March 18, 2013 |
Roosters, famously, crow in the early morn -- but scientists don't fully understand why they unleash their voices when they do. After all, roosters have also been known to make a racket when other animals or birds are about, when a car starts, or when lights turn on in the middle of the night. So do they crow because they see the morning light, or because they hear other roosters? Or do they have some kind of internal body clock that lets them know that's it's time to unleash their peals?
November 24, 2009 |
Today, a century and a half after Charles Darwin published "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," the overwhelming majority of scientists in the United States accept Darwinian evolution as the basis for understanding how life on Earth developed. But although evolutionary theory is often portrayed as antithetical to religion, it has not destroyed the religious faith of the scientific community. According to a survey of members of the American Assn. for the Advancement of Science, conducted by the Pew Research Center in May and June this year, a majority of scientists (51%)
October 11, 2012 |
SEATTLE - The long-running detective saga involving one of North America's earliest inhabitants has taken a new twist, with news that Kennewick Man - the shockingly intact 9,300-year-old skeleton unearthed in 1996 on the banks of the Columbia River - probably was a visitor to central Washington, not a longtime inhabitant. More likely, Smithsonian Institution anthropologist Douglas Owsley announced in a pair of lectures this week in Washington state, he came from the coast, not the arid inland valley where his remains were found.
October 9, 2013 |
Scientists have discovered two gene mutations that they believe are associated with an increased risk of eating disorders. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia often run in families, but these eating disorders are complex, and it has proved difficult to identify the paths. But, using two families with very high incidences of eating disorders, scientists say they found rare mutations, one in each family, that were associated with the people who had the disorders. The study suggests that mutations that decrease the activity of a protein that turns on the expression of other genes - called a transcription factor - increase the risk.
February 11, 2008 |
AS they seek to document and demystify one of life's great thrills, scientists have run across some real head-scratchers. How, for example, can they explain the fact that some men and women who are paralyzed and numb below the waist are able to have orgasms? How to explain the "orgasmic auras" that can descend at the onset of epileptic seizures -- sensations so pleasurable they prompt some patients to refuse antiseizure medication? And how on Earth to explain the case of the amputee who felt his orgasms centered in that missing foot?
November 6, 2013 |
Scientists studying the dramatic Chelyabinsk meteor that screamed through Russian skies this year have both good and bad news to report. The good news: The February fireball's damage wasn't nearly as terrible as predicted. The bad news? Near-Earth object impacts could be about 10 times more common than we thought they were. The results, presented in one of three studies published in the journals Nature and Science, show that scientists on the ground may have to reevaluate how we predict both the frequency of such impacts and our understanding of how they behave when they enter our atmospheres.