Friday, November 14, 2014

Unraveling Why Some Mammals Kill Off Infants

Evolutionary biologists at the University of Cambridge have completed a rigorous survey of the evolution of infanticide across all mammals.
- The New York Times

What Aggressive Male Chimps Can Reveal About People

Male chimpanzees that wage a campaign of sustained aggression against females sire more offspring than their less violent counterparts, a new study finds, leading researchers to speculate that aggression in humans may have some genetic or evolutionary basis.
-  Mother Nature Network  

'Extraordinary' 5,000-Year-Old Human Footprints Discovered

Researchers find two sets of human footprints and some Stone Age fishing gear in a dried up fjord, or inlet, on the island of Lolland in Denmark. 
- LiveScience

Thursday, November 13, 2014

European Space Probe Safely Anchored on Comet's Surface

A European probe that landed on a comet in a first for space exploration is safely anchored on the surface despite technical problems. Scientists hope that samples drilled out from the comet by Philae will unlock details about how the planets – and possibly even life – evolved, as the rock and ice that make up comets preserve ancient organic molecules like a time capsule.
- Reuters

Did Men Evolve Navigation Skills to Find Mates?

A University of Utah study of two African tribes found evidence that men evolved better navigation ability than women because men with better spatial skills – the ability to mentally manipulate objects – can roam farther and have children with more mates.
- ScienceBlog

The Backwards Brain? How Brain Maps Develop to Help Us Perceive the World

A new study suggests that moving forward actually trains the brain to perceive the world normally. The findings also show that the relationship between neurons in the eye and the brain is more complicated than previously thought—in fact, the order in which we see things could help the brain calibrate how we perceive time, as well as the objects around us.
- The Scripps Research Institute

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Life Beyond Earth, What Happens Once We Find It

Humans for the most part have always believed that we are not alone, but in recent decades scientists have been more proactive in their search for alien life, and thanks to a host of discoveries, that possibility now seems more plausible than ever. But what happens once we find life beyond Earth? Scientists and scholars at a recent symposium sponsored by NASA and the Library of Congress aimed to answer that question.
- Nature World News

Bilingual Brains Better Equipped to Process Information

Speaking more than one language is good for the brain, according to new research that indicates bilingual speakers process information more efficiently and more easily than those who know a single language. The benefits occur because the bilingual brain is constantly activating both languages and choosing which language to use and which to ignore, and when the brain is constantly exercised in this way, it doesn't have to work as hard to perform cognitive tasks, the researchers found.
- Medical Xpress

Young Star Systems May Reveal How Our Own Solar System Came To Be

Astronomers from the University of Arizona have discovered two dust belts surrounded by a large dust halo around young star HD 95086, providing researchers with a look back at what our solar system may have resembled in its infancy.
- Sci-Tech Daily


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

So How Does One Land a Spacecraft on a Comet 300 Million Miles Away?

A team from the European Space Agency will try for a first-ever landing of a spacecraft on a comet. The comet in question, 67P, is shaped a little like a rubber ducky and is traveling through space at 34,000 miles per hour.
- The Christian Science Monitor

How Should Universities Respond to Fake Science?

By banning it—and recognizing that’s very different from restricting academic freedom.
- Pacific Standard

Infant and Fetus Burial Offers Clues to Ice Age Settlement

The curled-up bodies of a stillborn fetus and a 5-week-old infant buried in a dune beside an Alaska river are being hailed as the oldest known remains of Native Americans who crossed from Asia during the last ice age.
- Los Angeles Times

Monday, November 10, 2014

'God Particle' Still Elusive? New Research Casts Doubt Over Discovery Of Higgs Boson

A team of researchers from the University of Southern Denmark have questioned whether the particle discovered by scientists at CERN, in 2012, is the elusive Higgs boson, casting doubts over what was hailed as a major breakthrough in fundamental physics. The Higgs boson, also called the “God particle,” is believed to be the source of the Higgs field, which provides mass to all other sub-atomic particles.
- International Business Times

Scientists, and Universe’s Odd Behavior, Are Recognized With $3 Million Prizes

Two teams of astronomers who discovered that the universe is apparently being blown apart by a mysterious something called dark energy were handed the $3 million Fundamental Physics Prize, an award established by the Russian Internet investor and philanthropist Yuri Milner in a quest to make science as glitzy as rock ’n’ roll. The award to the astronomers is part of the 2015 Breakthrough Prizes, 12 in all, totaling $36 million. In addition to the physics prize, six scientists were awarded Life Sciences Prizes for work on such topics as the regulation of genes and treating Parkinson’s disease. Five mathematicians named as winners during the summer were also honored. Each of those prizes are $3 million.
- The New York Times