Life

  1. illustration of several types of dinosaurs exploring a habitat with a lake and trees amid rain
    Earth

    A volcano-induced rainy period made Earth’s climate dinosaur-friendly

    New physical evidence links eruptions 234 million to 232 million years ago to climate changes that let dinosaurs start their climb to dominance.

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  2. brain scan
    Neuroscience

    A blood test may help predict recovery from traumatic brain injury

    High levels of a key blood protein point to brain shrinkage and damage to message-sending axons, providing a biomarker for TBI severity and prognosis.

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  3. twin girls stand side by side
    Genetics

    All identical twins may share a common set of chemical markers on their DNA

    Identical twins may share a set of unique chemical tags on their DNA that could be used to identify individuals who were conceived as identical twins.

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  4. An ancient female spider and her egg sac trapped in amber
    Paleontology

    This is the oldest fossil evidence of spider moms taking care of their young

    A spider trapped in amber 99 million years ago guarded her eggs and may have helped raise her young.

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  5. an aerial photo of rice fields
    Climate

    Rice feeds half the world. Climate change’s droughts and floods put it at risk

    Rice provides sustenance for billions who have no alternative, and climate change threatens to slash production. Growers will need to innovate to provide an important crop as climate whiplash brings drought and floods to fields worldwide.

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  6. three common vampire bats roosting in a cave
    Animals

    Bloodthirsty vampire bats like to drink with friends over strangers

    Cooperation among vampire bats extends beyond the roost. New research suggests that bonded bats often drink blood from animals together.

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  7. image of a row of statues on Easter Island
    Genetics

    DNA offers a new look at how Polynesia was settled

    Modern genetic evidence suggests that statue builders on islands such as Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, had a shared ancestry.

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  8. Marguerite Vogt in a lab at the Salk Institute
    Health & Medicine

    By taking on poliovirus, Marguerite Vogt transformed the study of all viruses

    She pioneered the field of molecular virology with her meticulous lab work and “green thumb” for tissue culture.

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  9. ancient elephant footprint
    Paleontology

    Fossil tracks may reveal an ancient elephant nursery

    Fossilized footprints at a site in Spain include those of an extinct elephant’s newborns, suggesting the animals may have used the area as a nursery.

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  10. a brown bird perches on a branch and sings
    Animals

    Some birds learn to recognize calls while still in their eggs

    For over a decade, behavioral ecologist Diane Colombelli-Négrel and colleagues have been studying how birds perceive sounds before hatching.

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  11. skulls and other fossils in drawers
    Humans

    Fossils and ancient DNA paint a vibrant picture of human origins

    Paleoanthropologists have sketched a rough timeline of how human evolution played out, centering the early action in Africa.

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  12. a cow enters a bathroom stall
    Agriculture

    Potty-trained cattle could help reduce pollution

    About a dozen calves have been trained to pee in a stall. Toilet training cows on a large scale could cut down on pollution, researchers say.

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