Life

  1. seven puppies wearing jackets
    Animals

    Dogs tune into people in ways even human-raised wolves don’t

    Puppies outpace wolf pups at engaging with humans, even with less exposure to people, supporting the idea that domestication has wired dogs’ brains.

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  2. greater horseshoe bats hanging from cave ceiling
    Health & Medicine

    One mutation may have set the coronavirus up to become a global menace

    A study pinpoints a key mutation that may have put a bat coronavirus on the path to becoming a human pathogen, helping it better infect human cells.

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  3. Epstein-Barr virus
    Health & Medicine

    50 years ago, scientists found a virus lurking in human cancer cells

    In 1971, scientists were building a case for viruses as a cause of cancer. Fifty years later, cancer-preventing vaccines are now a reality.

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  4. Romanesco cauliflower
    Plants

    How Romanesco cauliflower forms its spiraling fractals

    By tweaking just three genes in a common lab plant, scientists have discovered the mechanism responsible for one of nature’s most impressive fractals.

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  5. two sea otters in water
    Life

    Sea otters stay warm thanks to leaky mitochondria in their muscles

    For the smallest mammal in the ocean, staying warm is a challenge. Now, scientists have figured out how the animals keep themselves toasty.

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  6. illustration of coronavirus particles in blood
    Health & Medicine

    How your DNA may affect whether you get COVID-19 or become gravely ill

    A study of 45,000 people links 13 genetic variants to higher COVID-19 risks, including a link between blood type and infection and a newfound tie between FOXP4 and severe disease.

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  7. Hans Berger, inventor of the electroencephalogram
    Health & Medicine

    How Hans Berger’s quest for telepathy spurred modern brain science

    In the 1920s, psychiatrist Hans Berger invented EEG and discovered brain waves — though not long-range signals.

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  8. Asian giant hornet, AKA 'murder hornet', next to a beer can
    Animals

    Focusing on Asian giant hornets distorts the view of invasive species

    2021’s first “murder hornet” is yet another arrival. This is the not-so-new normal.

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  9. illustration of the head of an ancient insect-eating reptile
    Paleontology

    Fossilized dung from a dinosaur ancestor yields a new beetle species

    Whole beetles preserved in fossilized poo suggest that ancient droppings may deserve a closer look.

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  10. Animals

    These beetles walk on water, upside down, underneath the surface

    Many insects can skate atop the water’s surface thanks to water tension, but one beetle can apparently tread along the underside of this boundary.

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  11. A woman with medium blond hair next to a tree
    Science & Society

    An ecologist’s new book gets at the root of trees’ social lives

    In ‘Finding the Mother Tree,’ Suzanne Simard recounts how she discovered hidden networks in forests.

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  12. European robin on a branch
    Animals

    A proposed ‘quantum compass’ for songbirds just got more plausible

    Quantum physics could be behind birds’ magnetic sense of direction, new measurements indicate.

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