Follow World Science On Twitter!

E‑newsletter:   subscribecancel


"Long before it's in the papers"
April 16, 2014




Scientists take step toward usable fusion energy
Sci­en­tists are clos­er than ever to us­ing the pro­cess that pow­ers the Sun to pro­duce en­er­gy, says a re­port to ap­pear in the re­search jour­nal Na­ture.

An evolutionary role for “Jackass”-like stunts?
Risk-prone people are per­ceived as larg­er and strong­er, new re­search finds.


DNA “markings” may transmit learned experiences
So-called epige­net­ic changes have gar­nered in­creas­ing at­tent­ion as a route by which na­ture trans­mits traits across gen­er­a­tions.

Love your enemy? Hormone spray may help with that, too
Inhaling the hor­mone oxy­to­cin may make peo­ple em­pa­thize more with out­siders, a stu­dy sug­gests.


Scientists probe how Inca kids were drugged for sacrifice
Chil­dren of the an­cient In­ca Em­pire may have con­sumed in­ten­si­fying doses of al­co­hol and co­ca leaf for as long as a year be­fore a ri­tual slaugh­ter.

A reputation sealed? Finding suggests T. rex hunted for real
A toothy dis­cov­ery sug­gests the icon­ic di­no­saur Ty­ran­no­saur­us rex was a real hunt­er af­ter all—not a mere scav­en­ger.


Study explores how power gets to the brain
Pow­er may or may not cor­rupt, but it does change you. New re­search ex­plores what hap­pens in the brain as that takes place.

Studies may have overestimated our generosity
Scientists recre­ated a game of­ten used to as­sess peo­ple’s al­tru­ism—but this time there was a twist, and a darker re­sult.


Already-approved drug tied to longer, healthy lives in mice
The first drug to suc­cess­fully ex­tend the life­span of nor­mal lab mice al­so does so in a way that pro­longs their healthy ex­ist­ence, a stu­dy sug­gests.

Men want status from romantic relationships, research finds
A set of surveys suggests men and women get self-es­teem from rela­t­ion­ships in dif­fer­ent ways.


Killed twice in 1600s, hoax “dragon” slain again—in creationism dispute
Scient­ists say they’ve proven what some suspected three centuries ago: the swamp dra­gon from Rome was a hoax. And maybe now it mat­ters more.

Yes, gentlemen, size matters—but something else matters more, study finds
Scientists as­sessed how pe­nis size, body height and body shape inter­act to in­flu­ence fe­male rank­ings of male al­lure.


Babies may be drawn to those who mistreat the “different”
Re­searchers report new evi­dence that hard-to-eradi­cate bia­ses based on race, sex and other diff­er­ences take root early in life.

Your brain cells may be capable of outliving you—by a lot
New findings make scient­ists hope­ful that if hu­man life­span is increased, brain cells will coop­erate by liv­ing long­er accord­ing­ly.


Chimps found to play fairness game like people
In some im­por­tant ways, chimps may have more hu­man-like con­cepts of fair­ness than pre­vi­ously rec­og­nized, bi­ol­o­gists say.

For signs of life, some strange planetary systems may be most promising
Atmos­pheric chem­icals be­tray­ing the pre­sence of alien life might be de­tect­able around white dwarf stars, a study says.

Did some Neanderthals learn advanced skills from “moderns”?
Sur­pris­ing­ly, some Ne­an­der­thal peo­ple seem to have made body or­na­ments and soph­is­t­icated tools, a study re­ports.

Theory that cooking gave us big brains gains support
New research backs up a the­o­ry that the ad­vent of cook­ing al­most two mill­ion years ago en­abled hu­mans to get smart­er.

Friendliness to minorities may often be a performance—a fragile one
Many whites be­have ex­tra nicely to mi­nor­i­ties, but it’s often an act that ar­ises from a sense of obli­ga­t­ion, new re­search sug­gests.


Gospel of Matthew linked to trail of bizarre self-mutilations
A particu­lar set of verses from a book in the Bi­ble has crea­ted con­stern­ation among some med­i­cal pro­fes­sionals.

“Racial purity” DNA testing slammed as perversion, but halting practice might not be easy
A pol­i­ti­cian has sparked out­rage af­ter re­port­ed­ly tak­ing a DNA test for a shock­ing pur­pose. But just where the red line lies is not wide­ly agreed up­on.

Moral “taint” still seeps along familial lines
We are still blamed to some de­gree for the mis­deeds of our rel­a­tives, ac­cord­ing to a set of newly re­ported sur­veys.

American heads have been changing shape, but why?
White people’s heads in the Unit­ed States have got­ten taller and nar­row­er since the days the steam­ship was king, re­search indi­cates.

