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Sunday, April 11, 2021
Start Preparing Your Kids for Daylight Saving Time Now

Start Preparing Your Kids for Daylight Saving Time Now

Photo: Olga Kurguzova (Shutterstock)When we spring our clocks forward an hour next Sunday, March 14, we will be left feeling groggy and maybe a little cranky as Monday morning comes even sooner than we’d like. Adults don’t typically enjoy feeling slightly sleep-deprived, but we double-up on coffee and power through. Small children, on the other…
Cuttlefish can pass the marshmallow test

Cuttlefish can pass the marshmallow test

Enlarge / A common cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis, in the Marine Resources Center at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA. A new study finds the cuttlefish can delay gratification—a key feature of the famous "marshmallow test."Alexandra Schnell Certain species show a remarkable ability to delay gratification, notably great apes, corvids, and parrots, while other species…
The genetics of relatively healthy obesity

The genetics of relatively healthy obesity

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In general, obesity is linked with a large range of health problems—for most people, at least. But for a substantial minority of those who are overweight, obesity is accompanied by indications of decent health, with no signs of impending diabetes or cardiovascular disease. These cases have probably received unwarranted attention; who doesn't want to convince…
Study blames Earth’s magnetic field flip for climate change, extinctions

Study blames Earth’s magnetic field flip for climate change, extinctions

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Enlarge / The massive trunk of a kauri tree can remain intact for tens of thousands of years. The Earth's magnetic field helps protect life from energetic particles that would otherwise arrive from space. Mars now lacks a strong magnetic field, and the conditions on its surface are considered so damaging to life that any…
Million-year-old mammoth DNA rewrites animal’s evolutionary tree

Million-year-old mammoth DNA rewrites animal’s evolutionary tree

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Enlarge / A mammoth tusk thaws out of the ground in Siberia. Ancient DNA has revolutionized how we understand human evolution, revealing how populations moved and interacted and introducing us to relatives like the Denisovans, a "ghost lineage" that we wouldn't realize existed if it weren't for discovering their DNA. But humans aren't the only…
What happens when you replace a human gene with its Neanderthal version?

What happens when you replace a human gene with its Neanderthal...

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Enlarge / The difference between modern human (left) and Neanderthal skulls means there must be some differences in how their brains develop. What are the key differences between modern humans and our closest relatives, the Neanderthals and Denisovans? For the Neanderthals, there doesn't look to be any sort of obvious difference. They used sophisticated tools,…
Caged heat: Mesquite bugs battle in a plastic cup—for science!

Caged heat: Mesquite bugs battle in a plastic cup—for science!

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Scientists at the University of Arizona set up their own "Bug Fight Club" in the lab, staging wrestling matches between insects to learn more about defensive structures and the evolution of weapons in the animal kingdom. They outlined their findings in two separate papers, one published last fall in the journal Functional Ecology and the…
Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine looks good in early analysis

Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine looks good in early analysis

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Enlarge / Picture of vials of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine against the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, seen at the Cotahuma Hospital in La Paz, Bolivia. Covid-19 Coverage View more stories Yesterday, the people behind Russia's leading vaccine, termed Sputnik V, issued a preliminary analysis of its function. The news was quite good: while the trial…
New COVID cases dropping, but worrying signs on the horizon

New COVID cases dropping, but worrying signs on the horizon

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Enlarge / Aerial view showing a tractor digging graves in a new area of the Nossa Senhora Aparecida, where COVID-19 victims are buried, in Manaus, Brazil. Covid-19 Coverage View more stories While attention has been focused on the worrying new variants of SARS-CoV-2, there has been some good news: despite the evolution of a number…
It’s the wombat’s strange intestines, not its anus, that produces cubed poo

It’s the wombat’s strange intestines, not its anus, that produces cubed...

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Enlarge / Look at this lovely cube-shaped piece of poo, courtesy of the Australian bare-nosed wombat.Patricia J. Yang et al., 2021 Scientists have been puzzling for decades over how the Australian bare-nosed wombat poops out neat little cubes of feces instead of tapered cylinders like pretty much every other animal. According to a new paper published…

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