"Long before it's in the papers"
September 22, 2013


PAST NEWS - 2011

Cotton fabrics may clean themselves under sunlight
Clothes­lines might make a big come­back if some re­search­ers have their way. (Dec. 28, 2011)

Decisionmaking by great apes found unexpectedly complex
In weighing options, chimps and re­lated spe­cies take into ac­count the pos­si­ble re­wards and the role of chance, re­search suggests.  (Dec. 30, 2011)

Boosting your schooling may enhance your IQ
Education as late as the mid-teen years may sig­ni­fi­cantly im­prove intel­li­gence test scores, re­search sug­gests.  (Dec. 27, 2011)

Pigeons found to measure up in numbers game
Birds are looking smart­er and smart­er as sci­en­tific know­ledge grows, ac­cord­ing to new re­ports. (Dec. 23, 2011)

Fed “string theory,” computer reportedly explains our 3D space
New find­ings back up a pop­u­lar but con­tro­vers­ial the­ory of the uni­verse, its pro­po­nents claim.  (Dec. 24, 2011)

Frog said to describe its home through song
In its mat­ing calls, a type of frog in Chi­na con­veys the phys­i­cal pro­per­ties of its bur­row, sci­en­tists say.  (Dec. 22, 2011)

First Earth-sized planets beyond Solar System reported
While probably too hot to live on, they’re still a likely mile­stone in the search for al­ien life, sci­ent­ists say. (Dec. 20, 2011)

Psychologists: a little trauma may be a good thing
Your par­ents were right: hard ex­pe­ri­ences may in­deed make you tough, re­search­ers report. (Dec. 19, 2011)

Just walking faster might help extend life
Men aged 70 and up may be able to live long­er just by walk­ing at at three miles (five km) an hour or faster, a study finds. (Dec. 15, 2011)

Nasal spray may help beat shyness
For some peo­ple, first dates, job in­ter­views or Christ­mas cock­tail par­ties are the stuff of night­mares. (Dec. 9, 2011)

Why men overestimate their sexiness: it’s evolution, study proposes
Sex­u­al cues are am­big­u­ous and con­found­ing. We—espe­cially men—often read them wrong. (Dec. 13, 2011)

Even rats will lend a helping paw: study
Rats will free dis­tressed cage­mates from a trap, even when there’s no ev­i­dent re­ward, scientists say. (Dec. 8, 2011)

First Earth-like planet around Sun-like star reported
As­tro­no­mers have iden­ti­fied a plan­et with balmy tem­per­a­tures and poss­ibly li­quid water. (Dec. 5, 2011)

Drug may undo aging-associated brain changes in animals
Drugs that af­fect the lev­els of an im­por­tant brain pro­tein re­verse cel­lu­lar changes seen dur­ing ag­ing, ac­cord­ing to a stu­dy. (Dec. 7, 2011)

Two record-sized black holes identified
Black holes al­most as hefty as 10 bil­lion or more Suns have been found, as­tro­no­mers say. (Dec. 5, 2011)

Ravens show things to partners, a rare ability, study finds
Actions aimed at draw­ing at­ten­tion to an ob­ject are mile­stones in the evo­lu­tion of speech, scien­tists claim. (Nov. 29, 2011)

Astronomers may be learning to predict when a star is about to explode
The current in­ability to ac­cu­rate­ly pre­dict a super­nova de­prives sci­entists of va­lua­ble data. (Dec. 1, 2011)

“Fool’s gold” may lead to real treasure for solar cell developers
The glit­tery min­eral py­rite has gotten a bad rap, but that may be about to change, sci­ent­ists say. (Nov. 29, 2011)

Debate heats up on dog origins
Con­flict­ing the­ories have modern dogs des­cend­ing from wolves either in the Middle East or south­east­ern Asia. (Nov. 26, 2011)

Dreaming may take edge off bad memories
They say time heals all wounds. New re­search sug­gests time spent dream­ing may al­so help. (Nov. 24, 2011)

Millennia of chaos may have finally brought down the dinosaurs
A fa­mous me­teor­ite strike isn’t even the half of what the mighty rep­tiles en­dured, sci­ent­ists now claim. (Nov. 23, 2011)

“Terminator”-style info-vision may be closer to reality
A new pro­to­type con­tact lens brings the stream­ing of real-time in­forma­t­ion across your vis­u­al field a step clos­er, re­search­ers say. (Nov. 21, 2011)

Physicists report drawing light from seeming emptiness
A find­ing could aid our un­der­stand­ing of the mys­teri­ous act­i­vi­ties that take place in the va­cuum. (Nov. 18, 2011)

Mom’s mood may affect developing fetus
De­pres­sion in a preg­nant wom­an can change how the ba­by de­vel­ops af­ter birth, re­search sug­gests—but the ef­fect is far from simple. (Nov. 17, 2011)

Play develops similarly in chimps and humans, research finds
Chim­panzees play and de­vel­op much the same way as hu­man chil­dren, a study indi­cates. (Nov. 16, 2011)

Low birth weight may have effects 60 years later
Low birth weight and slow growth in pre-adol­es­cence raise the risk of poor phys­i­cal func­tion­ing at age 60, a Finn­ish study re­ports. (Nov. 16, 2011)

She-male shrimp are serial killers, but faithful
A var­iety of clean­er shrimp brings to mind the gid­dily mur­der­ous cou­ple in the 1994 film Nat­u­ral Born Kill­ers. (Nov. 11, 2011)

Gene found linked to easily visible differences in kindness
Strangers watch­ing short si­lent vi­deos can tell apart peo­ple in them who carry var­iants of a cer­tain gene, re­search sug­gests. (Nov. 11, 2011)

Solar system may have ejected a giant planet
As a chess play­er sac­ri­fices a piece to pro­tect the queen, the so­lar sys­tem may have giv­en up a plan­et and spared Earth, a new the­ory sug­gests. (Nov. 10, 2011)