Cold case solved? Study probes riddle of sinking beer bubbles
Bub­bles in dark beer are seen to slide down­ward, iron­ic­ally, be­cause they’re trying to head up­ward, a study re­ports.

Move elephants into Australia, scientist proposes
Does the Land Down Under need an in­fu­sion of large mam­mals to solve its ec­o­log­i­cal and wild­fire prob­lems?

Was blackmail essential for marriage to evolve?
A study takes a cold new look at a cus­tom as ancient and firmly estab­lished as it is sa­cred to mil­lions.

A human bias against creativity is hindering science, research claims
Most of us love crea­ti­vi­ty—until it ac­tually comes knock­ing, some psy­cho­lo­gists say.

Pluto has even colder “twin” of similar size, studies find
A “d­warf plan­et” or­bit­ing our sun three times fur­ther away than Plu­to is about the size of that better-known, frig­id world, as­tro­no­mers say.


Could simple anger have taught people to cooperate?
A new study chal­lenges one of the lead­ing the­o­ries as a sol­u­tion for an evo­lu­tion­ary puz­zle.


* * * LATEST * * *

We’re over the hill at 24? So says computer-game study
If you’re over 24 you’ve al­ready peak­ed in terms of speed in ex­e­cut­ing de­ci­sions, a study sug­gests.

Saturn may be spawning tiny new moon
Astro­nom­ers sus­pect the ob­ject may be going through stages that char­act­erized the birth of other moons, and plan­ets.


Scientists to explore deep ocean trench
What lives in the deep­est part of the ocean? Sci­en­tists plan to use the world’s only full-o­cean-depth un­der­wa­ter ro­bot and oth­er tech­nol­o­gy to find out.

Possible alien moon detected, but never to be seen again
Though un­con­firm­able, the find­ing is seen as a tan­ta­liz­ing first step to­ward find­ing ex­o­moons.

Neanderthals no strangers to good parenting, study says
Ne­an­der­thal par­ents were more at­ten­tive than tra­di­tion­ally sup­posed, a new study ar­gues.


Saturn moon hides sea within, scientists conclude
Researchers al­so be­lieve the wa­ter is in con­tact with a rocky floor below, mak­ing it more suit­a­ble for a hypo­theti­cal origin of life.

Zombie cancer cells eat themselves to live
Some can­cer cells may sur­vive che­mo­th­er­a­py attacks by eat­ing parts of them­selves, re­search sug­gests.


“Dark matter” possibly seen destroying itself
Scientists report new clues in the hunt for a mys­ter­ious sub­stance thought to make up over 80 per­cent of the ma­te­ri­al uni­verse.

Did limits on lead cause huge U.S. crime drop?
Re­mov­al of lead from gas and paint con­tri­but­ed to a huge de­cline in vi­o­lence across the Un­ited States since the 1990s, a the­o­ry claims.


Tiny planet found to have Saturn-like rings
A mini-plan­et in our so­lar sys­tem has rings, con­tra­dict­ing a long­time as­sump­tion that only big plan­ets can have these, a study finds.

Riddle of zebra’s stripes “solved”
Scient­ists say they now know why the zebra has stripes, but the solu­tion raises a new prob­lem.

Fair bosses “pay a price”
Bosses who are fair make their work­ers and com­pa­nies bet­ter off, but may be burn­ing them­selves out, a study finds.


Debris of Earth-like planets found to float around dead stars
Sci­en­tists say they have “solved” a dec­ades-old space mys­tery.

Big, unseen planet may inhabit outer Solar System
A dwarf planet just found far outside the known So­lar Sys­tem also hints that a far bigger one lurks, astro­nom­ers re­port.

Study: E-cigarettes not linked to higher quit rates
Manufacturers shouldn’t advert­ise new de­vices as smok­ing-ces­sa­tion tools ab­sent more evi­dence, sci­ent­ists say.


Radar shows mirror-smooth sea on Saturn moon
The find­ing could be due to lack of winds at the time of the mea­sure­ments, scientists said.

Cuckoo helps nestmates by releasing awful stench
Cuck­oos are the bird world’s most no­to­ri­ous freeload­ers, but one spe­cies is found to give some­thing in re­turn.

Social groups may ease depression
Clin­ic­ally de­pressed pa­tients re­cov­er more re­liably if they build strong ties to a group, re­search finds.


Ripples in space-time detected, supporting theory
Scient­ists re­ported de­tect­ing waves de­scribed as the “first tremors of the Big Bang.”

Males, females may deal with stress oppositely
Stress could be un­der­min­ing not only our health but al­so our rela­t­ion­ships with oth­ers.

