Genes proposed to exist would predispose men to same-sex attraction without necessarily making them gay.

"Long before it’s in the papers" April 12, 2016



Myths of black toughness contribute to pain undertreatment, study suggests Even some medically trained people wrongly think blacks have thicker skin or less sensitive nerve endings, a study finds.

Green space may make city kids smarter Exposure to green spaces may help boost children’s cognitive development, according to a study.

Study: Nazi propaganda still influences those who grew up with it Findings demonstrate how official policy can shape beliefs, researchers say.

Study links war, global warming—in Syria Researchers have published the first major study to draw a link between global warming, drought and ongoing civil unrest.

Smarter mice with a “humanized” gene? Introducing a “humanized” version of a language-linked gene into mice accelerates their learning, according to a study.

At least one in 25 death-sentenced people are innocent, study claims In new work, researchers argue that the false-conviction rate is not everywhere as unknowable as is sometimes said.

Scientists take step toward usable fusion energy Scientists are closer than ever to using the process that powers the Sun to produce energy, says a report to appear in the research journal Nature.

An evolutionary role for “Jackass”-like stunts? Risk-prone people are perceived as larger and stronger, new research finds.

DNA “markings” may transmit learned experiences So-called epigenetic changes have garnered increasing attention as a route by which nature transmits traits across generations.

Love your enemy? Hormone spray may help with that, too Inhaling the hormone oxytocin may make people empathize more with outsiders, a study suggests.

Scientists probe how Inca kids were drugged for sacrifice Children of the ancient Inca Empire may have consumed intensifying doses of alcohol and coca leaf for as long as a year before a ritual slaughter.

A reputation sealed? Finding suggests T. rex hunted for real A toothy discovery suggests the iconic dinosaur Tyrannosaurus rex was a real hunter after all—not a mere scavenger.

Study explores how power gets to the brain Power may or may not corrupt, but it does change you. New research explores what happens in the brain as that takes place.

Studies may have overestimated our generosity Scientists recreated a game often used to assess people’s altruism—but this time there was a twist, and a darker result.

Already-approved drug tied to longer, healthy lives in mice The first drug to successfully extend the lifespan of normal lab mice also does so in a way that prolongs their healthy existence, a study suggests.

Men want status from romantic relationships, research finds A set of surveys suggests men and women get self-esteem from relationships in different ways.

Killed twice in 1600s, hoax “dragon” slain again—in creationism dispute Scientists say they’ve proven what some suspected three centuries ago: the swamp dragon from Rome was a hoax. And maybe now it matters more.

Yes, gentlemen, size matters—but something else matters more, study finds Scientists assessed how penis size, body height and body shape interact to influence female rankings of male allure.

Babies may be drawn to those who mistreat the “different” Researchers report new evidence that hard-to-eradicate biases based on race, sex and other differences take root early in life.

Your brain cells may be capable of outliving you—by a lot New findings make scientists hopeful that if human lifespan is increased, brain cells will cooperate by living longer accordingly.

Chimps found to play fairness game like people In some important ways, chimps may have more human-like concepts of fairness than previously recognized, biologists say.

For signs of life, some strange planetary systems may be most promising Atmospheric chemicals betraying the presence of alien life might be detectable around white dwarf stars, a study says.

Did some Neanderthals learn advanced skills from “moderns”? Surprisingly, some Neanderthal people seem to have made body ornaments and sophisticated tools, a study reports.

Theory that cooking gave us big brains gains support New research backs up a theory that the advent of cooking almost two million years ago enabled humans to get smarter.

Friendliness to minorities may often be a performance—a fragile one Many whites behave extra nicely to minorities, but it’s often an act that arises from a sense of obligation, new research suggests.

Gospel of Matthew linked to trail of bizarre self-mutilations A particular set of verses from a book in the Bible has created consternation among some medical professionals.

“Racial purity” DNA testing slammed as perversion, but halting practice might not be easy A politician has sparked outrage after reportedly taking a DNA test for a shocking purpose. But just where the red line lies is not widely agreed upon.

Moral “taint” still seeps along familial lines We are still blamed to some degree for the misdeeds of our relatives, according to a set of newly reported surveys.

American heads have been changing shape, but why? White people’s heads in the United States have gotten taller and narrower since the days the steamship was king, research indicates.

Cold case solved? Study probes riddle of sinking beer bubbles Bubbles in dark beer are seen to slide downward, ironically, because they’re trying to head upward, a study reports.

Move elephants into Australia, scientist proposes Does the Land Down Under need an infusion of large mammals to solve its ecological and wildfire problems?

Was blackmail essential for marriage to evolve? A study takes a cold new look at a custom as ancient and firmly established as it is sacred to millions.

A human bias against creativity is hindering science, research claims Most of us love creativity—until it actually comes knocking, some psychologists say.

Pluto has even colder “twin” of similar size, studies find A “dwarf planet” orbiting our sun three times further away than Pluto is about the size of that better-known, frigid world, astronomers say.

