Life

  1. Animals

    Squirrels use parkour tricks to leap from branch to branch

    Squirrels navigate through trees by making rapid calculations. They have to balance trade-offs between branch flexibility and the distance between tree limbs.

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  2. Health & Medicine

    Discovering the power of placebos

    If you take a fake pill and expect to feel better, you may. Researchers are learning how this placebo effect works and how to use it to help patients.

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  3. Archaeology

    Skeletons point to world’s oldest known shark attacks

    The newfound remains came from people who had lived thousands of years ago in Peru and Japan, half a world apart.

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  4. Animals

    Tiny animals survive 24,000 years in suspended animation

    Tiny bdelloid rotifers awake from a 24,000-year slumber when freed from the Arctic permafrost.

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  5. Life

    Some pikas survive winter by eating yak poop

    Pikas endure bone-chilling cold on the Tibetan Plateau by using little energy and fueling up on yak poop.

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  6. Environment

    Wildfire smoke seeds the air with potentially dangerous microbes

    Studies now show that most wildfires don’t kill microbes. That’s fueling worries about what risks these smoke hitchhikers might pose to people.

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  7. Animals

    Analyze This: Sharks aren’t as scary as what you see on TV

    In Shark Week shows, scientists found mixed messages about sharks, insufficient research support and little info on conserving endangered animals.

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  8. Animals

    Endangered or just rare? Statistics give meaning to the head counts

    Whether studying tiny birds or massive whales, researchers collect a lot of data. The field of statistics helps them make sense of those data.

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  9. Microbes

    Explainer: Virus variants and strains

    When viruses become more infectious or better able to survive the body’s immune system, they become a type of variant known as a strain.

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  10. Plants

    How Romanesco cauliflower grows spiraling fractal cones

    By tweaking just three genes in a common lab plant, scientists have mimicked one of nature’s most impressive mathematical patterns.

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  11. Genetics

    Just a tiny share of the DNA in us is unique to humans

    Some of these tweaks to DNA, however, may have played a role in brain evolution.

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  12. Environment

    Warming cities may see more rain — and frequent flooding

    Scientists are seeking to understand why and how to mop up excess precipitation.

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