Journalism-by-robot may spread
Com­put­er-writ­ten ar­ti­cles may come across to read­ers as more bor­ing—yet more cred­i­ble—than those by hu­mans.


Soft robotic fish swims “like real thing”
Soft ro­bots have be­come a pop­u­lar re­search top­ic.

Europeans may have evolved lighter skin in past 5,000 years
The skin changes may be a re­sult of the body’s need to pro­duce more Vit­a­min D, scient­ists say.


Space rock mysteriously falls apart
NASA’s Hub­ble Space Tel­e­scope has recorded the nev­er-be­fore-seen break-up of an as­ter­oid in­to as many as 10 smaller pieces.

“5-second” food rule of urban legend found to have real basis
Folk­lore claims that many peo­ple use the rule, not nec­es­sarily that it really works.

Even “Dr. Barbie” may dampen girls’ career aspirations
“Sexualized” dolls may af
­fect young girls neg­atively regard­less of the dolls’ cos­tumes, re­search­ers sug­gest.


Invasive plants use our shoes, tires as transport, scientists say
Harsh, cold cli­mates don’t seem to stop al­ien plants from con­quer­ing moun­tain ar­eas.

Policy to protect domestic violence victims may be killing them
Scientists called the find­ings a med­i­cal mys­tery.

How learning new ideas alters brain cells
A new study iden­ti­fies an im­por­tant mo­lec­u­lar change that oc­curs in the brain when we learn and re­mem­ber.


Obesity rates for U.S. toddlers found to plummet
Sci­en­tists said the re­sults in­di­cat­ed that obes­ity-prevention pro­grams tar­geted at young chil­dren might be start­ing to bear fruit.

“Super-Earths” may be dead worlds
It may be dis
­ap­point­ing, but many seem­ing­ly Earth-like planets are not that at all, a study finds.

Astronomers film record-breaking lunar impact
A rock the weight of a small car hit the Moon last Sep­tem­ber, ac­cord­ing to as­tro­no­mers who filmed the im­pact.


“Artificial muscles” could be woven into clothing
Fibers from fish­ing line and thread can be used to make in­ex­pen­sive ar­ti­fi­cial mus­cles, re­search­ers say.

Ants make well-organized rafts with own bodies
Ants facing a flood use their own brood as “flota­t­ion de­vices,” pro­tect the queen and manage to keep al­most every­one safe, ac­cord­ing to a stu­dy.

Distant quasars could close loophole in quantum mechanics
Scientists are try­ing to prove that lack of hu­man free will isn’t the rea­son na­ture seems to fol­low seeming­ly absurd pro­bab­il­istic laws.


Elephants “console” distressed pals
Con­sola­t­ion be­hav­ior is rare in the an­i­mal king­dom, re­search­ers say.

Scientists said to restore some youthful strength to old mice
Researchers hope to event­ual­ly try the treat­ment on peo­ple.


Study suggests method to predict eruptions
De­tect­ing wheth­er the rock un­der a vol­ca­no is liq­uid enough to erupt might help nar­row down when that might hap­pen.

No such thing as porn addiction, researcher says
So-called porn ad­diction treat­ment is a luc­ra­tive busi­ness based on ques­tion­a­ble sci­ence, a report claims.

Beauty in math may touch same brain area as art, music
The math­e­mat­i­cal for­mu­la rated most beau­ti­ful in a new study was “Eu­ler’s ident­ity.”


Beast evolved “steak-knife” teeth before dinosaurs
The first top preda­tors to walk on land weren’t afraid to bite off more than they could chew, a study sug­gests.

Aggression genes go way back
Aggression-causing genes have kept their roles for hun­dreds of mil­lions of years, in diff­er­ent ani­mals and con­texts, sci­ent­ists say.

Rats may take over the world and grow bigger, scientist predicts
The evo­lu­tion­ary suc­cess of rats so far leads one scho­lar to a dis­turb­ing pre­dic­tion.


Money makes people more right-wing, lottery study finds
Lot­tery win­ners tend to switch to­wards sup­port for a right-wing par­ty and be­come less egal­i­tar­ian, ac­cord­ing to new re­search.

Just four basic emotions, not six, study says
Hu­mans have only four bas­ic emo­tions—not six, a new study based on fa­cial ex­pres­sions pro­poses.


Two-sunned planets don’t form easily, study finds
Plan­ets with two stars—like Luke Sky­walk­er’s home plan­et from Star Wars—can only form very far from their suns, a new study con­cludes.

Scientists develop “bendy” glass
In the fu­ture, when you drop a glass, it might just bend and be­come slightly de­formed.

“Rogue” asteroids may be the norm
As­ter­oids found far from where they formed are evi
­dence of a long-ago shake­up in the Solar System, as­tro­no­mers say.


