate telescope upgrade lies about 3.5 billion light-years away in the constellation Sculptor.

    Abell 2744 (below) is a galaxy cluster whose tremendous mass — equivalent to 2 quadrillion suns — turns it into a gravitational lens that bends and magnifies light from distant objects. This effect allows astronomers to peer farther into space than any telescope can do alone. By studying...

    06/02/2015 - 07:00 Astronomy
  • Science Ticker

    Parakeets can catch yawns from their neighbors

    Humans and dogs aren't the only ones that can pass along yawns. They appear to be contagious among parakeets, too.

    Videos taken in 2012 of budgie flocks suggested that yawns and stretches spread among the birds. A new study now shows that when one ...

    06/01/2015 - 17:21 Animals
  • News

    Mystery toxins in tainted New Zealand honey nabbed

    In a sticky sting operation, researchers may have nabbed the last toxic members of a honey-tainting ring in New Zealand.

    Cloaked in sugars, two forms of tutin — a potent neurotoxin that can cause delirium and seizures — have been found lurking in poisoned honey, researchers report online May 21 in the Journal of...

    06/01/2015 - 07:45 Toxicology, Chemistry
  • Experiences

    When swimming with manatees, mind the herd

    The creature emerged from the murky depths of Florida’s Crystal River just a couple of feet below where I was floating. I froze and felt my eyes widen. I wanted to shout “manatee!” but knew that would scare the animal. And that was the last thing I wanted to do.

    Before I even dipped a toe in the water, I had been drilled about the rules of passive observation. “You have to be really...

    06/01/2015 - 06:00 Animals, Conservation
  • Television

    How Homo sapiens became world’s dominant species

    View the slideshow

    No superhero’s origin story is more epic than our own: Some 200,000 years ago, the first modern humans arose in Africa and went on to take over the world. This remarkable feat is chronicled in the series First Peoples, which begins airing on PBS June 24.

    The series consists of...

    05/31/2015 - 16:30 Human Evolution, Ancestry, Archaeology
  • Reviews & Previews

    Extinct species may get a second chance

    05/31/2015 - 10:00 Genetics, Animals, Ecosystems
  • News

    Titanic typhoons are in the forecast

    Warming waters will boost the destructiveness of future typhoons, new research predicts.

    Studying 60 years of typhoon activity in the western Pacific Ocean, researchers spotted a clear trend: A typhoon’s ultimate intensity largely depends on the temperature of deep seawater churned upward as the storm passes overhead. Projecting their finding into the future, the researchers...

    05/29/2015 - 14:00 Climate