Largest near-Earth asteroid passes by
The small, rather round and dark ob­ject came clos­est to Earth the eve­ning of Nov. 8. (Nov. 7, 2011)

Is our galaxy’s black hole shredding asteroids, planets?
A new pro­pos­al seeks to ex­plain small, daily flares de­tect­ed dai­ly near the cen­ter of the Mil­ky Way ga­la­xy. (Nov. 9, 2011)

Newborns’ separation from moms found to be “major” stressor
While rou­tine in hos­pit­als, the se­par­ation of in­fants from mo­thers should be mi­ni­mized, a study pro­poses. (Nov. 4, 2011)

Study points to watery underground past for Mars
If life ev­er ex­isted on Mars, the longest-last­ing habi­tats were most likely un­der­ground, re­search sug­gests. (Nov. 2, 2011)

E.T. might be detectable through his city lights
A pair of as­t­ro­phys­i­cists is pro­pos­ing a new tech­nique for track­ing down al­ien civ­il­iz­a­tions: look for city lights on their plan­ets. (Nov. 3, 2011)

Wine ingredient may help cheat some of obesity’s effects
When obese men take res­ver­a­trol eve­ry day for a month, their me­tab­o­lisms im­prove, a study has found. (Nov. 1, 2011)

Global warming already causes some droughts, scientists say
New re­search by U.S. gov­ern­ment sci­ent­ists pre­sents sober­ing con­clu­sions. (Oct. 28, 2011)

Planets may be smashed to dust near black holes
Doughnut-shaped dust clouds sur­round­ing many giant black holes might be the re­sult of crashes among plan­ets and as­ter­oids. (Nov. 1, 2011)

Surprisingly complex organic matter identified in space
Or­gan­ic mol­e­cules simi­lar to those that serve as the in­gre­di­ents of life can form in stars, a study indi­cates. (Oct. 27, 2011)

Ancient ceramics point to gradual shift to agriculture
Re­search­ers stud­ied cook­ing pots from 15 an­cient settle­ments, some of them now under­water. (Oct. 24, 2011)

“Junk DNA” may help explain human-chimp differences
Re­search may shed new light on the ridd­le of what makes hu­mans so diff­er­ent from their clos­est evo­lut­ion­ary cousins. (Oct. 25, 2011)

Embryonic solar system seen to be brimming with water
New find­ings sug­gest wa­ter-covered plan­ets like Earth could be com­mon, as­tro­no­mers say. (Oct. 20, 2011)

Number of Facebook friends linked to brain structure
New re­search ident­i­fies a link be­tween the num­ber of “Face­book friends” a per­son has and the size of cer­tain brain re­gions. (Oct. 18, 2011)

Ancient images of childbirth intrigue archaeologists
Depictions found at 2,700-year-old set­tle­ment in It­a­ly are probably the old­est known images of child­birth in West­ern art, scho­lars say. (Oct. 19, 2011)

“Dark matter” mystery deepens
The li­mi­ted pro­gress re­search­ers have made so far in un­lock­ing a key rid­dle of na­ture, may have gone off track, two sci­ent­ists report. (Oct. 17, 2011)

Prehistoric “art workshop” surprises scientists
A newly investigated site shows hu­mans made a pig­ment out of ochre some 100,000 years ago, re­search­ers say. (Oct. 13, 2011)

Will Mt. Everest be covered with solar panels?
Some of the world’s high­est and cold­est areas may be the best for gen­er­at­ing so­lar en­er­gy, a new study pro­poses. (Oct. 14, 2011)

Women on “the pill” may choose better dads as mates
O­ral con­tra­cep­tive pills may in­flu­ence wom­en to choose more car­ing, but less sexy, men as part­ners, ac­cord­ing to a new stu­dy. (Oct. 12, 2011)

Did a sea monster make an artwork… out of bones?
A bizarre theory pro­poses that a gi­gantic, pre­his­tor­ic oc­to­pus found a grisly hob­by—whose mat­er­ial was the bones of other sea monsters. (Oct. 10, 2011)

Crickets risk lives for their mates, study finds
It seems chiv­al­ry is­n’t dead among in­sects. (Oct. 7, 2011)

Series of thumps may have thrown planet off-kilter
Scientists say they may have fig­ured out why Ura­nus seems to be ly­ing on its side with re­spect to the Sun. (Oct. 7, 2011)

Explosion might have rocked space itself, scientists claim
As­tro­no­mers search­ing for an ex­ot­ic type of rip­ple in the very fab­ric of space and time say a dis­tant blast cre­at­ing such waves may have al­ready been de­tected. (Oct. 4, 2011)

Finding suggests ocean water could come from comets
A character­istic fea­ture of Earth’s ocean wa­ter has al­so been meas­ured in wa­ter from a com­et. (Oct. 5, 2011)

Saturn moon is snowy, forms perfect skiing powder, scientists report
A slow build­up last­ing pro­bab­ly mil­lions of years has created a thick blan­ket of su­per­fine crys­tals on En­ce­lad­us, re­search sug­gests. (Oct. 3, 2011)

Scoop from Twitter data: People are happiest in the AM, sour on work
The rise of so­cial me­dia has given so­cio­lo­gists an un­pre­ce­dented ability to in­vest­i­gate com­mon daily rhythms in mood. (Sept. 29, 2011)

More unequal societies spread faster, simulations suggest
Individual suff­ering par­ad­ox­ic­ally leads to succ­ess on a larg­er scale, ac­cord­ing to the per­haps dis­turb­ing con­clus­ions of one study. (Sept. 28, 2011)

Shrinking ice said to reopen major Arctic passage for whales
Melt­ing sea ice has let whales nav­i­gate a route be­tween the At­lantic and Pa­cif­ic for the first time in per­haps 10,000 years, sci­en­tists say. (Sept. 24, 2011)

Global warming may cause animals to shrink
Scientists say they have fig­ured out why cold-blood­ed ani­mals tend to grow to small­er adult sizes when it’s hot­ter. (Sept 27, 2011)

