How we got to be smarter than frogs

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A small change in a protein called PTBP1, which spurs the creation of neurons, may be the key to how mammalian brains evolved to be the largest and most complex among vertebrates. Brain size and...

Resveratrol does strange things to dog’s immune system

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A compound found in grape skins and red wine called resveratrol is thought to improve heart health and reduce stroke risk in people, but scientists don’t yet fully understand how it works. Now, a new study shows...

Better weather forecasts based on ‘butterfly effect’

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The atmosphere is so unstable that a butterfly flapping its wings can, famously, change the course of weather patterns. This so-called “butterfly effect” also means the reliability of weather forecasts drops sharply beyond 10...

‘Safe’ plastics leach toxins when they break down

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Trace amounts of toxic substances used to make plastics don’t contaminate the food or beverages they contain and pose no immediate threat to consumers. That’s the good news. The bad news is those plastic products...

People aren’t petri dishes: Why antibiotics fail

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teria are pretty wily creatures. Take for example Salmonella, which are killed by antibiotics in lab tests but can become highly resistant in the body. It is an example of what UC Santa Barbara biologist...

Chasing ice

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Satellite images show that the fastest moving glacier in the world shed a chunk of ice measuring around 12.5 sq km this week – one of the most significant calving events on record. Radar images...

The tumultuous heart of our Galaxy

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This new image of powerful remnants of dead stars and their mighty action on the surrounding gas from ESA's XMM-Newton X-ray observatory reveals some of the most intense processes taking place at the centre...

Old friend or lookalike? How your brain knows

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You see a guy at the grocery store—is he a college classmate or just a lookalike? One tiny spot in the brain holds the answer. Neuroscientists have identified the part of the hippocampus that creates...

Drought can kill trees for years and years

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The fact that drought kills trees is well known. But a new study of nearly 29,000 trees at two research forests in North Carolina shows the effects can be far more long-lasting than experts...

Add lots of microbes to ‘me, myself, and I’

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Thinking about plants and animals, including humans, as autonomous individuals is a serious over-simplification, according to new research. New studies reveal that what we have always thought of as individuals are actually “biomolecular networks” that...
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