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Updated: 1 hour 18 min ago

Ancient DNA Ties Native Americans From Two Continents To Clovis

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 2:03am

The mysterious Clovis culture, which appeared in North America about 13,000 years ago, appears to be the forerunner of Native Americans throughout the Americas, a study of DNA evidence suggests. Remains from an infant buried more than 12,000 years ago at a Clovis site in modern Montana held the genetic key.

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Scientist Talks The Formulae For Olympic Success

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 3:00pm

In ski jumping, athletes hurtle off ramps at 60 miles per hour and fly the length of a football field. How do they do it? Melissa Block talks with John Eric Goff about the physics behind the event at the Winter Olympics. Goff is head of the physics department at Lynchburg College in Virginia and author of the book Gold Medal Physics: The Science of Sports.

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More Findings, More Questions About Value Of Mammograms

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 3:00pm

A long-running study has been raising questions about the value of mammography for younger women, and recently it has produced yet more evidence to cast doubt on routine screening. The study found no evidence that screening saved lives, even after 25 years of follow-up. Rather, screening may lead instead to unnecessary treatment for many women. The findings are unlikely to settle debate over the value of mammography.

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Risky Tech Fixes For Climate Becoming Likelier, Critic Warns

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 3:00pm

As time runs out to put the brakes on global warming, world leaders seem loathe to reduce gas emissions, because it's politically hard, says social scientist Clive Hamilton. Instead, he worries, we'll try to engineer the atmosphere — a tech fix that sounds quicker and simpler – but is fraught with risk.

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In The World's 'Sixth Extinction' Are Humans The Asteroid?

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 12:50pm

The dinosaurs were killed during the Fifth Extinction — which scientists suspect was caused by an asteroid. Now, we are living through an epoch that many scientists describe as the Sixth Extinction and this time, human activity is the culprit.

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Scientists Say Their Giant Laser Has Produced Nuclear Fusion

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 12:01pm

Researchers from California's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory say they've figured out how to get their laser to squeeze hydrogen atoms together to make helium atoms, releasing energy in the process. It's an important step in the decades-long quest for fusion energy.

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Parents With Noisy Babies Shouldn't Read This. They'll Be Too Jealous

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 11:17am

If you've ever had to raise a noisy, fussy, crying baby, consider this alternative: I know a bunch of moms who produce newborns that stay blissfully, totally silent (and still!) for weeks and weeks and weeks. Let me make you jealous.

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The Full-Fat Paradox: Whole Milk May Keep Us Lean

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 2:38am

Two recent studies add to the growing evidence that consuming dairy fat may actually fend off weight gain. Experts say it may be time to revisit the assumption that when it comes to dairy, fat free is always best.

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The Earth's Sixth Extinction May Be One Of Our Own Making

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 3:00pm

Over the last half a billion years, there have been five major mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on Earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. But this time around, writer Elizabeth Kolbert says, humans are causing the extinction.

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Economist Says Best Climate Fix A Tough Sell, But Worth It

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 3:00pm

Yale's William Nordhaus has been running the numbers on Earth's climate troubles. He says charging a fair price for any dumping of carbon dioxide into the air is a cost-effective solution. But at least half the planet must cooperate, his math suggests, or it will be all pain, no gain.

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You're The Last. The Very Last One. Now What Happens?

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 9:31am

When "Benjamin," the world's last captive Tasmanian Tiger, died in 1936, a 23-million-year run of marsupial (pouch-bearing), doglike animals very likely disappeared from the planet. But before Benjy went, he had his revenge on the humans who hunted his kind to extinction.

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Sounds Intriguing: The World's Most Interesting Noises

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 3:48pm

As an acoustic engineer, Trevor Cox has spent most of his career getting rid of bizarre, unwanted sounds. But in The Sound Book, Cox turns up the volume on those sonic oddities. The book explores weird echoes and unexpected noises from around the globe — including "whisper galleries" and a chirping pyramid.

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Official On Killed Giraffe: 'He Didn't Fit Into The Whole Puzzle'

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 3:00pm

Why was Marius, a healthy 18-month-old giraffe, killed on Sunday at the Copenhagen Zoo? Employees say it's because Marius had genes too similar to other giraffes and was killed to avoid inbreeding. But the act has caused an uproar on social media and among animal activists. Robert Siegel talks to Bengt Holst, the scientific director at the Copenhagen Zoo, about the decision to put the giraffe down.

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The Science Of Munchies: Why The Scent Of A Burger Gives Us A High

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 2:39pm

Skipping a meal triggers the munchies in a similar way that marijuana does, a study in mice finds. And it works, at least in rodents, by boosting the sense of smell. Receptors in the brain that get activated when the animals are stoned also light up after they've been fasting.

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'Lung In A Box' Keeps Organs Breathing Before Transplants

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 11:49am

For decades, doctors have transported donor organs chilled on ice in a plain old cooler. But a company is trying to come up with a better way to carry the lifesaving organs. The experimental machines keep hearts beating and lungs moving outside the body.

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'Lung In A Box' Keeps Organs Breathing Before Transplants

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 11:49am

For decades, doctors have transported donor organs chilled on ice in a plain old cooler. But a company is trying to come up with a better way to carry the life-saving organs. The experimental machines keep hearts beating and lungs moving outside the body.

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Takes More Than A Produce Aisle To Refresh A Food Desert

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 2:26am

In Philadelphia, opening a supermarket brimming with fresh fruit and veggies in a neighborhood that lacked a grocer didn't change what residents ate, a survey shows. To change someone's food choices, cooking classes and nutrition education can be important, too.

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Kansas Mayor Says Sustainability Is About Community, Not Politics

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 5:01pm

Today's political polarization makes it seem harder than ever to tackle climate change. Republican Bob Dixson says the goals of going green aren't only for liberals. His town of Greensburg was hit by an unusually strong tornado, and now he's working on a White House task force to prepare communities like his.

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Copenhagen Zoo Euthanizes Giraffe Despite Online Protest

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 1:55pm

Marius, a healthy 2-year-old male giraffe, was killed and his body carved up and fed to the lions. The zoo says it was simply trying to prevent inbreeding.

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Is It Enough Rain For Drought-Stricken California?

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 9:53am

The San Francisco Bay area has gotten about 3 inches so far this season, but normally it should have received 14.5 inches.

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