Ancient shipyard of Rome may be found
A new­found structure would be the larg­est of its kind in Italy or the Mediter­ra­nean, if arch­aeo­logists are cor­rect in its ident­ifi­ca­tion. (Sept. 23, 2011)

“Long­evity gene” may be un­related to long­evity
Any tech­niques or products that may have suc­cess­fully slowed ag­ing are prob­ab­ly not work­ing by the bio­lo­gi­cal me­chan­ism pre­vious­ly thought, new re­search claims. (Sept. 21, 2011)

NASA raises doubts on asteroid group thought to have killed dinosaurs
New research keeps the case open on one of Earth’s great mys­ter­ies. (Sept. 20, 2011)

First planet with two suns reported found
The ex­ist­ence of a world orb­it­ing two stars, as por­trayed in “Star Wars” more than 30 years ago, is now scien­tific fact, as­tro­no­mers say. (Sept. 15, 2011)

Could robot tractors revolutionize agriculture?
A rit­u­al old­er than civ­il­iz­a­tion, the farm­er ris­ing at dawn to till the fields all day, could be­come a thing of the past if some re­search­ers have their way. (Sept. 20, 2011)

Self-delusion a winning survival strategy, study suggests
Could a mis­tak­enly in­flat­ed be­lief in our abil­ity to meet chal­lenges be good for us? (Sept. 15, 2011)

In “vicious” ancient river waters, a sharp-toothed giant fit right in
A new­found fos­sil re­veals the ex­ist­ence of a huge fish that once prowled the bot­tom of North Amer­i­can wa­ter­ways, sci­en­tists say. (Sept. 13, 2011)

Facial expressions reported to develop before birth
Ex­pres­sions such as laugh­ter and cry­ing are iden­ti­fi­able in de­vel­op­ing fetuses, re­search­ers claim. (Sept. 14, 2011)

Oldest known human ancestor may be about 2 million years old: study
Re­search­ers have reached a more pre­cise age es­ti­mate for a fos­sil that they say could be the old­est known di­rect hu­man an­ces­tor. (Sept. 9, 2011)

Tree-climbing critter called milestone in mammal evolution
The old­est known mem­ber of the larg­est line­age of mam­mals was a shrew-like crea­ture that like­ly scur­ried on trees at night as dino­saurs lurked, scient­ists say. (Sept. 7, 2011)

Babies’ capacity for pain may form around time of birth
A new study sug­gests in­fants may de­vel­op the abil­ity to sense pain a few weeks be­fore their nor­mal due dates. (Sept. 8, 2011)

Early human interbreeding may go back much further than thought
New re­search looks at in­ter­breed­ing be­tween an­ces­tors of mod­ern hu­mans and our ex­tinct ev­o­lu­tion­ary rel­a­tives. (Sept. 6, 2011)

Thousands of “time bomb” stars might dot our galaxy
New re­search in­di­cates some old stars might be kept from blow­ing up only by their rap­id spins. (Sept. 6, 2011)

Remnants of ancient Mars lake reported
A Eu­ro­pe­an Space Agen­cy space­craft has spot­ted what sci­en­tists call a rare case of a crat­er once filled by a lake. (Sept. 2, 2011)

Intoxicated: you know your mistakes, but don’t care, study finds
Most of us have seen smart peo­ple do­ing dumb or em­bar­rass­ing things when drunk. But what ex­actly hap­pens in the brain? (Sept. 1, 2011)

Newfound star shouldn’t be, physicists say
A star in our galaxy is be­lieved to be made of el­e­ments too light to have come to­geth­er, through gra­vity, to form a star. (Aug. 31, 2011)

Parasite found to use sexy trick to fool rats into becoming cat food
Rats strick­en with the single-celled Toxo­plasma para­site lose some of their nat­ural fear of cats. New re­search may ex­plain why. (Aug. 22, 2011)

Chocolate may lower heart risk by a third: study
Find­ings back up re­sults of pre­vious re­search find­ing a po­ten­tial link be­tween choc­o­late con­sump­tion and heart health. (Aug. 30, 2011)

New lab tests measure “wisdom”
Psychologists say they have identi­fied some flaws in past stud­ies that sug­gested older ad­ults make worse deci­sions than young ones. (Aug. 23, 2011)

Work out? Some of those muscle-building drinks can actually work, researchers say
Pro­tein drinks mar­keted to help build muscle can work, but must be tak­en the right way for the best re­sults, ac­cord­ing to new re­search. (Aug. 19, 2011)

Is too much TV as dangerous as smoking?
A new study suggests watch­ing TV for an av­er­age of six hours a day could short­en life ex­pect­an­cy by al­most five years. (Aug. 16, 2011)

Possible hints of much-sought mystery particle reported
The Higgs boson is thought to be re­spon­si­ble for en­dow­ing eve­ry oth­er fun­da­men­tal par­t­i­cle of mat­ter with mass. (Aug. 17, 2011)

Ancient sea monster may have cared for its young
A newly an­alyzed fos­sil reveals poss­ible sur­prises about ple­sio­saurs, which prowled the oceans dur­ing the Age of Dino­saurs. (Aug. 12, 2011)

Appeals to sympathy lead many battered wives to drop accusations, study finds
An analysis of taped calls be­tween al­leged dom­estic vio­lence vic­tims and their part­ners re­vealed sur­prises, re­search­ers say. (Aug. 15, 2011)

Astronomers: planet is blacker than coal, but glows faintly
Researchers are stump­ed as to how a dis­tant plan­et be­came so dark. (Aug. 11, 2011)

Brain’s map of space may fall flat when it comes to height
An­i­mal’s brains are much less pre­cise in map­ping how high up they are than where they are horiz­ont­ally, a study finds. (Aug. 8, 2011)

Sparrow sing-alongs may signal hostility more than harmony
Song sharing among some birds may be akin to fling­ing in­sults back and forth, bio­log­ists say. (Aug. 10, 2011)

