SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY
Animals Have Different Patterns of Rest
from the Boston Globe (Registration Required)
We spend a third of our lives doing it. We build special rooms for it, and we agonize over not getting enough of it. Yet despite all the time humans invest in sleep, scientists have still not been able to explain why we need it.
While an array of lab studies show that slumber-deprived people remember less, react more slowly, and even develop higher risks of heart disease and diabetes, the reasons sleep developed in the first place have remained murky—and some even argue that it may not be as useful as we think.
Several scientists are now trying an innovative approach: comparing the snoozing habits of different animals to better understand how sleep evolved over time.
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PODCASTS: Expanding With the Cosmos
Using the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ATC), a 6.5-meter microwave collector in Chile, cosmologists are piecing together the early history of the known universe. In an exclusive American Scientist interview, Arthur Kosowsky—a member of the ATC team and a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Pittsburgh—discusses how he is using ATC to reach back in time billions of years to search for gravitational waves that could verify inflation and reveal unprecedented details about how the cosmos was born.
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