Dustin Land

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Rarely Seen Moonfish, Size of Manhole Cover, Caught on Camera

The opah, or moonfish, is a camera-shy animal that researchers know little about.<p>Its squat body and flimsy-looking pectoral fins may not scream speed-demon.<p>But the opah, or moonfish, is actually quite fast, and can run with the big boys like tuna and swordfish. That's just one of many surprising …

Zoology

NASA Eyes Mission to Jupiter's Ice Ocean Moon

The king of planets swings into view, as destination mission starts.<p>Jupiter's mysterious moon Europa, famed for its role in <i>2001: A Space Odyssey</i>, may soon host an intense search for life.<p>The White House this week presented a 2016 U.S. budget that includes $30 million in funding for the development …

Astronomy

Mars meteorite hints at what's hiding under the dust - Futurity

When scientists started analyzing Black Beauty in 2011, they knew they had something special. It was unlike any Martian meteorite ever found.

MPs vote in favour of 'three-person embryo' law

MPs have voted in favour of making Britain the first country in the world to permit IVF babies to be created using biological material from three different people to help prevent serious genetic diseases.<p>In a historic debate, the House of Commons voted by 382 to 128 – a majority of 254 – to allow …

Genetics

Why Teens Are Impulsive, Addiction-Prone And Should Protect Their Brains

Teens can't control impulses and make rapid, smart decisions like adults can — but why?<p>Research into how the human brain develops helps explain. In a teenager, the frontal lobe of the brain, which controls decision-making, is built but not fully insulated — so signals move slowly.<p>"Teenagers are not …

Why vultures don't get sick, despite eating a diet of rotting animals

Vultures' faces and large intestines are covered with bacteria that is toxic to most other creatures, but these birds of prey have evolved a strong …

Chance of 'megadrought' in U.S. Southwest now 50%, study says

The chance of a "megadrought" gripping the Southwest for more than 30 years has increased to 50%, scientists say, which means bad news for California's already parched landscape.<p>The odds of a 10-year drought afflicting the southwestern U.S. have increased to 80%, according to a new study by Cornell …

Climate Change

Rising carbon dioxide levels may reduce the nutritional value of important foods

A study in the journal Nature finds that rising concentrations of carbon dioxide threaten global human nutrition by significantly reducing the levels of nutrients important to human health.<p>Researchers cultivated 41 different varieties of staple crops on three continents to examine how they might be …

Butterflies, beetles and banknotes: tuning colour efficiently

In the South American rainforests, a blue flash of colour visible from hundreds of metres away is likely to signify the presence of one of the <i>Morpho</i> genus of butterflies. Although the colours of many animals arise from pigmentation, for <i>Morpho</i> and a range of other insects (including iridescent …

Female Turtles “Talk” to Their Hatchlings, Scientists Discover

Changing Planet<p>A giant South American river turtle. Photograph by Joel Sartore, National Geographic Creative<p><b>The first time Richard Vogt tried to catch a giant South American river turtle (Podocnemis expansa), the hundred-pound (45-kilogram) reptile dragged him 30 feet (9.1 meters) down to the</b> …

Tibetans 'developed genetic mutation’ to help them survive on roof of the world

The iron-lung fitness of Tibetans living on the world’s highest plateau has baffled scientists for decades, but new study reveals how they evolved to survive<p>The extraordinary ability of Tibetans to thrive at high altitudes with low oxygen levels could be explained by a genetic mutation, according …

Canadian, World, Politics and Business News & Analysis

It Turns Out Black Holes Can Be Medium-Sized, Too

Black holes do indeed come in three sizes: small, medium and extra large, a new study suggests.<p>Astronomers have studied many black holes at either size extreme — "stellar-mass" black holes, which are a few dozen times as weighty as the sun, and supermassive black holes, which can contain millions …

Homo floresiensis: scientists clash over claims 'hobbit man' was modern human with Down's syndrome