More evidence of flowing water on Mars reported
Dark, finger-like fea­tures ap­pear and ex­tend down some Mar­tian slopes dur­ing late spring through sum­mer, and fade in win­ter. (Aug. 6, 2011)

“Big splat” may explain mountains on Moon’s far side
A vast moun­tain­ous re­gion on the far side of the Moon may have formed that way be­cause of a col­li­sion with a smaller com­pan­ion moon, sci­en­tists say. (Aug. 3, 2011)

Scientists testing theory that there are multiple universes
Physicists are re­port­ing poss­ible, but only pre­lim­inary, evi­dence that there are more uni­verses out there. (Aug. 4, 2011)

Oxygen molecules “confirmed” in space
As­tro­no­mers say they have fin­al­ly con­firmed there are ox­y­gen mol­e­cules in out­er space, but how those got there is less cer­tain. (Aug. 2, 2011)

DNA clears Ben Franklin in invasive tree case
Blame for Chin­ese tal­low trees over­run­ing swaths of the U.S. Gulf Coast is being lifted from the states­man, scient­ist and found­ing fath­er. (July 28, 2011)

DNA-doubling trick may help plants conquer adversity
Plants may seem to just sit there strange­ly pas­sively while an­i­mals munch on them. Ap­pear­ances are often decep­tive, though. (Aug. 1, 2011)

“Invisibility cloak” said to be the first to work with visible light
Though it only works for mi­cro­scop­ic ob­jects, the new de­vice is a leap for­ward for a tech­nol­o­gy still in its “in­fan­cy,” ac­cord­ing to a re­port. (July 28, 2011)

Water on Saturn found to be coming from its moon
Unique­ly among known plan­ets, the “ringed” one has a chem­ical re­la­tion­ship with one of its own moons, re­search­ers re­port. (July 26, 2011)

Asteroid is leading Earth in strange dance, astronomers say
A new re­port puts Earth in the com­pa­ny of at least five oth­er plan­ets or moons docu­mented to have “Tro­jan” com­pan­ions. (July 28, 2011)

Study identifies relatives of microbe that became part of us
Mi­to­chon­dria—the energy-generating com­part­ments of our cells—are thought to be des­cen­dants of free-liv­ing bac­teria. (July 25, 2011)

“Re­mark­able” dolphin heal­ing abilities spur investig­ation
Dolphins seem­ingly shrug off—and fully re­cov­er from—even atro­cious shark bites, sci­ent­ists say. (July 22, 2011) (July 22, 2011)

Chance helps the rich get richer, simulation study finds
Luck is blind—but not equally kind—to every­one. New re­search anal­yzes how chance af­fects econ­om­ies. (July 22, 2011)

Suits of armor take heavy toll on wearers, study finds
If you think working out is tough, ima­gine doing it in a suit of ar­mor. A new study exa­mines how heavy metal might have af­fect­ed me­die­val sol­diers’ per­for­mance.  (July 20, 2011)


“Confirmed”: all of us but Afri­cans are part Neander­thal
Hu­mans and Ne­an­der­thal people inter­bred, prob­ab­ly in the Mid­dle East, re­search in­di­cates. (July 18, 2011)

Galaxy-sized twist in time may explain cosmic conundrum
Spin­ning galaxies may ac­count for some un­ex­pected diff­er­ences be­tween mat­ter and “an­ti­mat­ter,” a phys­i­cist says. (July 19, 2011)

Wipeout of top predators called No. 1 human effect on nature
Kill­ing off na­ture’s “apex con­su­mers” has had a host of un­in­tend­ed and un­want­ed con­se­quences, bio­log­ists say. (July 17, 2011)


“Personality” variation seen as vital to ants’ success
More and more scient­ists are tak­ing the idea of ani­mal per­son­ality ser­ious­ly. Re­search is start­ing to ad­dress its roles in eco­logy. (July 13, 2011)

Gossip may scare people into being nice
Gos­sip can be hurt­ful, un­pro­duc­tive, and mean. It can al­so help pres­sure peo­ple into sharing and co­op­er­ating, a study sug­gests. (July 11, 2011)

Is the universe spinning?
New find­ings sug­gest the uni­verse was born spin­ning, which means it may still be, phys­i­cists say. (July 11, 2011)


Anti-pre­judice pro­grams may back­fire
Educa­t­ion aimed at eli­min­a­ting racism may often ac­tu­ally stoke it thanks to an ad­ver­sar­ial tone, say some re­search­ers. (July 7, 2011)

Polar bears may have Irish ancestor thanks to interbreeding
Po­lar and brown bears don’t meet of­ten, but where they have, there seems to have been “little bar­rier to their mat­ing,” a sci­en­tist says. (July 8, 2011)

Beauty found to activate same brain area whether it’s visual or auditory
One char­ac­ter­is­tic all works of art may share is that they sti­mu­late the so-called me­di­al or­bi­to­front­al cor­tex, sci­en­tists say. (July 6, 2011)


Paris pigeons never forget a face?
Free-roam­ing birds of the city like­ly re­cog­nize peo­ple by their faces and aren’t fooled by changes of clothes, re­search­ers report.  (July 5, 2011)

Metal traces help scientists “color in” fossilized animals
Non-bio­de­grad­able ma­ter­ials may keep pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion for hun­dreds of mil­lions of years, sci­ent­ists say. (July 1, 2011)


Super black hole a “headache” for astronomers
A new dis­covery smash­es re­cords and may shed light on never-seen stages of cos­mic his­tory, sci­ent­ists say. It al­so deep­ens a co­nun­drum.  (June 29, 2011)

Military conflicts have been increasing since 1870, study finds
Mil­i­tary con­flicts be­tween states have been on a steady up­ward path, with­out even count­ing the post-9/11 per­iod, two re­search­ers say. (June 30, 2011)

