Life

  1. portrait of a northern giant hornet specimen
    Animals

    ‘Murder hornets’ have a new common name: Northern giant hornet

    Anti-Asian hate crimes helped push U.S. entomologists to give a colorful insect initially dubbed the Asian giant hornet a less inflammatory name.

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  2. a child holding a glass of milk grimaces
    Anthropology

    Famine and disease may have driven ancient Europeans’ lactose tolerance

    Dealing with food shortages and infections over thousands of years, not widespread milk consumption, may be how an ability to digest dairy evolved.

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  3. yellow underwing moth on a red clover flower at night
    Life

    Moths pollinate clover flowers at night, after bees have gone home

    Camera footage reveals that moths make roughly a third of the visits to red clover, highlighting the overlooked role of nighttime pollinators.

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  4. a 14,000-year-old partial skull of an ancient hominid shown from multiple angles
    Humans

    Ancient DNA links an East Asian Homo sapiens woman to early Americans

    Genetic clues point to a Late Stone Age trek from southwestern China to North America.

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  5. Herminia Pasantes stands in her lab with her arms raised in excitement
    Neuroscience

    Herminia Pasantes discovered how taurine helps brain cells regulate their size

    Mexican scientist Herminia Pasantes spent decades studying how nerve cells regulate their size and why it’s so vital.

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  6. an illustration of a dinosaur skeleton partly buried by debris
    Paleontology

    50 years ago, the dinosaurs’ demise was still a mystery 

    In 1972, scientists blamed dinosaur biology for the reptiles’ demise. Years later, researchers ID’d the real killer: an apocalyptic asteroid.

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  7. an illustration of a mammal ancestor, with a rodent-like head and long furry body, exhaling hot air on a cold night
    Paleontology

    Mammal ancestors’ shrinking inner ears may reveal when warm-bloodedness arose

    An abrupt shift in inner ear shape of mammal ancestors 233 million years ago, during a time of climate swings, points to evolution of warm-bloodedness.

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  8. Dozens of tiny Delena huntsman spiderlings in or near their white egg sac, surrounded by their much larger, red-legged mother.
    Animals

    These huntsman spiders do something weird: live together as a big, happy family

    Five unusual species of spider moms let youngsters live at home way past the cute waddling baby phase.

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  9. an elephant trunk grabbing something from a human hand
    Life

    The top side of an elephant’s trunk stretches more than the bottom

    New research on elephant trunks could inspire different artificial skins for soft robots.

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  10. photo of a southeastern pocket gopher emerging from a hole
    Animals

    Do gophers farm roots? It’s not as clear as viral articles claim

    Pocket gophers aerate and fertilize the soil in a practice that encourages rudimentary food production, researchers claim. But not everyone agrees.

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  11. photo of someone's hand wearing a wetsuit glove with octopus suckers
    Tech

    This octopus-inspired glove helps humans grip slippery objects

    The human hand, for all its deftness, is not great at grasping slippery stuff. A new glove aims to change that.

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  12. A tardigrade
    Animals

    Tardigrades could teach us how to handle the rigors of space travel

    Tardigrades can withstand X-rays, freezing and vacuum. Now researchers are learning how they do it, with an eye toward human space travel.

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