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Ice sheets on the coast of West Antarctica are rapidly melting and it's predicted that if they continue to collapse, sea levels will rise by at least 3 metres. Scientists have been keeping a close eye on the warm water near the coast, which they think is the main factor causing the ice to melt. But exactly how this is happening has remained a mystery, and now scientists from the California Institute of Technology in the US have obtained some important information on the melting Antarctic ice, with the help of three dolphin-like robots.
The vast jungle canopy of the Amazon looks like a solid wall of green from space to the human eye. But satellites and other high tech instruments can provide a much more nuanced view right down to the household level.
Why do some chemical farmers resist a profitable conversion to organic methods? A new study in the Journal of Marketing suggests it may be because making that change feels like switching belief systems.
A landmark study indicates that seven pesticides, some widely used, may be causing clinical depression in farmers. Will the government step in and start regulating these chemical tools?
The creation of a 'Frankenstein' chromosome that steals the DNA it needs to grow and survive has been detailed for the first time in research led by Australian scientists.
Tibetan nuns can raise their body temperature to 101 degrees Fahrenheit through their mastery of certain meditation techniques. But in the future, even a spiritual novice could use mind power to control their body’s biological functions such as pain management or the secretion of hormones. And when we say future, we’re talking decades and not centuries.
Alt: Human thoughts used to switch on genes
“So then they roll me over on my back, and the examiner has a long needle in his hand. And I see the needle. And it’s bigger than any needle that I’ve ever seen.” So testifies Betty Hill, of her experience inside a flying saucer near Franconia Notch, New Hampshire, in 1961. Betty and her husband, Barney Hill, are the earliest known victims of alien abduction, and the 1966 bestseller The Interrupted Journey describes how they recalled the event under hypnosis. Their story includes nude medical exams and invasive probing—an alien abduction scenario many of us recognize from the TV shows and movies of the past 50 years.
Just as physical adaptations help populations prosper in inhospitable habitats, belief in moralizing, high gods might be similarly advantageous for human cultures in poorer environments. A new study from the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) suggests that societies with less access to food and water are more likely to believe in these types of deities.
A bearded deity has been discovered with astral symbols. Archaeologists excavated the unique Roman relief depicting an unknown god in an ancient sanctuary in Turkey. According to a first assessment, the one and a half meter (five foot) high basalt stele which was used as a buttress in the wall of a monastery shows a fertility or vegetation god, as classical scholar and excavation director said.
A new study into the effects of cannabis has discovered that regular users have smaller brains than those who never smoke the substance.
Alt: Smoking cannabis every day ‘shrinks brain but increases its connectivity’
The mummified brain of a well-preserved woolly mammoth found in the Siberian permafrost is the only mostly intact mammoth brain known to science, which has been described in a new study.
The biological world around us is dominated by multicellular plants and animals. All of these intricate forms have evolved from far simpler, single celled ancestors.
Around 11,500 years ago, a band of hunters buried two human babies in a pit in what is now Alaska. Surrounded by components of ancient weapons, the skeletons are giving archaeologists a unique look at cultural practices at the end of the last Ice Age, when people began to colonize North America.
When a thirsty pregnant horse drank from a freshwater lake 47 million years ago, she was unaware that poisonous volcanic gases might lead to her sudden demise. Now, the fossilized remains of the mare and her tiny, unborn foal are revealing new insights into reproduction in ancient horses, including surprising reproductive similarities with today's horses, according to a new study.
Cat owners will recognise the purr of pleasure from their pets when they are tickled behind the ears, but a new analysis comparing the domestic cat’s genome with that of its wild relatives suggests this may also have been key to taming the animals in the first place.
Even if you haven’t watched Star Trek IV, you are probably aware of the fact that cetaceans (whales and dolphins) are among the smartest animals on the planet. In fact, this study suggests that, given a chance, different species of cetaceans may be able to learn to communicate with each other. Scientists noticed that killer whales who had spent time with bottlenose dolphins incorporated more clicking and whistles in their vocalizations than other whales, making their “language” a mashup of the two.
A big brain is a resource-hungry organ, demanding large amounts of energy-rich foods to keep it functioning. Understanding how species like humans and chimpanzees evolved large, energy-hungry brains is a difficult task: explanations must account for not only how the large brain provided an evolutionary advantage, but also how its energy demands could have been met.
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