Afghan wildlife shows “incredible resilience” amid war
A sur­vey re­vealed that a wide variety of mam­mals in­clud­ing black bears, gray wolves and leop­ard cats sur­vive in parts of Af­ghan­i­stan. (June 28, 2011)


Big dinos were about as warm as people, study finds
Ancient teeth pro­vid­ed in­form­ation that will help un­lock se­crets of the gi­ant rep­tiles’ be­ha­vior and de­mise, re­search­ers say.  (June 26, 2011)

Overfishing has profoundly changed the fish already, report says
Fish in our cen­tu­ry live fast and die young com­pared to those of the past, re­search­ers say aft­er analyzing me­di­e­val trash. (June 23, 2011)


Evidence for ocean in Saturn moon now compelling, scientists say
Sam­ples of a spray shoot­ing from Sat­urn’s moon En­cel­a­dus point to a vast, salt­wa­ter ocean un­der­ground, ac­cord­ing to a stu­dy. (June 22, 2011)

Step toward “spin” computing could save energy
Physicists are working toward com­pu­ters that would save en­er­gy and re­tain data even if po­wer sud­denly goes out. (June 21, 2011)

Scientists: black hole kills star, blasts beam at Earth
One of the big­gest, bright­est ex­plo­sions on record comes from a huge black hole at the cen­ter of a dis­tant gal­axy, as­tro­no­mers say. (June 16, 2011)


Scientists find bizarre mushroom, name it after “SpongeBob”
A new fun­gal spe­cies is almost cart­oon­ish in its spon­gy na­ture, but may play a role in sus­tain­ing its for­est env­ir­on­ment. (June 15, 2011)

Chemical mix may help regrow limbs in mammals
Move over, newts and sala­man­ders. The mouse may join you as the only an­i­mal that can re-grow their own sev­ered limbs.  (June 15, 2011)

Different cultures’ music matches their speech styles, study finds
Re­search­ers have de­bat­ed for years what the bi­o­log­i­cal ba­sis of mu­sic might be. (June 10, 2011)

3D film captures line between consciousness and lights-out
New data of­fers sci­en­tists what they call an un­prec­e­dent­ed peek in­to the phys­i­cal na­ture of con­scious­ness. (June 10, 2011)


Monkeys stop on red, too
Co­lor ap­pears to be a per­sis­tent force in hu­man evo­lu­tion, bio­lo­gists say. (June 9, 2011)

“Dark matter” may dress for the changing seasons
The elus­ive sub­stance per­vad­ing the uni­verse may show a sea­son­al rhythm, new re­search sug­gests. (June 7, 2011)


Bird’s mating dance leaves scientists goggle-eyed
The golden-col­lared man­a­kin’s ritual leaves its heart beat­ing at some of the high­est rates in the avi­an world, bi­ol­o­gists say. (June 4, 2011)

Violent video games move over? Relaxing ones may boost mood, kindness
While vi­o­lent vi­deo games may lead to more ag­gres­sion and an­ger, new re­search sug­gests the op­po­site al­so holds. (June 6, 2011)

Shame and honor boost cooperation equally: study
Reputa­t­ions may be in­creas­ing­ly cent­ral in the so­lu­tions to 21st-century prob­lems, re­search­ers ar­gue. (June 2, 2011)


Your parrot isn’t just parroting, study suggests

While many own­ers will at­test that pet par­rots have a pur­pose in their talk­ing, the sub­ject was lit­tle stud­ied be­fore re­cent­ly.  (June 1, 2011)


Attention cheaters: bacterial police are coming
At least some bac­te­ria can “po­lice” cheat­ers in their midst, a study has found, al­though how they do so is un­clear. (May 29, 2011)

Mammoths weren’t picky, happy to interbreed, scientists say
The woolly mam­moth may have often mat­ed with a very dif­fer­ent, much larg­er type of mam­moth. (May 31, 2011)

Electrons boast near-perfect roundness, physicists report
The elec­trical charge-carry­ing com­pon­ents of atoms are vir­tually per­fect spheres, phys­i­cists have an­nounced. (May 26, 2011)


Black holes spinning faster and faster, researchers say
The gi­ant black holes in the cen­ters of ga­lax­ies are spin­ning faster than ev­er be­fore on av­er­age, two as­tro­no­mers have con­clud­ed. (May 24, 2011)

Study: whites believe they are now the victims
Whites be­lieve they’ve re­placed blacks as the chief tar­gets of dis­crimina­t­ion in the U.S., results of a sur­vey in­di­cate. (May 24, 2011)

Lost critter reappears, poses for photos after 113 years
After eluding repeated searches, an odd-looking, puffy red ro­dent has re­ported­ly showed up at con­ser­vati­on­ists’ front door—lit­erally. (May 21, 2011)

Mega storm grips Saturn as scientists get unprecedented view
Eu­ro­pe­an and Amer­i­can as­tro­no­mers have teamed up to study a rare storm on Sat­urn in more de­tail than ev­er be­fore pos­si­ble. (May 19, 2011)


Scientists surprised to find Egyptian princess had heart disease
A con­dit­ion seen as a fruit of mod­ern life­styles has been around for mil­len­nia, re­search­ers say. (May 17, 2011)

Species are to ecosystems as cells are to the body, study asserts
An ec­o­sys­tem is like a great or­gan­ism, in that the spe­cies mak­ing it up act as cells do with­in the body, scient­ists claim. (May 16, 2011)


To understand unrest in our time, a study of mutinies in another
What fac­tors in­flu­ence the like­li­hood and na­ture of an up­ris­ing? Social scientists are por­ing over old ship records in hopes of some an­swers. (May 12, 2011)

Fast talker? speed of speech may affects your persuasiveness
Want to con­vince some­one to do some­thing? A new study of­fers some in­sights drawn from how we speak. (May 15, 2011)

Lizard builds big, close-knit family homes
Liz­ards are sel­dom seen as the warm, cuddly types. Yet to their family mem­bers, liz­ards of one spe­cies might be just that. (May 12, 2011)


