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Ancient Fossils Have Evolution's First Shells

A series of spectacularly preserved, 750 million-year-old fossils represent the microscopic origins of biomineralization, or the ability to convert minerals into hard, physical structures. This process is what makes bones, shells, teeth and hair possible, literally shaping the animal kingdom and even Earth itself.

from Wired Science

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Why Female Zebra Finches Cheat on Their Partner

Zebra finches form monogamous lifetime partnerships, but both males and females indulge in extramarital sex. The benefit for the males is clear: the chance to sire more offspring than fidelity would permit. But why would females cheat when that means risking losing their lifetime partners and catching diseases?

from New Scientist

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Memory Training Improves Intelligence in Some Children

from the Los Angeles Times (Registration Required)

Training a child to hold a whole cluster of items in his or her memory for even a short time may feel like trying to hold a wave on the sand. But a study published Monday says it's a drill that can yield lasting benefits.

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Heart With No Beat Offers Hope Of New Lease On Life

The search for the perfect artificial heart seems never-ending. After decades of trial and error, surgeons remain stymied in their quest for a machine that does not wear out, break down or cause clots and infections.

from NPR

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Scientists Measure the Accuracy of a Racism Claim

Scientists have often been accused of letting their ideology influence their results, and one of the most famous cases is that of Morton's skulls--the global collection amassed by the 19th-century physical anthropologist Samuel George Morton.

from the New York Times (Registration Required)

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How an Afghan Methadone Clinic is Fighting to Counter HIV

In the Pul-i-Sokhta neighborhood of Kabul, Afghanistan, hundreds of men gather under a bridge in the dark. They hunch over sheets of foil and breathe in the fumes from boiling heroin.

from PRI's The World

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China Starts Building World's Biggest Radio Telescope

The largest and most famous radio telescope in the world--the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico--is about to be upstaged. In a remote part of Guizhou province in southern China, construction has begun on a true behemoth of engineering, the Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST), an instrument that promises to transform radio astronomy.

from New Scientist (Registration Required)

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Forest Europe Summit 'To Shape' Policy

Forestry ministers from across Europe are attending a summit to shape future policy on how woodlands are managed. Delegates from 46 nations are expected to decide whether they will go ahead and establish a legally binding agreement on forest management.

from BBC News Online

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Latest Multimedia

EmlenBookCover

VIDEO: From Biology to Military History: Patterns in Animal Weaponry

What are the parallels between an ancient war ship and a dung beetle? More than you would think, actually! Douglas J. Emlen, PhD, has a unique perspective on animal weaponry that looks at patterns in military history.

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