Alexis McCullough

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Why Killer Whales Go Through Menopause But Elephants Don’t

Last summer, I met Granny. I was on a whale-watching boat that had sailed south from Vancouver Island, in search of a famous and well-studied group of killer whales (orcas). Two hours after we set off, we started seeing black fins scything through the unusually calm and glassy water. We saw a dozen …

Oxytocin makes men eat less, choose healthier foods

First, we learn that the "love hormone" oxytocin makes men more trusting, nurturing and sociable. Then, we learn that a shot of the stuff makes partnered men less likely to stray or even flirt with other women. Now, we learn that a puff of oxytocin up the nose makes men eat less, and choose foods …

Potential weight-loss agent from a tree is almost too good to be true

It has qualities so remarkable, it could come from the land of Oz (and could become the television doctor's next big thing, too): a compound derived from a tree growing in South and Central America prompted obese mice to lose 20% to 30% of their weight. It also allowed normal, healthy mice to chow …

Fastest Star in the Milky Way Found Zipping Out of Galaxy

It’s blasting away at astonishing speed—and it could help solve a cosmic mystery.<p>This animation shows how one star in a pair could get revved up to high speed when its partner goes supernova. NASA, ESA, and P. Ruiz Lapuente (University of Barcelona); Cut and colored by S. Geier.<p>A star is racing out …

Mars once had an entire ocean -- and then lost it, scientists say

Dry, dusty Mars once had an ocean that held as much water as the Arctic Ocean and covered a larger share of the Red Planet's surface than the Atlantic Ocean does on Earth, according to a surprising new study.<p>The findings, described online in the journal Science, examined the patterns in the Martian …

California Hospital Doing A Six-Way Kidney Transplant. How Does That Work?

It takes a lot of choreography<p>Surgeons at the California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) in San Francisco have gotten pretty good at doing kidney transplants; they have done about 200 of them per year since 1968. But over the next two days, a team of five surgeons and over 60 support staff will …

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