Sibling Stars

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Open star clusters like the one seen here are not just perfect subjects for pretty pictures. Most stars form within clusters and these clusters can be used by astronomers as laboratories to study how...

Climate change turned ancient dogs into runners

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North American dog fossils—as old as 40 million years—suggest that the evolutionary path of whole groups of predators can be a direct consequence of climate change. The new study demonstrates that predators are sensitive to climate...

Mom’s health takes back seat when adult child is sick

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Older mothers with seriously ill adult children may find it necessary to continue to provide care at a time when they would normally expect to start getting care from others. It’s a situation that can...

Berkeley’s soda tax does a slow fizzle

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A soda tax passed last fall by voters in Berkeley, California, has so far fallen flat. The law, the first such city ordinance in the country, took effect this past March and imposes a penny-per-ounce...

‘First’ flowering plant lived alongside iguanadon

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Researchers have identified one of earliest flowering plants on Earth—a 125-million- to 130-million-year-old freshwater plant. The finding, reported today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, represents a major change in the presumed...

Can droplets that ‘dance’ purify water?

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We’ve all seen dew droplets form on spider webs. But what if they flung themselves off the strands instead? As long as the strands are moderately hydrophobic and relatively thin, small droplets combining into one...

Ancient ‘Scarface’ may have spewed venom

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Scientists have identified a new species of pre-mammal: an ancient Dachshund-sized creature that lived about 255 million years ago in a time just before the largest mass extinction in Earth’s history. The creature has been...

Butchered bone suggests earlier start to eating meat

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Marks on two 3.4-million-year-old animal bones found at the site of Dikika, Ethiopia, were not caused by trampling, as previously believed, but are likely the result of stone butchering tools. “Our analysis clearly shows that...

This ‘young Jupiter’ is 100 light years away

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Astronomers have discovered an exoplanet they’re describing as a “young Jupiter” and say it could serve as a decoder ring for understanding how planets in our solar system formed around the sun. The team found the...

Engineered yeast turns sugar into painkiller

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Scientists have reprogrammed the genetic machinery of baker’s yeast so that the fast-growing cells can convert sugar into hydrocodone in just three to five days. The advance could lead to a faster and potentially cheaper...
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