Could simple anger have taught people to cooperate? A new study challenges one of the leading theories as a solution for an evolutionary puzzle.


* * * LATEST * * *

Up to half of “straight” men may carry “gay” genes Genes proposed to exist would predispose men to same-sex attraction without necessarily making them gay.

Human sacrifice promoted class divisions where it occurred, study finds Findings are said to “reveal a darker link between religion and the evolution of modern” societies.

Scientists use poop to retrace famed invasion against Rome Historians consider Hannibal’s campaign one of the most brilliant military feats of antiquity.

Competition may have killed off largest shark ever The ancient shark C. megalodon was in some cases over twice as long as the fictional “Jaws.”

Distant planet said to be half-melted Astronomers have obtained what they call the most detailed “fingerprint” of a rocky planet outside our solar system to date.

Not “freaks”: doc charges colleagues with mistreating sex-change patients A prominent U.K. doctor launched the broadside in an editorial in a major medical journal.

Blind people found to gesture like sighted ones when speaking Findings suggest gestural variations don’t emerge from watching others speak, but from learning a language itself.

The Moon’s spin axis shifted, scientists say The Man in the Moon might not have looked quite the same from Earth before three billion years ago.

Science-religion conflict may lie in our brains The conflict between science and religion may originate in our brain structure, researchers have found.

Study questions much-hyped benefits of moderate drinking Countless news stories have reported on research tying moderate drinking to a range of health benefits.

Photo said to show possible embryonic planet New images from a radio observatory appear to show a clump of material circling a young star.

Bizarre findings on Americans: Less religion but more afterlife belief Some researchers are citing a something-for-nothing mentality to explain the head-scratching results.

Hyenas said to join wolf packs in unusual alliance Animals of different species sometimes lean on each other in times of adversity—just as humans do, according to a new study.

Old stars might form second crop of planets, imaging study suggests Astronomers have snapped the sharpest picture yet of a dusty disc around a close pair of old stars.

Study suggests why fasting diet may not work in humans Strict low-food diets may hurt the immune system, counteracting the lifespan-boosting effects they show in lab animals, research suggests.

Being short or overweight linked to reduced life chances Being a short man or an overweight woman may lead to lower chances in areas such as education and income, a study finds.

New evidence of language-like abilities in birds Scientists are reporting new evidence that birds can communicate by re-arranging the same sounds in different ways.

New signs that Zika virus may cause microcephaly Researchers suspect they’ve found out how Zika probably causes microcephaly, or abnormally small heads, in fetuses.

Near-suicidal trips said to make dragonfly a champion long-distance flier One species of little insect seems to keep outposts that just about span the globe.

Huge volcanoes may have twisted whole Martian surface Mars long ago swiveled around its own core by 20 to 25 degrees, according to a study.

Scientists propose: let’s search part of sky where aliens could have seen us A narrow strip of the sky might be more promising for E.T. searches, two researchers say.

Go-slow cancer treatment might actually work better, study suggests Can we learn to live with—rather than kill—cancer?

“Loneliest places” in cosmos may be less empty than thought New research looks at cosmic voids, vast tracts of the universe thought to be almost empty.

Warming may be raising seas faster than anytime in at least 2,800 years A new study estimates sea-level changes over the past three millennia.

Pluto moon may have an ancient, frozen ocean, scientists say New images are said to suggest that the moon Charon once had a subsurface ocean that has long since frozen and expanded.

Strange galaxy found to have huge tail of gas A spectacular feature found with a bright spiral galaxy might turn out to characterize others as well, some predict.

New cancer predictor: aging too fast, scientists claim A new study also attempts to point the way to medical tests and lifestyle improvements that could mitigate the problem.

Ancient flowering plant was beautiful—and likely poisonous, scientists say A newly identified species is attributed to a type that ultimately gave rise to some of the most famous poisons.

Atmosphere of a “super-Earth” analyzed; possible poisons turn up Scientists are trying to learn some general characteristics of the big, rocky planets thought to be common throughout our galaxy.

Promising safety results for “lifespan-boosting” drug A drug used to treat organ transplant rejection has also drawn growing interest for its effects on lifespan in animals.

Ripples in spacetime detected after long search Scientists say they have detected ripples in the fabric of spacetime called gravitational waves, generated by a collision of black holes.

That slime can see you—somewhat Some microbes basically use their whole tiny, globular bodies as eyeballs, according to research.

Motorboat noise may literally scare fish to their deaths Noise can double the rate at which some fish become someone else’s lunch underwater, a study finds.

Photos of black boys young as 5 make whites think of guns: study A study suggests people are more likely to mistake a toy for a gun after seeing a black face than a white face—even when that face belongs to a five-year-old.

Head-on crash produced our moon, study says A collision between Earth and a planetary embryo called Theia was head-on, not glancing, research concludes.

Study: protective gear may make people more reckless Participants in a study, unaware it was measuring risk-taking, played a computer game more recklessly when helmeted, researchers said.

Astronomers report finding widest known solar system by far One planet is so far from its host star that it will take almost a million Earth years to go all around the star, scientists say.

