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  • Science Ticker

    How fractals jam glassy materials

    Unlike molecules in a crystal lattice, the molecules in glass don’t have regular positions, even though glass is a solid. Scientists think that glass molecules don’t flow, as they would in a liquid, because the particles are caged by each other and don’t have enough energy to overcome a threshold known as the energy...
    04/24/2014 - 15:31 Materials, Physics
  • News

    Farmers assimilated foragers as they spread agriculture

    Agriculture’s spread into Europe was a movement of people, not just ideas, new genetic data suggest.Early farmers living in Sweden about 5,000 years ago carried genetic signatures of both farmers and hunter-gatherers, researchers report April 24 in Science. The findings suggest that migrating farmers bred...
    04/24/2014 - 14:36 Genetics, Archaeology, Ancestry
  • Gory Details

    Could the menstrual cycle have shaped the evolution of music?

    A piece of advice I once received: Don’t ever talk about your period at work. No one wants to know.I have broken that rule. Menstrual cycles are fascinating, and at the risk of a major breach of workplace etiquette, here’s why we should all be talking about them more: If you’re a woman, your cycle shapes your physiology more than you probably realize, with hormones orchestrating a monthly...
    04/23/2014 - 17:35 Human Evolution, Psychology
  • Science Ticker

    Gene therapy with electrical pulses spurs nerve growth

    Electrical current from a cochlear implant has guided corrective genetic material into inner ear cells and stimulated nerve regeneration in deaf guinea pigs. The treatment improved the animals’ hearing sensitivity and range, researchers report April 24 in Science Translational Medicine. The gene therapy technique, which does...
    04/23/2014 - 17:28 Genetics, Cells, Technology
  • News

    Enzyme may help aspirin protect against colon cancer

    Aspirin, the pain reliever that lowers fever and inhibits blood clotting, also shows impressive but spotty protection against colorectal cancer. A new study reveals that people who fail to get this benefit from the drug might be making too little of a key enzyme in the colon.Among aspirin users, those with ample levels of the enzyme 15-PGDH are about...
    04/23/2014 - 14:00 Biomedicine, Cancer, Health
  • News

    Major step taken toward error-free computing

    Quantum computing has overcome an important barrier: Scientists have achieved nearly perfect control over a bit of quantum information in a way that could bring them a step closer to error-free calculations.All digital information comes in tiny packets called bits. In consumer devices, bits are chunks of magnetic or electric material that flip between two distinct states. But thanks to quantum...
    04/23/2014 - 13:00 Quantum Physics, Physics, Computing
  • Wild Things

    Secrets of a sailfish attack

    Many of us are familiar with sailfish — relatives of marlin— only from seeing them on the walls of sport fishermen. But watching them underwater, whether in person or on video, shows how beautiful the animals are in their natural habitat (...
    04/23/2014 - 12:30 Animals, Oceans
  • Science Ticker

    Dolphins use sponges to dine on different grub

    Some bottlenose dolphins sport cone-shaped sea sponges in their beaks, a behavior that may help the animals hunt. New research confirms the idea, showing that sponging dolphins have different fatty acids and therefore different diets than...
    04/23/2014 - 12:12 Animals, Physiology
  • Science Ticker

    Rainbow trout genome shows how genetic material evolved

    About 100 million years ago, the genome of the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) duplicated itself. Since then, about half of the duplicated protein-coding genes have been lost, but nearly all of the original and duplicate genes that control how genes are expressed still exist, researchers report...
    04/23/2014 - 09:09 Genetics, Animals
  • News in Brief

    Submariners’ 'bio-duck' is probably a whale

    It quacks like a duck, sort of. But the mystery creature of the Antarctic is more likely a whale.Submariners in the 1960s recorded strings of quick heartbeatlike pulses and nicknamed the unknown source a “bio-duck.” Whatever it is sounds off mostly in winter and spring in the Weddell Sea off Antarctica and the waters off Western Australia.The sound is “way too loud for a fish,” says marine...
    04/22/2014 - 19:02 Animals, Conservation