T/science

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Forces Align Against a New Military Branch to ‘Win Wars’ in Space
National, Today

The Space Corps, which would be created within the Air Force, has formidable skeptics, including the defense secretary and members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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Marina Ratner, Émigré Mathematician Who Found Midlife Acclaim, Dies at 78
Science, Yesterday

Dr. Ratner defied the notion that the brightest in her field do their best work when they are young.

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Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara, Longevity Expert, Dies at (or Lives to) 105
Science, Yesterday

The advice of Dr. Hinohara, who cautioned against early retirement and advocated climbing stairs regularly, helped make Japan the world leader in longevity.

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Even Tiny Changes in Earth’s Orbit Would Yield Global Catastrophe
Science, July 24

A minute alteration in the planet’s trajectory around the sun would have disastrous results, a scientist estimates.

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A Rest Stop for Half a Billion Birds
Video, July 24

During their migration between Europe and Africa, hundreds of millions of birds stop in Israel to rest and refuel. Hop aboard a government-sponsored tractor spreading birdseed and corn to keep the birds away from local crop fields.

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The Rhythms That Make Elephant Seals Run or Fight
Science, July 21

New research suggests that elephant seals use rhythm to recognize and respond to other members of their species in the wild.

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Bag With Moon Dust in It Fetches $1.8 Million From a Mystery Buyer
National, July 21

A lunar landing, a museum loan, a theft, a critical error, a legal battle — and now, a sale at auction. What’s next for this bag of moon dust?...

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What We Finally Got Around to Learning at the Procrastination Research Conference
Science, July 21

For the last 20 years, academic researchers have gathered at this event to share and debate their studies without being mocked.

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A Sensor on Your Skin That Looks and Feels Like a Temporary Tattoo
Science, July 20

Researchers have developed a new breathable, wearable sensor that can monitor vital signals without irritating skin.

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Giant Squids, Giant Eyes, but Rather Small Brain Lobes
Science, July 19

A rare opportunity to study the giant squid’s visual brain suggests the deep-sea beasts don’t have the complex body-patterning skills for which their shallow-water relatives are famous.

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What a Total Solar Eclipse Looks Like From Space
Science, July 19

A time lapse made from a Japanese weather satellite’s images shows the shadow the moon casts on the Earth when it blocks out the sun.

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An Experiment in Zurich Brings Us Nearer to a Black Hole’s Mysteries
Science, July 19

IBM researchers used an exotic material known as a Weyl semimetal to confirm the existence of a gravitational anomaly predicted in equations that describe the universe.

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Humans First Arrived in Australia 65,000 Years Ago, Study Suggests
Science, July 19

Ancestors of Aboriginal Australians arrived thousands of years earlier than previously believed, according to newly uncovered archaeological evidence.

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A 9-Year-Old Tripped, Fell and Discovered a Million-Year-Old Fossil
National, July 19

Jude Sparks was playing with his brothers in New Mexico when he stumbled over the fossilized tusk of a Stegomastodon, a prehistoric, elephantine creature.

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No Rest for a Man, 92, Whose Work Went to the Moon and Back
Metro, July 18

He landed with MacArthur in the Philippines and inspected materials for the space program. Decades later, Gene Fastook is still on the go with the police auxiliary in the Bronx.

Ants, Dutiful Escape Artists, Build Towers in Constant Flux
Science, July 17

Using their own bodies, fire ants build architectural towers to escape floods — and laboratories — that have a sound architectural structure.

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Why Animals Avoid Munching on Ferns
Science, July 17

Some varieties contain toxins that are poisonous to predators large and small.

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Tell Us 5 Things About Your Book: ‘Why,’ About the Science of Curiosity
Culture, July 16

In his new book, Mario Livio delves into the fields of psychology and neuroscience, and speaks with people who have extreme curiosity.

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Maryam Mirzakhani, Only Woman to Win a Fields Medal, Dies at 40
National, July 16

Dr. Mirzakhani, a mathematician at Stanford University, was the only woman and only Iranian ever to win what is often described as the Nobel Prize of mathematics.

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Unlocking Mysteries in the Sun’s 11-Year Cycle
Science, July 14

Two studies focused on the sun’s maximum and minimum periods of activity, yielding new findings about its internal processes and external corona.

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Protected Wolves in Alaska Face Peril From Beyond Their Preserve
Science, July 14

New research suggests controlling the animals outside a preserve can affect those living within it, with implications for wildlife management programs elsewhere.

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At Site of Scopes Trial, Darrow Statue Belatedly Joins Bryan’s
National, July 14

A test of Bible Belt tolerance: Can the town of the Scopes “monkey trial” stomach a new statue of the famed agnostic lawyer Clarence Darrow?...

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The Secret of the Sun’s Magnetic Cycles
Video, July 14

Step inside a simulation of the interior of the sun as its magnetic field reverses, a process that creates solar storms that can interrupt power grids and satellite communications on Earth.

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Living Another Day, Thanks to Grandparents Who Couldn’t Sleep
Science, July 13

Age-related changes in sleep patterns may have helped early humans survive by ensuring at least one person was always alert to nighttime threats.

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Jupiter’s Great Red Spot Gets Its Close-Up
Science, July 12

NASA’s Juno spacecraft passed a few thousand miles above the gargantuan storm, revealing intricate patterns of swirling clouds.