Putting the squeeze on suspects: scientists refine methods to catch deception
When some­one is act­ing sus­pi­ciously at an air­port or oth­er pub­lic space, how can po­lice find out wheth­er he’s up to no good? (May 11, 2011)

Craft may sail seas on distant moon
NASA is con­sid­er­ing send­ing a probe to a sea of Sat­urn’s moon Ti­tan as one of three op­tions for a so­lar sys­tem mis­sion lat­er this dec­ade. (May 9, 2011)


Study: global warming hurting corn, wheat crops
Over the past 30 years, glob­al corn and wheat pro­duc­tion has fall­en 3 to 5 per­cent in re­sponse to a warm­ing glob­al cli­mate, a new study re­ports. (May 6, 2011)

“Confirmed”: spinning Earth drags space along
Re­search­ers say they have con­firmed two pre­dic­tions of Al­bert Ein­stein’s gen­er­al the­o­ry of rel­a­ti­vity. (May 5, 2011)


Ancient “Nutcracker Man” ate grass, not nuts, researchers say
An early hu­man rel­a­tive that walked on two legs and sported a ridged skull may need a new nick­name. (May 4, 2011)

Robots learn to share, and hint relatedness is the key
Robots can “evolve” a will­ingness to share, un­der con­di­tions that a bio­lo­gist pre­dict­ed in 1964, sci­en­tists say. (May 3, 2011)


Asteroid grows “tail” after apparent crash with kin
Astro­nom­ers say they have for the first time ob­served the re­cent after­math of a col­lision be­tween as­ter­oids. (May 1, 2011)

Voyager crafts at edge of Solar System
More than 30 years af­ter they left Earth, NASA’s twin Voy­ag­er probes are still beam­ing back news. (April 28, 2011)


Small groups of brain cells may “sleep” if you fail to
Research in rats may shed light on how sleep-de­prived lifestyles im­pair func­tion­ing with­out peo­ple real­iz­ing it, sci­en­tists say. (April 27, 2011)

Somersaulting robots the next generation of design?
Re­search­ers are work­ing on ro­bots that mim­ic the spe­cial skills of cer­tain cater­pil­lars. (April 26, 2011)


How handsome are you? Look at your hands
New re­search sug­gests men whose ring fin­ger is sig­nif­i­cantly long­er than the in­dex fin­ger tend to be rated bet­ter-look­ing. (April 25, 2011)

Pesticide robs kids of IQ points, study finds
Pre­na­tal ex­po­sure to a class of widely used crop pes­ti­cides is re­lat­ed to low­er in­tel­li­gence scores at age sev­en, a U.S. study indi­cates. (April 23, 2011)


In double-sunned worlds, black trees?
A sky with two suns is a fa­vor­ite sci­ence-fic­tion im­age, but it real­ly hap­pens on some plan­ets and it would bear on any evo­lu­tion of life, sci­ent­ists say. (April 20, 2011)

Physicists pore over data hinting at mystery particle
If con­firmed, new find­ings might up­end the “Stand­ard Mod­el” of phys­ics. (March 30, 2005)

Radio glow might reveal elusive planets
Emis­sions simi­lar to Earth’s North­ern Lights might give away other­wise hid­den worlds, some with life near­by, a study sug­gests. (April 19, 2011)


It’s not torture if it’s happening to someone else? Studies probe our hidden biases
Peo­ple are more likely to define an act as torture if they are suf­fer­ing even part of the pain it causes, sci­ent­ists say.  (April 14, 2011)

Ambitious search fails to find dark matter
The mys­tery con­tin­ues over the make­up of a substance thought to com­prise about five-sixths of the ma­te­ri­al in the un­iverse. (April 15, 2011)

Human language may have originated in Africa
Patterns of gene­tic and lin­guis­tic div­er­sity among hu­mans show a broad si­mi­lar­ity, a sci­ent­ist re­ports. (April 14, 2011)

Music making may help keep mind in tune in old age
Long­time play­ing of a mu­si­cal in­stru­ment may help keep your mind sharp as others’ start go­ing flat, re­search sug­gests. (April 11, 2011)


Political views found to be reflected in brain structure
Pro­found dif­fer­ences of opin­ion may often be as­soc­iated with varia­t­ions in the struc­tures of our brains, scient­ists claim. (April 8, 2011)

Docs’ own treatment choices differ from what they advise patients, study finds
A sur­vey in which doc­tors reacted to hy­po­thet­i­cal med­i­cal sce­narios yielded results that may not please every­one. (April 12, 2011)

Global warming could clobber food production: UN
Climate change could have a “po­ten­tially catas­troph­ic” long-term im­pact on crops, a U.N. agen­cy is warn­ing. (April 7, 2011)


Comet had watery past, scientists find
New find­ings chal­lenge a long-held belief that com­ets are al­ways froz­en. (April 5, 2011)

Asteroid reported to be companion to Earth
An as­ter­oid has probably been fol­low­ing Earth around the Sun for over a quar­ter of a mil­lion years, two re­search­ers say. (April 7, 2011)

Ancient life liked it hot, acidic, study finds
A re­con­struc­tion of molecules used by prim­i­tive or­gan­isms sug­gests they were built for seem­ingly extreme con­di­tions. (April 4, 2011)


“Long lost cousin” of T. rex identified
Fos­sils from China point to a brute that ri­valed the fear­some “tyr­ant liz­ard” in size, sci­entists claim. (March 31, 2011)

Little grains bombarded early Earth relentlessly, study finds
Bom­bard­ments of “micro-me­te­or­ites” on Earth and Mars four bil­lion years ago may have chilled both plan­ets’ cli­mates. (March 31, 2011)

Animal deaths in BP spill possibly greatly under­estimated: study
The im­pact on wild­life of last year’s BP Deep­wa­ter Ho­ri­zon oil spill may have been un­der­es­ti­mated by fifty­fold, a study sug­gests. (March 30, 2011)


