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Neanderthals, the World’s First Misunderstood Artists
Science, Yesterday

Cave paintings in Spain were made by Neanderthals, not modern humans, archaeologists reported. The finding adds to evidence that Neanderthals were capable of symbolic thought and perhaps language.

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For Vampire Bats to Live on Blood, It Takes Guts
Science, Yesterday

Blood is a very difficult thing to live well on, but a new study of the gut microbes and genomes of vampire bats offer insights into how they do it.

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He Took a Picture of a Supernova While Setting Up His New Camera
Science, February 21

Astronomers rarely see the beginnings of these explosions, but an Argentine amateur’s lucky picture helped them study the start of a massive star’s violent death.

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Günter Blobel, Nobel Laureate Who Found Cell ‘ZIP Codes,’ Dies at 81
Obits, February 19

Dr. Blobel, at Rockefeller University, discovered that proteins in any given cell carry signals that guide them to where they can do their beneficial job.

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Astronomers’ Dark Energy Hopes Fade to Gray
Science, February 19

The Wfirst project, which would have investigated the force of dark energy in the universe and searched for more planets, has been cut from NASA’s proposed budget.

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Nearly 150,000 Orangutans Vanished Over 16 Years
Science, February 15

Deforestation on Borneo has harmed the primates, but a study found they also disappeared from more intact forests, suggesting people may be killing them.

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Donald Lynden-Bell, Quasar and Black Hole Expert, Dies at 82
Obits, February 14

An astrophysicist, he joined six colleagues in suggesting that the universe is expanding sideways, and not evenly, challenging conventional theories.

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SpaceX and Tesla Go Into Orbit
Op Ed, February 12

Elon Musk is flying high, despite Model 3 delays.

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NASA Budgets for a Trip to the Moon, but Not While Trump Is President
Science, February 11

The administration sees a greater role for the private sector in returning to the moon and running the International Space Station, which it would stop financing in 2025.

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Are Hand Dryers Actually Full of Bacteria? A Viral Photo Doesn’t Tell the Whole Story
Science, February 9

A photo of a petri dish covered in fungi and bacteria spread online. But studies disagree on whether hand dryers are really less hygienic than paper towels.

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Don’t Give Up on the International Space Station
Op Ed, February 7

The program is a demonstration of American leadership. Why does the president want to cut it?

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Joseph Polchinski, 63, Leading Theorist on Multiple Universes, Dies
Obits, February 7

He helped lay the mathematical foundation for the startling idea that our universe is not alone.

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Falcon Heavy, in a Roar of Thunder, Carries SpaceX’s Ambition Into Orbit
Science, February 6

Elon Musk disrupted the business of sending rockets into space and has now achieved a milestone in spaceflight by launching the most powerful rocket currently operating in the world.

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This Mutant Crayfish Clones Itself, and It’s Taking Over Europe
Science, February 5

Every marbled crayfish is a female clone. The population is exploding in Europe, but the species seems to have originated in the American Southeast.

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Many Animals Can Count, Some Better Than You
Science, February 5

Numerosity is deeply embedded in species that need to track quantity, such as hungry spiders and schooling fish. But the ability seems to have faded in humans.

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The Importance of Infants’ Exposure to Micro-Organisms
Well, February 5

Fewer scheduled cesarean deliveries and more breast-feeding could give babies more protective bacteria.

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Spider-like Creature With a Scorpion’s Tail Found Trapped in Amber
Science, February 5

The Cretaceous-era arachnid had the front end of a spider and a scorpionlike tail appendage, but more specimens are required to find its place on the evolutionary tree.

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Newly Discovered Form of Water Ice Is ‘Really Strange’
Science, February 5

Long theorized to be found in the mantles of Uranus and Neptune, the confirmation of the existence of superionic ice could lead to the development of new materials.

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Unlocking Secrets of Sour Flavors With Something Found in Your Ears
Science, February 3

When scientists recently discovered a protein that may help with the detection of sour tastes, they realized it had previously been identified in the inner ear.

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Sedate a Plant, and It Seems to Lose Consciousness. Is It Conscious?
Science, February 2

Plants can be frozen in place with the same anesthetics used on you during surgery. It suggests they may be less different from animals than is often assumed.

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Gut Microbes Combine to Cause Colon Cancer, Study Suggests
Science, February 1

Two types of bacteria common in the gut may accelerate the growth of tumors, suggesting new possibilities for diagnosis and prevention.

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In School Together, but Not Learning at the Same Rate
Metro, January 31

A study of test scores in each of the city’s public elementary schools finds that diversity does not erase achievement gaps between white and minority students.

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The Super Blue Blood Moon: Pictures From an Astronomical Hat Trick
Science, January 31

Around the world, people woke up early or stayed up late to take in the cosmic coincidence of a blue moon, a supermoon and a lunar eclipse.

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The Lunar Eclipse and Super Blue Moon Are Here. Watch It Before Work.
Science, January 29

On Wednesday, Earth will cast its shadow over the second full moon of January, making it turn red in a lunar eclipse. Here’s when and where you can see it.

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Space Gets an Artificial Star. Astronomers Ask: Do We Need More?
Science, January 28

The launch of a spinning geodesic sphere called the Humanity Star has set off concerns about the growing number of bright objects illuminating the dark sky.

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Rambling Through Time
Op Ed, January 27

Will humanity’s moment be a pencil-thin layer in some canyon of the far future, or an enduring epoch like the reign of dinosaurs?

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A Suitcase-Size Satellite’s Big Image of Frozen Earth Below
Science, January 27

A new image of Alaska from the recently launched Iceye satellite shows how much you can accomplish with a tiny satellite.

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American Beers With a Pungent Whiff of Place
Dining, January 26

More brewers are making beers inspired by the lambic style of Belgium, which uses microbes from the immediate surroundings to ferment each batch.

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How a Church Deacon Found the Biggest Prime Number Yet (It Wasn’t as Hard as You Think)
Science, January 26

The Memphis area man used the church computer to discover a Mersenne prime with over 23 million digits. He had been looking for 14 years.