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Who Needs Hard Drives? Scientists Store Film Clip in DNA
Science, July 12

In a first, researchers converted a movie into a DNA sequence and inserted it into bacteria. They hope to someday use the technology to record cell behavior.

Clever Humpbacks Move In for a Meal at Salmon Hatcheries
Science, July 12

Researchers documented for the first time that the large mammals learned to feed on juvenile salmon released from hatcheries in southeast Alaska.

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Moon Express Sets Its Sights on Deliveries to the Moon and Beyond
Science, July 12

The company, Moon Express, is aiming to win the $20 million Google Lunar X Prize competition and become a payload delivery company.

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Following the Eyes for a Clue to Autism
Video, July 12

Researchers studied where toddlers focused their eyes when watching a video in order to find the genetic underpinnings of brain development and autism.

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Ants Can Build an Eiffel Tower (Sort Of)
Video, July 12

New research shows how ants band together to survive floods. Find out why these tiny creatures are surprisingly good architects when they all work together.

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The Very Hungry Caterpillars That Turned to Cannibalism
Science, July 11

With no food other than tomato plants that had been induced to use chemical defenses, scientists found that caterpillars ate each other.

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The Salty Pink Pools of the Yucatán
Video, July 11

Step out into the salty waters on the northern tip of the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, where small organisms turn the water pink.

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A Mausoleum for Endangered Species
Science, July 10

A warehouse in Colorado offers evidence of the immense demand for goods made from threatened and endangered animals.

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An Animal Reliquary
Slideshow, July 10

The National Wildlife Property Repository in Colorado houses confiscated items, most of which are part of the global trade of endangered species.

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Putting the Compression in Compressed Air
Science, July 10

Creating compressed air relies on raising the pressure on the air while decreasing the volume of the container in which it is held.

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Studying Sharks, Up Close and Personal
Video, July 9

Join researchers from Nova Southeastern University in 360 degrees as they conduct shark tagging and genetic field work off the coast of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

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In the Deep, Dark Sea, Corals Create Their Own Sunshine
Science, July 7

Corals that live up to hundreds of feet below the ocean’s surface have worked out a special arrangement with algae that’s mutually beneficial for the two.

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How to Attach a Video Camera to a Humpback Whale
Science, July 7

You’re going to need a long pole, a quiet boat and proper permits, and it helps if the whale is napping.

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In a Lost Baby Tooth, Scientists Find Ancient Denisovan DNA
Science, July 7

The molar is from what researchers say is only the fourth individual member of the elusive species of ancient human cousins.

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Can I Test the Health of My Gut Microbiota?
Science, July 7

All it takes is a fecal sample and a fee. But you may not learn much about the health of your microbiome.

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CERN Physicists Find a Particle With a Double Dose of Charm
Science, July 6

The discovery could provide new insight into how quarks, the building blocks of protons and neutrons, interact with each other.

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They Were Shorter and at Risk for Arthritis, but They Survived an Ice Age
Science, July 6

A genetic mutation that knocks a centimeter off height and increases the risk for arthritis may have helped early humans in Europe and Asia to survive, a new study shows.

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In Neanderthal DNA, Signs of a Mysterious Human Migration
Science, July 4

A new genetic analysis finds that ancient Africans walked into Europe 270,000 years ago, much earlier than previously known, and interbred with Neanderthals.

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Partying Under the Midsummer Arctic Sun, Unless You’re a Worm
Science, July 3

“White nights” and sun that barely sets near the Arctic Circle are an occasion to celebrate for some living things. But a night crawler might want to stay in its burrow.

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Strange Mammals That Stumped Darwin Finally Find a Home
Science, July 3

Fossils of bizarre creatures called Macrauchenia have long baffled scientists, who used DNA to confirm when they diverged from horses, rhinos and tapirs.

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The Science Behind ‘Sticky’ Ice
Science, July 3

Ice is sticky, but only to certain kinds of surfaces when conditions are just right for a shared ice layer to form between the surfaces and link them.

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Life on Mars: The Crew Answers Your Questions
Video, July 2

Six people are living in isolation for eight months on a volcano in Hawaii as part of a NASA-funded study to simulate human exploration of Mars. In the fourth episode of this 360-video series, the crew answers audience questions.

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A College Town Gets Ready for Its Moment Under No Sun
Science, June 30

One of the best places to view August’s solar eclipse, Carbondale, home to Southern Illinois University, will host scientists and eclipse groupies.

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This Beautiful Parasitic Bird Could Soon Turn Up in Your Yard
Science, June 29

Scientists developed a model to predict the spread of pin-tailed whydahs, and found they could strain native bird species in California, Texas and elsewhere.

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Drumming Cockatoos and the Rhythms of Love
Science, June 28

Palm cockatoos are the only animals observed to use tools for rhythmic drumming, seemingly to attract mates, prompting speculation about the rise of human music.

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Greetings, E.T. (Please Don’t Murder Us.)
Magazine, June 28

A new initiative to beam messages into space may be our best shot yet at learning whether we’re alone in the universe. There’s just one problem: What if we’re not?...

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Plague Is Found in New Mexico. Again.
National, June 27

Two people were found to have plague this week. What does the disease look like in the modern world, and why does it keep happening in New Mexico?...