The cerebellum may have played an important role in the evolution of the human brain: Study compares epigenetic modifications to DNA in the cerebellum of humans, chimpanzees and monkeys

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The cerebellum — a part of the brain once recognized mainly for its role in coordinating movement — underwent evolutionary changes that may have contributed to human culture, language and tool use. This new finding appears in a study by … Read More

Sharks use Earth’s magnetic fields to guide them like a map

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Sea turtles are known for relying on magnetic signatures to find their way across thousands of miles to the very beaches where they hatched. Now, researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology on May 6 have some of the first … Read More

Earliest evidence of humans changing ecosystems with fire

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Mastery of fire has given humans dominance over the natural world. A Yale-led study provides the earliest evidence to date of ancient humans significantly altering entire ecosystems with flames. The study, published on May 5 in the journal Science Advances, … Read More

Bats know the speed of sound from birth, scientists discovery

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A new Tel Aviv University study has revealed, for the first time, that bats know the speed of sound from birth. In order to prove this, the researchers raised bats from the time of their birth in a helium-enriched environment … Read More

Lightning and subvisible discharges produce molecules that clean the atmosphere

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Lightning bolts break apart nitrogen and oxygen molecules in the atmosphere and create reactive chemicals that affect greenhouse gases. Now, a team of atmospheric chemists and lightning scientists have found that lightning bolts and, surprisingly, subvisible discharges that cannot be … Read More

Was North America populated by ‘stepping stone’ migration across Bering Sea?

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For thousands of years during the last ice age, generations of maritime migrants paddled skin boats eastward across shallow ocean waters from Asia to present-day Alaska. They voyaged from island to island and ultimately to shore, surviving on bountiful seaweeds, … Read More

Global glacier retreat has accelerated: New study analyzes roughly 220,000 glaciers

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An international research team including scientists from ETH Zurich has shown that almost all the world’s glaciers are becoming thinner and losing mass’ and that these changes are picking up pace. The team’s analysis is the most comprehensive and accurate … Read More

Mammals evolved big brains after big disasters

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Scientists from Stony Brook University and the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior have pieced together a timeline of how brain and body size evolved in mammals over the last 150 million years. The international team of 22 scientists, including … Read More

Icy clouds could have kept early Mars warm enough for rivers and lakes

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One of the great mysteries of modern space science is neatly summed up by the view from NASA’s Perseverance, which just landed on Mars: Today it’s a desert planet, and yet the rover is sitting right next to an ancient … Read More

A new perspective on the genomes of archaic humans

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A genome by itself is like a recipe without a chef — full of important information, but in need of interpretation. So, even though we have sequenced genomes of our nearest extinct relatives — the Neanderthals and the Denisovans — … Read More

Genetic effects of Chernobyl radiation

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In two landmark studies, researchers have used cutting-edge genomic tools to investigate the potential health effects of exposure to ionizing radiation, a known carcinogen, from the 1986 accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in northern Ukraine. One study found … Read More

Mars has right ingredients for present-day microbial life beneath its surface, study finds

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As NASA’s Perseverance rover begins its search for ancient life on the surface of Mars, a new study suggests that the Martian subsurface might be a good place to look for possible present-day life on the Red Planet. The study, … Read More

Experimental drug shows potential against Alzheimer’s disease: Removing ‘garbage’ from brain cells improves memory in mice

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Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine have designed an experimental drug that reversed key symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease in mice. The drug works by reinvigorating a cellular cleaning mechanism that gets rid of unwanted proteins by digesting and recycling … Read More

Among COVID-19 survivors, an increased risk of death, serious illness: Major study details numerous long-term effects of COVID-19, pointing to massive health burden

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As the COVID-19 pandemic has progressed, it has become clear that many survivors — even those who had mild cases — continue to manage a variety of health problems long after the initial infection should have resolved. In what is … Read More

Astronomers release new all-sky map of Milky Way’s outer reaches

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Astronomers using data from NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) telescopes have released a new all-sky map of the outermost region of our galaxy. [Editor’s note: See Related Multimedia link below.] Known as the galactic halo, this area lies outside … Read More

The wave beneath their wings: Researchers work out intricate dance between waves, wind, and gliding pelicans

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It’s a common sight: pelicans gliding along the waves, right by the shore. These birds make this kind of surfing look effortless, but actually the physics involved that give them a big boost are not simple. Researchers at the University … Read More

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