Schizophrenia tied to excess trimming of connections in brain New research may shed light on the origins of a devastating mental illness.

The aliens are silent because they died out, study says Life on other planets would likely be brief and go extinct quickly, some scientists argue.

“Solid evidence” of ninth planet claimed Researchers say there’s an unseen, giant planet tracing a bizarre orbit in the outer solar system.

Review finds little evidence behind speed reading claims A new report says the claims put forth by many speed reading programs and tools are probably too good to be true.

Dinos may have made “love nests” to show off Dinosaurs engaged in mating behavior similar to modern birds, according to new research.

People prone to rage attacks found to have smaller “emotional brains” Data confirm the condition is a brain disorder, scientists say.

Scientists plan to test whether plants can learn like Pavlov’s dog German researchers have received funding for an unconventional study.

Super-ape may have been doomed by changing landscape—and own size Gigantopithecus, up to three times heavier than a large gorilla, died out about 100,000 years ago.

Could star clusters nurture interstellar civilizations? Globular clusters—tightly packed bunches of very old stars—may be ideal place to look for spacefaring civilizations.

“Promising” findings for treatment of age-related muscle decline A “proof-of-concept” trial examined a type of drug called a myostatin antibody.

Chatting may serve evolutionary need to bond For some ancestors of humans, exchange of vocal calls is proposed to have served as “grooming at a distance.”

Doomed-to-fail products may appeal to one type of buyer Some people are so drawn to doomed products that their buying activity may be a bad sign, researchers say.

“Networks” of intelligence-linked genes reported found Scientists want to learn whether the networks have master switches that could be manipulated to boost brainpower.

Study: investors often deal with portfolio slumps by just looking away An “ostrich effect” applies even in an era of 24/7 access to financial data, researchers say.

Parrots seen using pebble-tools in new way Captive parrots were filmed using pebbles or date pits to grind calcium powder from seashells.

Whether genes affect intelligence may depend on class, country Past research suggests that both genes and environment shape intelligence.

Dinos arose quickly from predecessors, study finds Dinosaurs may have evolved from their smaller predecessors much faster than was previously thought.

Happiness level found to have no direct effect on mortality Results of a study of a million U.K. women challenge a widespread belief.

LSD found to act by reorganizing brain networks It hasn’t been clear what causes the drug’s profound effects on consciousness.

Strange, early ecosystems found more complex than once thought Scientists have used simulations to work out how a 555-million-year-old creature, with no known modern relatives, ate.

No definite structural difference between male, female brains, study says Most brains are “mosaics” of features, some of which are more common in one sex or the other, researchers say.

Scientists accidentally extend young adulthood in worms using drug The investigators plan to test the effect in mice next.

Disintegrating Martian moon could become a ring The demise of Phobos is expected to occur in 20 million to 40 million years.

Asteroid mining could begin within a few decades, scientists claim Researchers have developed a sensor to sniff out valuable materials from asteroids and other space objects.

Fossil forest may shed light on the first big trees A peculiar, thickly packed forest adds to evidence that even the earliest trees were remarkably diverse.

Children from different cultures may react differently to unfairness Only in a few countries do young children reject deals for being unfair to others, a study found.

Radiation is slamming the “most Earth-like planet,” scientists say Radiation may be preventing life on a planet considered the most Earth-like known outside our solar system.

Which country’s people are most honest? It may depend on the test A study yielded two rankings, both quite different, but both with the U.K. near the top and China near the bottom.

Martian moon said to be slowly falling apart Grooves lining Phobos may be early signs of structural failure.

“Pandemonium” seen in Pluto’s moon system One moon is spinning so fast that things are close to flying off its surface, scientists say.

Scientists could aid in new discovery by betting, study suggests Large numbers of scientists could engage in “prediction markets” to help identify errors in new research.

Sleepwalkers feel no pain even when badly injured, study finds One patient slept through jumping out of a third-floor window and taking severe fractures, scientists said.

T. rex may have been a cannibal A tyrannosaur bone has revealed a nasty little 66-million-year-old family secret, scientists claim.

World Science Archive

Blue sunflower? This is really a microscope image of liquid droplet residue from water-based chemicals, one-half millimeter wide. The droplets on the outer edges are 50 times less wide, and seven times less wide than a human hair. This image, titled "Blue Sun Flower," was created by Devin Brown, senior research engineer at the Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The image won grand prize in the 2013 EIPBN (Electron, Ion and Photon Beam Technology and Nanofabrication) micrograph contest. (Credit: Devin K. Brown, Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology, Georgia Tech)

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Meeting online may lead to happier marriages

Poverty reduction, environmental safeguards go hand in hand: UN report


Was blackmail essential for marriage to evolve?

Pluto has even colder “twin” of similar size, studies find

Could simple anger have taught people to cooperate?

Different cultures’ music matches their speech styles, study finds


Frog said to describe its home through song

Even rats will lend a helping paw: study

Drug may undo aging-associated brain changes in animals

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