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SCIENCE IN THE NEWS WEEKLY

Did Developmental Timing Give Birds an Edge?

A new study suggests that retained juvenile traits may have helped birds outlive dinosaurs through a process known as paedomorphosis.

In other news of the ancient past, a study of more than 300 Neolithic skeletons suggests evidence of "hereditary inequality" among farmers 7,000 years ago. Archaeologists from Cardiff University led a team who studied the skeletons from across Europe. They say evidence suggests that farmers buried with tools had access to better land than those buried without.

The slow eastward migration of monsoons across the Asian continent initially supported the formation of the Harappan civilization in the Indus valley by allowing production of large agricultural surpluses, then decimated the civilization as water supplies for farming dried up, researchers reported last week.


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PODCAST & VIDEO: Engineering Around Extreme Events

Extreme events, such as super floods and hurricanes, are becoming more common, so civil engineers are trying to adapt civil infrastructure such as bridges to these unpredictable and sometimes devastating meteorological events. Engineer Ana Barros discusses how engineering can prepare us for extreme weather events, but also how changing climate and population conditions can affect the ability of infrastructure to hold up over time.

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