Stick Insects Expand Territory by Being Eaten

The stick insect may have something else in common with plants besides its stem-like looks. Plants use wildlife to spread seeds, and, similarly, the stick insect might use wildlife to spread its eggs, a study in the journal Ecology reported this week. Alternative Transportation Most of a stick insect’s life is spent in a circle of trees and bushes, even for those species with wings. The insect would have an evolutionary advantage if it could disperse its young more widely. But with twi

Take A Look At This Wee Spinosaurus Fossil!

Big paleontological news can come in teensy packages, as shown by a new study on a fragment of a very young Spinosaurus, one of the most fascinating flesh-eating (in this case, fish-eating) dinosaurs. You remember Spinosaurus, right? And I'm not talking about its cheesy guest role in the worst of the Jurassic Park sequels. I'm talking about the animal believed to be the largest carnivorous dinosaur, lost to science in WWII and then rediscovered with a whirl of controversy over whethe

State-of-the-art NOAA-20 satellite is operational, promising better weather forecasts

Check out this imagery from the next generation, polar-orbiting NOAA-20 spacecraft, which also heralds improved environmental monitoring A constellation of satellites that monitor the vital signs of our planet just got a new, official member: the next-generation NOAA-20 satellite. It was declared fully operational yesterday after undergoing months of rigorous testing. Launched last November as part of NOAA’s Joint Polar Satellite System, NOAA-20 is designed to observe Earth's atmosphere,

Yet Another Study Says Vitamin Supplements Are Worthless

Vitamin — the first four letters come from the Latin word for “life.” To sustain that, we need these organic compounds in small amounts, but it seems their purpose ends there. New research reaffirms the counterintuitive notion that vitamin and mineral supplements aren’t the magical panacea we’ve been led to believe. It's something that researchers have been finding for years, and a meta-analysis, summarizing the findings of 179 individual studies, published on Monday in the Journal of the

Found: The Genes Behind Big Human Brains

With a new pair of studies on a handful of genes unique to the genus Homo, researchers took a big step toward solving one of the most important questions about our evolution — why and how human brains got so big. Understanding why the Homo brain became significantly larger than the gray matter of any other primate has been a dominant question in the field ever since we first turned our big human brains toward the topic of evolution. In just the last week, separate teams of researcher

Your eyebrows could reveal how narcissistic you are.

Identifying a narcissist is a handy skill, and these scientists have made it a bit easier by finding that the key to pinpointing a narcissist is... their eyebrows? That's right, apparently the "distinctiveness" of someone's eyebrows (for example, how thick or dense they are) is the main cue that they are suffering from "grandiose narcissism". And speaking of distinctive eyebrows... Eyebrows Cue Grandiose Narcissism. "OBJECTIVE: Though initially charming and inviting, narcissists often

Life Recovered Mere Years After Asteroid Impact

Around 66 million years ago, a city-sized space rock splashed into the Gulf of Mexico and killed 75 percent of life on Earth, including the dinosaurs. We all know that story. But — at least for the survivors — the aftermath might not have been as hellish as we thought. New evidence shows that within just a few years of this Armageddon, small worm-like creatures were already burrowing in the silty seafloor at the crater. That’s according to research published Wednesday in the journal Natur

New closeup video shows flares sputtering and gargantuan glowing loops dancing at the Sun’s surface

Although the Sun is in a singularly serene state right now, that doesn't mean it's asleep. The video above is proof of that. Captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft, it shows an active region on the Sun's surface rotating into view between May 23 and 25. Here's how NASA describes what we're looking at: An active region rotated into view and sputtered with numerous small flares and towering magnetic field lines that stretched out many times the diameter of Earth . . . Act

How the USGS Used A Drone to Save Someone from Kīlauea’s Lava

Few things are changing volcano monitoring and hazard planning than drones. A decade ago, it either took expensive and dangerous helicopter flights or approaching eruptions on foot. Today, we can watch volcanic eruptions and their results up close using relatively cheap drones that can fly into craters and over lava flows to see what is happening. This provides vital data for volcanologists watching the volcano to understand how the eruption is changing. They can also be used to map of volca

A Bleary Unicorn: The Elusive Hangover Cure

From freezing showers to ingesting prickly pear to smoking joints, everyone has a home remedy for alcohol’s notorious afterglow: the hangover. Mongolian men swear by pickled sheep eyes, ancient Egyptians wore necklaces of Alexandrian laurel, and one 17th century English physician even sold a hangover “cure” made with human skulls and dried vipers. Hangovers are a problem that even predates writing. But today with the aid of modern medicine we can treat diarrhea or headaches with over-the-

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