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  • News

    European fossils may belong to earliest known hominid

    Europe, not Africa, might have spawned the first members of the human evolutionary family around 7 million years ago, researchers say.

    Tooth characteristics of a chimpanzee-sized primate that once lived in southeastern European suggest that the primate, known as Graecopithecus, may have been a hominid, not an ape as many researchers assume. One tooth in particular, the second lower...

    05/22/2017 - 14:00 Anthropology, Human Evolution
  • Feature

    Chaco Canyon’s ancient civilization continues to puzzle

    Chaco Canyon is a land of extremes. Summer heat scorches the desert canyon, which is sandwiched between sandstone cliffs nearly two kilometers above sea level in New Mexico’s northwestern corner. Bitter cold sweeps in for winter. Temperatures can swing as many as 28 degrees Celsius during the course of a day. Through it all, Chaco Canyon maintains a desolate beauty and a craggy pride as home...

    05/17/2017 - 07:00 Archaeology, Anthropology
  • It's Alive

    Blennies have a lot of fang for such little fishes

    After a recent flurry of news that fang blennies mix an opioid in their venom, a question lingers: What do they need with fangs anyway? Most eat wimpy stuff that hardly justifies whopper canines.

    Not that fang blennies are meek fishes.

    “When they bite, they bite savagely,” says Bryan Fry of the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. “If these little jobbies were 3 meters...

    05/16/2017 - 10:00 Animals, Evolution
  • Feature

    Jumping genes play a big role in what makes us human

    Face-to-face, a human and a chimpanzee are easy to tell apart. The two species share a common primate ancestor, but over millions of years, their characteristics have morphed into easily distinguishable features. Chimps developed prominent brow ridges, flat noses, low-crowned heads and protruding muzzles. Human noses jut from relatively flat faces under high-domed crowns.

    Those facial...

    05/16/2017 - 07:00 Genetics, Human Evolution, Molecular Evolution
  • Exhibit

    New museum exhibit explores science of racism

    In a famous series of experiments conducted in the 1970s, social psychologist Henri Tajfel asked how little it would take to persuade one group of people to discriminate against another. The answer was almost nothing. Having assigned boys to two groups based largely on random criteria, he asked them to play a game. Each boy had to decide how many pennies to give to members of his own group and...

    05/14/2017 - 08:00 Science & Society, Anthropology, Psychology
  • Science Visualized

    Stunning images reveal glacial landscapes under the oceans

    View the slideshow

    The footprints of long-gone glaciers and icebergs are now frozen in time in a stunning new collection of images of Earth’s seafloor.

    The Atlas of Submarine Glacial Landforms is a comprehensive, high-resolution atlas of underwater landscapes that have been shaped by glaciers, largely in polar and subpolar regions, and provides a comparative look at how glaciers,...

    05/12/2017 - 11:00 Earth, Climate, Oceans
  • News

    Twisted textile cords may contain clues to Inca messages

    Animal-hair cords dating to the late 1700s contain a writing system that might generate insights into how the Inca communicated, a new study suggests.

    Researchers have long wondered whether some twisted and knotted cords from the Inca Empire, which ran from 1400 to 1532, represent a kind of writing about events and people. Many scholars suspect that these textile artifacts, known as...

    05/08/2017 - 09:00 Archaeology, Anthropology, Language
  • News

    Mars may not have been born alongside the other rocky planets

    Mars may have had a far-out birthplace.

    Simulating the assembly of the solar system around 4.56 billion years ago, researchers propose that the Red Planet didn’t form in the inner solar system alongside the other terrestrial planets as previously thought. Mars instead may have formed around where the asteroid belt is now and migrated inward to its present-day orbit, the scientists report...

    05/05/2017 - 07:00 Planetary Science, Astronomy
  • 50 Years Ago

    50 years ago, U.S. fell short on mosquito eradication

    Mosquitoes on the way out

    By 1973, just nine years after the start of an antimosquito campaign, the Aedes aegypti will be eradicated from the United States. The mosquito, a potential carrier of yellow fever, dengue and hemorrhagic fever, has been the target of a $23 million attack launched in 1964…. The carrier of these viral diseases can still be found in 10 southern states, Hawaii, the...

    05/04/2017 - 08:00 Animals, Health
  • Editor's Note

    March highlights questions about benefits of science

    On April 22, tens of thousands of scientists and science enthusiasts marched for science in Washington, D.C., and in other cities around the globe. Many participants expressed overtly political messages, but, as Science News reported live via Twitter from the National Mall, many marchers also focused on how much they value science. People gathered en masse in part to recognize science as a...

    05/03/2017 - 11:30 Science & Society