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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. ...

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SpaceX Dragon Splashdown 'Like Seeing Your Kid Come Home'

The privately launched SpaceX Dragon supply ship returned to Earth last week, ending a revolutionary nine-day voyage to the International Space Station with an old-fashioned splashdown in the Pacific. The unmanned capsule parachuted into the ocean about 500 miles off Mexico's Baja California. ...

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Science at the Top of the News for May 29-June 1

A new study suggesting that climate skepticism is not necessarily rooted in science illiteracy was the most-viewed item last week by subscribers to Science in the News Daily. Other popular stories focused on why stout bubbles sink and some surprising new theories about the center of the Earth. Subscribe for free daily updates.

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Panel Advises Dropping PSA Test

A government task force made the controversial recommendation last week that the PSA test should be abandoned as a prostate cancer screening tool. The panel came to that conclusion after determining that the side effects from needless biopsies and treatments hurt many more men than are potentially helped by early detection of cancers. ...

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Arctic Methane: 'The Warming Will Feed the Warming'

There are thousands of sites in the Arctic where methane that has been stored for millennia is bubbling into the atmosphere. The methane has been trapped by ice, but is able to escape as the ice melts. Researchers say this ancient gas could have a significant impact on climate change. ...

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A Promising Advance in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells

Solar cells could become much cheaper thanks to improvements in a more than 20-year-old solar technology that captures light with dye molecules. The advance is "one of the most important breakthroughs in dye cells in the last several years," says a chemist at Pennsylvania State University, University Park. ...

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Disputed Fossil Sold for $1 Million

An American auction house sold a fossil of a fearsome T. rex relative for $1 million despite a court order not to. The fossil was found in Mongolia, and the sale is contingent on the outcome of a court fight with the Mongolian government over ownership. ...

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Science at the Top of the News for May 21-25

An NPR story about an unusual sea creature caught on camera in the ocean off Great Britain was the most-viewed item last week by subscribers to Science in the News Daily. Other popular stories included the discovery of a mysterious sensory organ in a whale's chin and an examination by the L.A. Times on whether blazing a trail in solar energy has cost California too much. Subscribe for free daily updates.

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Benefits of 'Good' Cholesterol Questioned

A new study finds that "good" cholesterol might not boost your heart health as doctors once thought. The study looked at the genes of about 170,000 individuals, looking for variations in DNA that earlier research shows naturally raise HDL levels in those who possess them. After looking for these 15 genetic variations, the researchers discovered that none of these variations actually reduced the risks for having a heart attack. ...

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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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