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Ancient Fossil Gives Clues to Fossil Formation

December 18, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Missouri | News | Comments

A new study is challenging accepted ideas about how ancient soft-bodied organisms become part of the fossil record. Findings suggest that bacteria involved in the decay of those organisms play an active role in how fossils are formed— often in a matter of just a few tens to hundreds of years.

Brain Research Sheds Light on Navigation

December 18, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. College London | News | Comments

It has long been known that some people are better at navigating than others, but until now it...

Crows Are Even Smarter than Thought

December 18, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Iowa | News | Comments

Crows have long been heralded for their high intelligence— they can remember faces, use tools...

Earth May Have Made Its Own Water

December 18, 2014 7:00 am | by The Ohio State Univ. | News | Comments

A new study is helping to answer a longstanding question that has recently moved to the...

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Radiation in Airplane Cockpits on Par with Tanning Beds

December 18, 2014 7:00 am | by The JAMA Network Journals | News | Comments

Airline pilots can be exposed to the same amount of UV-A radiation as that from a tanning bed session because airplane windshields, commonly made of polycarbonate plastic or multilayer composite glass, do not completely block UV-A radiation.

Ancient, Hydrogen-rich Waters Found Around the Globe

December 17, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Toronto | News | Comments

A team of scientists has mapped the location of hydrogen-rich waters found trapped kilometers beneath Earth's surface in rock fractures in Canada, South Africa and Scandinavia. Common in Precambrian Shield rocks— the oldest rocks on Earth— the ancient waters have a chemistry similar to that found near deep sea vents, suggesting these waters can support microbes living in isolation from the surface.

Rover Finds Methane Spikes on Mars

December 17, 2014 8:07 am | by Associated Press, Marcia Dunn | News | Comments

NASA's Mars rover, Curiosity, has detected spikes of methane in the planet's atmosphere. The Martian methane raises the question of past or present microbial life. Or the gas elevations could come from geological sources, comet impacts or something else entirely.

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Study Sheds Light on How Greenland’s Ice is Vanishing

December 17, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. at Buffalo | Videos | Comments

New research provides what the authors think is the first comprehensive picture of how Greenland’s ice is vanishing. It suggests that current ice sheet modeling studies are too simplistic to accurately predict future sea level rise, and that Greenland may lose ice more rapidly in the near future than previously thought.

TV Series Showcases Girls in STEM

December 17, 2014 7:00 am | by National Science Foundation | News | Comments

Richard Hudson and his team at Twin Cities Public Television are putting middle school girls in front of a national audience on the PBS series "SciGirls." This is the first television science series designed specifically for girls, ages eight to 12, to inspire and empower them to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Jaws Didn't Wipe Out His Cousin

December 17, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Manchester | News | Comments

New research suggests our jawed ancestors weren't responsible for the demise of their jawless cousins as had been assumed. Instead, researchers believe rising sea levels are more likely to blame.

Crops Gone Wild May Feed the World

December 16, 2014 2:00 pm | by Cell Press | News | Comments

To feed the world's growing population we will have to find ways to produce more food on less farmland, without causing additional harm to the remaining natural habitat. Research points the way to intensifying agriculture sustainably by fixing weaknesses that have sprung up quite by accident in the process of traditional crop breeding over the course of thousands of years.

All-electric Cars May Be Worse for Environment

December 16, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Seth Borenstein | News | Comments

People who own all-electric cars where coal generates the power may think they are helping the environment. But, a new study finds their vehicles actually make the air dirtier, worsening global warming. Ethanol isn't so green, either.

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Image of the Week: Rare Weather Fills Grand Canyon with Clouds

December 16, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

A rare weather phenomenon at the Grand Canyon had visitors looking out on a sea of thick clouds just below the rim last week. Cory Mottice of the National Weather Service said the weather event happens about once every several years, though the landmark was treated to one last year.

Researchers Uncover Complex Monkey Dialects

December 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by New York Univ. | News | Comments

A linguistic analysis by a team of scientists has revealed that the same species of monkeys located in separate geographic regions use their alarm calls differently to warn of approaching predators. The study found that monkey calls have a more sophisticated structure than was commonly thought.

Hot Days Are Bad for American Wallets

December 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by Associated Press, Seth Borenstein | News | Comments

Hotter days mean less cold cash for Americans, according to a new study matching 40 years of temperatures to economics. Days that averaged about 77 F ended up reducing people's income by about $5 a day when compared with days that were about 20 degrees cooler.

MAVEN IDs Links in Chain Leading to Atmospheric Loss

December 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by NASA | News | Comments

Early discoveries by NASA’s newest Mars orbiter are starting to reveal key features about the loss of the planet’s atmosphere to space over time. The observations reveal a new process by which the solar wind can penetrate deep into a planetary atmosphere.

