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Thursday, April 2, 2020
New Netflix series Night on Earth shows wildlife in a startling new light

New Netflix series Night on Earth shows wildlife in a startling...

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Intrepid camera crews braved the elements all over the world to capture wildlife in the dark for Night on Earth. Intrepid camera crews braved harsh nighttime conditions and used all the technical ingenuity at their disposal for Night on Earth, a new nature documentary series from Netflix that lets viewers see familiar animals in a startling…
Neanderthals may have interbred with a much older human lineage

Neanderthals may have interbred with a much older human lineage

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Enlarge / OK, which one of you is the father? Shortly before the publication of the first Neanderthal genome, a number of researchers had seen hints that there might be something strange lurking in the statistics of the human genome. The publication of the genome erased any doubts about these hints and provided a clear…
Divided, we fall: How ant behavior mimics political polarization

Divided, we fall: How ant behavior mimics political polarization

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Enlarge / Studying how ants organize division of labor within a colony can lend insight into how political polarization occurs in human society. Ants may be tiny critters with tiny brains, but these social insects are capable of collectively organizing themselves into a highly efficient community to ensure the colony survives. And it seems that…
Do morning people do better in school because school starts early?

Do morning people do better in school because school starts early?

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The terms "night owl" and "early bird" have floated around in conversation for ages before scientists developed the jargon "chronotype" to describe a set of somewhat stable behavioral differences among people. Some individuals really are morning people, going to bed earlier and having their peak performance in the morning. Late-night sorts also exist, and there's…
We’ve figured out how mosquitos sense our warmth

We’ve figured out how mosquitos sense our warmth

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The phrase "warm summer evenings" sounds like an offer of a lazy, peaceful, relaxing respite. Any peace, however, will almost certainly be temporary, interrupted by an annoying buzz that signals it's time to start swatting away and, if that doesn't work, spend the rest of the night scratching some itchy welts. By the time you…
First clinical trial of gene editing to help target cancer

First clinical trial of gene editing to help target cancer

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Enlarge / The process of repairing the damage cause by CRISPR can cause complicated DNA rearrangements. The ability to edit genes has raised the prospect of treating genetic conditions and arming the body to better handle infectious diseases and cancers. But for that potential to be realized, we need to deal with a variety of…
How do we test for coronavirus, anyway?

How do we test for coronavirus, anyway?

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Enlarge / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield speaks during a press conference about the 2019-nCoV outbreak. As the recently discovered coronavirus has rapidly spread beyond its origins in China, health authorities around the world have needed to quickly develop testing capabilities. In the United States, that task has been performed by…
Jewel beetle’s bright colored shell serves as camouflage from predators

Jewel beetle’s bright colored shell serves as camouflage from predators

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Enlarge / The brightly colored shell of this jewel beetle is a surprisingly effective form of camouflage, according to a new study by scientists at the University of Bristol.Bristol Museums, Galleries, and Archives Artist and naturalist Abbott Handerson Thayer became known as the "father of camouflage" with the publication in 1909 of a book on…

Ancient African skeletons hint at a “ghost lineage” of humans

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Enlarge / A 1994 photograph of the excavations that yielded the skeletons at Shum Laka. Understanding humanity's shared history means understanding what happened in Africa. But figuring out what happened in Africa has been a difficult task. Not every area is well represented in the fossil history, and most African environments aren't conducive to the…
One immune cell type appears to attack any type of cancer

One immune cell type appears to attack any type of cancer

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Enlarge / False-colored image of an electron micrograph of a T cell. While cancerous cells look a lot like normal human cells, they're still different enough that the immune system regularly attacks them. Obviously, this attack sometimes bogs down, allowing cancer to thrive and spread. Figuring out how to get the immune system back on…

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