White dwarfs might be fertile ground for other Earths
The best place to look for hab­it­a­ble plan­ets might be around dim, slowly dy­ing stars, new re­search pro­poses. (March 30, 2011)

“Junk food” moms may risk having “junk food” babies
A rat study sug­gests preg­nant and breast­feed­ing wom­en who eat lots of fat and sug­ar will likely have chil­dren with the same habits. (March 25, 2011)


Scientists claim first practical “artificial leaf”
A new device could turn every re­mote home into its own power sta­tion, its pro­pon­ents predict. (March 28, 2011)

America was populated earlier than thought, scientists con­clude
Re­search­ers in Tex­as say they have un­earthed thou­sands of ar­ti­facts that up­end old theor­ies.  (March 24, 2011)


Domestic violence reports found to spike after sporting upsets
Unexpected losses could spur some fans to act out, scient­ists say. (March 22, 2011)

Dinos may have used long necks “vacuum-cleaner” style
Staggeringly long necks may have let some dino­saurs graze widely with­out shift­ing their huge bod­ies, re­search­ers claim. (March 23, 2011)


Human prejudice may date back 25 million years or more, scientists say
Like peo­ple, some of our mon­key cousins tend to take an “us ver­sus them” view of the world, a study has found. (March 17, 2011)

Number of years spent obese linked to death risk
For eve­ry two years lived obese, one’s risk of dy­ing is six to sev­en per­cent high­er, new re­search in­di­cates. (March 21, 2011)

Quartz may be key to understanding quakes
A com­mon min­er­al may be be­hind earth­quakes and oth­er de­form­a­t­ions of the Earth’s crust, accord­ing to new re­search. (March 19, 2011)


Particle smasher might also act as time machine, scientists say
The world’s larg­est par­t­i­cle col­lider may al­so be the first ma­chine that can make things go back in time, some re­search­ers claim. (March 30, 2011)

Did the universe once have fewer dimensions?
The fa­mil­iar three di­men­sions of space may have been just one or two when the un­iverse was formed, some phys­i­cists claim. (March 16, 2011)

Happy-go-lucky types die younger, study finds
Cheer up. Stop wor­ry­ing. Take it easy. That is ter­rible ad­vice to give some­one who wants to live long, a study sug­gests. (March 11, 2011)


Having and walking a dog may make you fitter
Man’s best friend pro­vides more than just loyal com­pan­ion­ship, a study sug­gests. (March 10, 2011)

Study: “climate change” less doubted than “global warming”
Popular skep­ti­cism about wheth­er the world’s weath­er is chang­ing may vary de­pend­ing on what the change is called. (March 9, 2011)


Taste for sweets is more complex than we knew, scientists say
New find­ings may help ex­plain why a pinch of salt can en­hance a cake’s sweet­ness, among other things. (March 7, 2011)

Pain really does help ease guilt, study finds
Virtually no ex­perts would ag­ree that hurt­ing your­self is the right way to ease guilty feel­ings. But, scient­ists ad­mit, it may be one way. (March 8, 2011)


Tiny bugs have own personalities despite being clones, scientists say
Ti­ny green in­sects known as pea aphids have in­di­vid­ual be­hav­ior pat­terns, or “per­sonal­i­ties,” a study re­ports. (March 3, 2011)

Does a smile mean something to a dog?
Dogs can learn to tell apart smiles from blank ex­pres­sions in pho­tos of peo­ple, a study has found. (March 2, 2011)

“At least I’m not him”: comparing yourself to those worse off may improve health, coping
Re­grets are more bear­able when we re­flect on those who have it even worse, re­search in­di­cates. (March 1, 2011)

Scientists report creating illusion of having third arm
New research may help clar­i­fy an old ques­tion in psy­chol­o­gy and neu­ro­sci­ence: ex­actly how we ex­pe­ri­ence our bod­ies. (Feb. 28, 2011)

Noise distracts fish from dinner: study
Evidence suggests hu­man-made noise is harm­ing the scaly be­ings that go on our din­ner plates, sci­ent­ists say. (Feb. 28, 2011)

Related genes may promote human music, bird song
In­ter­est in mu­sic is asso­ciat­ed with a gene previously tied to mu­sical ap­ti­tude and, less directly, to sing­ing in birds, re­search finds. (Feb. 26, 2005)

Explosion shutting down a galactic party: physicists
An im­mense black hole in a gal­axy far, far away seems to be caus­ing a blast that will change that gal­axy for­ev­er, sci­en­tists say. (Feb. 23, 2011)

“King” of dinos called more hyena than lion
The fe­ro­cious Ty­ran­no­saur­us rex is of­ten de­picted as the bloody top dog of its time. (Feb. 22, 2011)

Scientists steer car with thoughts
You’d bet­ter not let your thoughts wan­der if you drive us­ing a new tech­nol­o­gy from the Free Uni­vers­ity of Ber­lin. (Feb. 21, 2011)

Could the fountain of youth be your faucet?
An element found in tap water may pro­mote long­er life, a study suggests. (Feb. 18, 2011)

Recent “human ancestor” finds under question
Two sci­en­tists are ques­tion­ing claims that sev­er­al prom­i­nent fos­sil finds from the last dec­ade are re­mains of hu­man fore­bears. (Feb. 17, 2011)

Ecuadorean community escapes scourges of aging
A genetic de­fect in a re­mote po­p­u­la­tion may help lead to treat­ments or diets that fend off can­cer and dia­betes, sci­entists say. (Feb. 16, 2011)

On the trail of giant rats, scientists find ancient faces
Fossil-hunt­ing re­search­ers have stum­bled in­to a group of stone carv­ings that are spark­ing cu­rio­sity. (Feb. 11, 2011)

Scientists worry that vines are taking over the American tropics
A bi­zarre de­velop­ment in the rain­forests may be con­nected to glo­bal warm­ing, re­search­ers say. (Feb. 15, 2011)