Nuclear Power Key to Protecting Biodiversity

December 15, 2014 2:00 pm | by Univ. of Adelaide | News | Comments

Leading conservation scientists from around the world have called for a substantial role for nuclear power in future energy-generating scenarios in order to mitigate climate change and protect biodiversity. In an open letter to environmentalists with more than 60 signatories, the scientists ask the environmental community to weigh up the pros and cons of different energy sources.

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Dogs Process Speech the Same Way We Do

December 15, 2014 7:00 am | by The Conversation, Victoria Ratcliffe, David Reby | Videos | Comments

Human speech is complex, communicating not only words but also tone, as well as information about the speaker such as their gender and identity. To what extent can a dog pick up on these different cues? Sometimes it may seem like your dog doesn’t want to listen. But, in a new study, researchers found that he may understand more than he lets on.

Fish Use Diet Smell to Hide from Predators

December 12, 2014 3:09 pm | by Georgia Institute of Technology | News | Comments

A species of small fish uses a homemade coral-scented cologne to hide from predators, a new study has shown, providing the first evidence of chemical camouflage from diet in fish.

Greener Deicers Still Damaging

December 12, 2014 2:41 pm | by Inside Science News Service, Brian Owens | News | Comments

Every year, as winter closes in, transportation authorities prepare to deploy their stockpiles of salt and sand to keep the roads and highways safe and ice-free for drivers. In the U.S., roughly 18 million metric tons of road salt are spread on the roads each year. All that salt does not just disappear along with the ice in the spring; it sticks around, and can have major effects on the surrounding ecosystems and even drinking water.

World's Oldest African Penguin Underwent Chemo

December 12, 2014 2:00 pm | by Colorado State Univ. | Videos | Comments

The world’s oldest African penguin, a Zoo resident named Tess, dove effortlessly into her pool this week and swam for the first time since veterinarians used specialized radiation to treat an aggressive form of skin cancer on the penguin’s face. Making her dip more meaningful, Tess represents an endangered species expected to vanish from the wild within two decades.

Volcanoes May Have Killed the Dinosaurs

December 12, 2014 8:07 am | by MIT, Jennifer Chu | News | Comments

Sixty-six million years ago, an asteroid more than five miles wide smashed into the Earth at 70,000 miles per hour, instantly vaporizing upon impact. The strike obliterated most terrestrial life, including the dinosaurs, in a geological instant. But now scientists have found evidence that a major volcanic eruption began just before the impact, possibly also playing a role in the extinction.

Seeking Solutions for Water-level Changes in Great Lakes

December 12, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Michigan | News | Comments

Extreme water-level fluctuations in the Great Lakes, including historic lows on lakes Michigan and Huron in 2013 and substantial upward trends in 2014, are creating serious challenges for many. To help the community, scientists are launching a two-tiered, two-year collaborative research initiative called the Great Lakes Water Levels Integrated Assessment.

DNA shows 40-million-year Battle Between Primates, Pathogens

December 12, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Utah | News | Comments

Examination of DNA from 21 primate species— from squirrel monkeys to humans— exposes an evolutionary war against infectious bacteria over iron that circulates in the host's bloodstream. Supported by experimental evidence, these findings demonstrate the vital importance of an increasingly appreciated defensive strategy called nutritional immunity.

UN Urges Polluters to Present Climate Pledges

December 12, 2014 7:00 am | by Associated Press, Karl Ritter | News | Comments

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged governments to listen to scientists "shouting from the roof tops" and accelerate talks on a global pact to fight climate change. He also called on big carbon polluters to follow the examples of China, the U.S. and the EU and announce emissions targets for a planned deal next year in Paris. India, Russia and Japan and other major carbon emitters haven't made pledges.

Insights into Early Farming May Shape Future of Food

December 12, 2014 7:00 am | by Univ. of Sheffield | News | Comments

Agricultural decisions made by our ancestors more than 10,000 years ago could hold the key to food security in the future, according to new research that looked at why the first arable farmers chose to domesticate some cereal crops and not others.

Invasive Species Dramatically Alter Landscapes

December 12, 2014 7:00 am | by Purdue Univ. | News | Comments

A review of studies on how life forms interact with and influence their surroundings concluded that invasive species can alter landscapes in myriad ways and with varying degrees of severity. These changes can be quick, large-scale and extremely difficult to reverse.

Scientists Find Possible Signal from Dark Matter

December 12, 2014 7:00 am | by EPFL | Videos | Comments

Could there finally be tangible evidence for the existence of dark matter in the Universe? After sifting through reams of X-ray data, scientists believe they may have identified the signal of a particle of dark matter.

Researchers Map Avian Tree of Life

December 11, 2014 2:40 pm | by Univ. of Illinois | News | Comments

An international effort involving more than 100 researchers, nine supercomputers and about 400 years of CPU time has yielded the most reliable avian tree of life yet produced. The tree reflects the evolutionary relationships of 48 species of birds.

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