“Unique” brain area seen only in humans
The brain ar­ea is con­sid­ered to be in­volved in plan­ning and de­ci­sion-mak­ing.

Anthrax faces silent war with giant, deadly virus
Al­though the an­thrax bac­te­ri­um strikes fear in the hearts of many, it has its own mor­tal en­e­my, sci­ent­ists re­port.


Could space dust have brought life’s ingredients to Earth?
Space dust br­ings wa­ter and or­gan­ic mo­le­cules to Earth and si­m­i­lar rocky plan­ets, a study has found.

Narcissism may be good in moderation
A little nar­cis­sism is good for lead­er­ship suc­cess, re­search­ers are sug­gest­ing.

Link in “cosmic web” reported seen for first time
A net­work of fil­a­ments is thought to link ga­lax­ies through­out the uni­verse.


Jellyfish drones coming? New flying machine moves like sea creature
Sci­en­tists have de­vised a lit­tle fly­ing ma­chine that moves like a jel­ly­fish does in wa­ter, though for now it has to re­main at­tached to a cord.

Beer foam explodes like a “mushroom cloud,” scientists find
Sci­en­tists say they have ex­plained why beer foams up so quickly when a bot­tle gets bumped.

Study: Even prisoners think they’re nicer than most people
Just about eve­ry­one thinks they’re bet­ter than av­er­age—in­clud­ing con­victed crim­i­nals, a study has found.


Even microbes carry out tiny “commerce,” study finds
There’s big busi­ness go­ing on in a very small world, and some­times we are part of the trans­ac­tion, sci­ent­ists say.

DNA said to disprove war elephant myths
Re­search­ers say they have cleared up ques­tions around the only known bat­tle be­tween Asian and Af­ri­can ele­phants.


Prairie dogs may do version of “the wave” as alertness test
Black-tailed prai­rie dogs use a “jump­ing dis­play” that spreads through their com­mun­ity.

Study said to explain giant underwater waves
In­ter­nal waves, hid­den to­tally with­in the ocean, can tow­er as high as sky­scrap­ers, sci­ent­ists say.


Racism victims may age faster
Targets of rac­ism may suffer accelerated aging if they let the neg­a­tive at­ti­tudes about them sink in, a study finds. 

Search suggests no one from future lives amongst us
If time trav­el is ever to be in­vented, should­n’t some­body from the fu­ture be among us now?


Microbe sex gets crazy, too
Re­search­ers have watched mat­ing in the mi­crobes that cause Af­ri­can sleep­ing sick­ness.

Vitamin E may lessen Alzheimer’s symptoms
A regimen was tied to mod­er­ately slower decline and a 2-hour daily drop in care­giver time.

World Science Archive
 Show larger version

This Hub­ble Space Te­le­scope im­age re­leased Dec. 17 shows RS Pup­pis, a type of var­i­a­ble star known as a Ce­phe­id var­i­a­ble. RS Pup­pis varies in bright­ness by al­most five­fold eve­ry 40 days or so. RS Pup­pis is also un­u­su­al in that it's shrouded by thick, dark clouds of dust. This leads to a phe­nom­e­non known as a light echo, in which light re­flect­ing off the clouds takes longer to reach us than light di­rect­ly from the star. The dark back­ground sky in this im­age is pop­u­lated with ga­lax­ies. More infor­m­a­tion on the im­age here. (Cred­it: NA­SA, ESA, & Hub­ble Her­it­age Team (STScI/AURA)-Hub­ble/Europe Col­lab.)

Wondering how to support World Science for free? Just put a link to our home page,
on your site!

* More Science in Images
* More World Science
* Comments
* About World Science
* Tell a friend about World Science
* Supporters
* Links (1, 2, 3)

News alerts
* Scientists still waiting for clear signs of ozone hole healing (Reuters)

* 3 in US win chemistry Nobel for computer models (AP)

* Nobel prize for Higgs boson discovery (
* NASA Mars rover finds no sign of methane, telltale sign of life (Reuters)

WS Archives

Links  (World Sci­ence not qres­pon­si­ble for con­tent of out­side pages)  
A Few Things Ill Considered
African Journal of Environmental Science & Technology
Cliff Pickover's Reality Carnival 
Gravity Control
How To Save the World
Numericana physics & more
Reference Frame
Science and Reason
Science and Society
Sum Over Histories
The Disgruntled Chemist
The Eyes Have It
Random Harmony Inventor
Physics and music
About the WS backgrounds


©2004-2013 World Science. Any article on this site may be reproduced on another website, on condition that that page provides a link to this homepage, Linking to the page of the original article is optional. 

Site best viewed in Internet Explorer.
Return to top of page

hit counter code