Scientists put date on world’s “strangest book”
Filled with bizarre drawings, the Voy­nich manu­script was penned by an un­known au­thor in an ut­terly baf­fling lan­guage. (Feb. 10, 2011)

Resources, choices found to hinder women in science
Reasons for women’s un­der­rep­re­senta­t­ion in sci­ence today may dif­fer from those in the past, re­search­ers say. (Feb. 8, 2011)

Prostate cancer joins growing list of cancers dogs could sniff out
Trained dogs can de­tect pros­tate can­cer by sniff­ing pa­tients’ urine, sci­en­tists have found. (Feb. 9, 2011)

Lifestyle affects life expectancy more than genetics does: scientists
How you live, more than how long your par­ents lived, de­ter­mines how old you’ll get, new re­search sug­gests. (Feb. 7, 2011)

Tiny flea boasts most genes known in an animal
A near-microscopic freshwa­ter crea­ture had its genome se­quenced due to its im­port­ance in aquatic food webs. (Feb. 4, 2011)

Fish face overexploitation even in Arctic, study finds
Al­most 75 times more fish are be­ing caught in the Arc­tic than Un­ited Na­tions fig­ures show, sci­en­tists say. (Feb. 4, 2011)

Possible Earth-sized, habitable planets found
A NASA tel­e­scope seems to have dis­cov­ered five plan­ets that are about the size of Earth and could sup­port liquid water, the agen­cy has an­nounced. (Feb. 2, 2011)

Some dinos may have survived dieoff, for a while
The dinosaurs are supposed to have died out by 65.5 mil­lion years ago, but a study sug­gests at least one duck-billed dino­saur missed the me­mo. (Jan. 30, 2011)

Newfound dino species called “father” of Triceratops
New re­search traces the fam­ily tree of two tank-like, horned gi­ant rep­tiles. (Feb. 1, 2011)

Did humans leave Africa much earlier than was thought?
Newfound tools imply mod­ern hu­mans were in Ara­bia mil­len­nia before they were be­lieved to have left Af­ri­ca, some sci­ent­ists say. (Jan. 28, 2011)

Eruption may have caused worst extinction ever
Evidence sug­gests a vol­can­ic blast led to the larg­est mass ex­tinc­tion in Earth’s his­to­ry, long be­fore the di­no­saurs died off, sci­ent­ists say. (Jan. 25, 2011)

Hubble peers back to an age of fewer, newer galaxies
A new record-holder for furth­est gal­axy ev­er seen il­lus­trates a time when the uni­verse was very diff­erent, ac­cord­ing to as­tro­nom­ers. (Jan. 16, 2011)

Self-control in childhood found to predict success later
Con­sci­en­tious­ness, self-dis­ci­pline and per­se­ver­ance in child­hood can pre­dict health and wealth years later, a study sug­gests. (Jan. 24, 2011)

Meditation really can change the brain, study finds
An eight-week pro­gram of medita­t­ion led to brain struc­ture changes in peo­ple par­ti­ci­pat­ing in a stu­dy, re­search­ers say. (Jan. 23, 2011)

Simple recall exercises may be best study method for science
Stu­dents learn more sci­ence through sim­ple re­call tasks than through more widely taught study techniques, a study sug­gests. (Jan. 21, 2011)

Birds’ plastic nest décor carries a message
Mem­bers of a bird spe­cies that dec­o­rate their nests with bits of white plas­tic do it for more than just looks, new re­search sug­gests. (Jan. 20, 2011)

Range of asteroid types could have seeded life, study finds
A wid­er va­ri­e­ty of space rocks than pre­vi­ously thought had the right kind of ami­no ac­ids to bring to Earth, scient­ists say. (Jan. 19, 2011)

Birds may attract mates with “scary movie” effect
Us­ing a hor­ror film to br­ing your date clos­er is a clas­sic move in the teen­age play­book, but cert­ain feath­ered Ro­meos may use a si­mi­lar tac­tic. (Jan. 18, 2011)

Why do men use silly pickup lines?
A new study assesses the psych­o­logy and suc­cess rates of va­rious gam­bits by which men try to get women’s at­ten­tion. (Jan. 14, 2011)

Exercise may not outweigh health effects of “couch potato” habits
Met­a­bol­ic fac­tors and in­flamma­t­ion may partly ex­plain a link be­tween pro­longed sit­ting and risks to the heart, sci­ent­ists say. (Jan. 12, 2011)


Test could screen for 100s of childhood diseases
New re­search might lead to the first large-scale pro­gram to re­veal whether chil­dren not yet con­ceived are at risk for dis­ease. (Jan. 12, 2011)

Thunderstorms produce antimatter, scientists find
Sci­en­tists us­ing a NASA instrument have de­tected beams of a rare, mir­ror-image form of mat­ter above storms on Earth. (Jan. 10, 2011)


Climate change to go on for at least “1,000 years”
Ris­ing car­bon di­ox­ide lev­els in the at­mos­phere will cause un­stop­pa­ble changes for years to come, a study sug­gests. (Jan. 9, 2011)

Misfolded molecules gain prominence as culprits in aging
Round­worms in a study were made to live longer ap­par­ently by sti­mu­lating a pro­tein-fold­ing pro­gram in their cells, sci­ent­ists say. (Jan. 6, 2011)


Bird used club-like wings as weapon, researchers claim
Long be­fore me­di­e­val knights wielded flails, a flight­less bird may have brand­ished a si­m­i­lar type of weap­on. (Jan. 4, 2011)

Household sewage called a vast new energy resource
A gal­lon (4 liters) of wastew­a­ter could pow­er a 100-watt light bulb for five min­utes, ac­cord­ing to a new estimate. (Jan. 5, 2011)

Hair color of unknown offenders no longer a secret, researchers say
Scient­ists are gain­ing in abil­ity to piece together a perp­e­tra­tor’s ap­pear­ance based on crime scene evi­dence. (Jan. 3, 2011)





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