A furious international dispute has erupted over the publication of a paper that claims the hobbit man of Flores was a modern human who had Down's syndrome. Published in the <i>Proceedings of the</i> <i>National Academy of Sciences</i> (PNAS) this month, the research has been denounced by scientists around the …

Extreme Rainfall Is The New Normal, And We're Not Ready For It

Heavy rains are flooding cities and towns from Nebraska to Michigan to Maine. Is the problem failing infrastructure, global warming...or both?<p>Six weeks worth of rain fell on greater Detroit on Monday, much of it during afternoon rush hour. Local drainage systems quickly topped out, and the deluge …

Awesomeness from the International Space Station

What would it be like to view the Earth and the sky from the vantage point of the International Space Station? These three photos from ISS tell the …

What Really Killed the Dinosaurs?

Cold Winter Depleted Some Coastal Fish Populations

The extreme cold weather on the East Coast last winter has meant that some fishermen have smaller catches this summer. NPR's Linda Wertheimer talks to fishing forecaster Mitchell Roffer in Florida.<p>Transcript<p>LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:<p>If you were planning to do a little recreational fishing on the coast …

Competition for ecological niches limits evolution of new species

A recently published study finds that competition for ecological niches limits the evolution of new species. Further, this study finds that speciation rate slows or even stops as available ecological niches fill up.<p>Why are there so many more species in some regions than in others? According to a …

Ticks That Can Make People Severely Allergic To Meat Are Spreading In The U.S.

Interviews with doctors suggest the Lone Star tick, and the allergy to sugars in red meat that it can cause, is on the rise.<p>Mike Abley will always remember the last hamburger he ever ate. It was more than 20 years ago, and he recalls the meat being particularly juicy and delicious.<p>But a few hours …

We May Have Collected the First Material From Outside the Solar System

Scientists say that they may have the first samples of material from outside the Solar System with the help of volunteer citizen scientists.<p><b>Seven microscopic motes of dust may be the</b> first material ever collected from outside our solar system, according to a team of researchers from Berkeley and …

Particles

A Temporary Tattoo to Track Your Workout and Charge Your Phone

Scientists have invented a biosensor that can monitor exercise and store electricity.<p><b>Researchers have developed a battery in the</b> form of a temporary tattoo that can monitor your workout and even make electricity from your sweat. Eventually, biobatteries like this may be able to charge your watch, …

University of California

Tracks on Mars? NASA spots rolling stone

A large boulder went for a tumble on Mars and is captured in a NASA photo, complete with the strange tracks it left behind.<p>NASA has discovered tracks on Mars, but they weren't left there by aliens or Elvis. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter peered down to the Red Planet's surface in the middle of …

Machine that keeps lungs alive outside body tested

DETROIT — Creamy-pink and glistening, they lie on a stainless steel exam table — this pair of lungs inflating and falling in a rhythmic, ghostly pattern.<p>At the University of Michigan, researchers are pushing the limits of medicine, eking out new ways to boost the numbers of organs that are …

Satellite View Shows Wildfires Across Washington State

Firefighters work to bring a dozen blazes under control.<p>Plumes of smoke from a dozen wildfires hovered over a wide swath of Washington state this weekend, as seen in this image captured by NASA's Aqua Earth observation satellite around 9 p.m. on August 11. Most of the fires were touched off by …

Archaeobotanists probe ancient grains to map drought stress, human responses in Ancient Near Eastern societies

The influence of climate on agriculture is believed to be a key factor in the rise and fall of societies in the Ancient Near East. Dr. Simone Riehl …

Team finds potential MERS transmission mechanism between bats and humans

Researchers have identified the mechanism used by the deadly MERS virus to transmit from bats to humans. Bats are a native reservoir for MERS and the …

What makes a red rainbow?

Red rainbows happen when the sun is on the horizon. They’re created in much the same process that causes a sunset or sunrise to look …

Toxic proteins damage nerve cells

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne and University College London have now unearthed the way in which a specific …

Pioneering new injection to cure heart failure without need for major surgery

The technique, which involves a simple injection, could aid the recovery of hundreds of thousands of heart failure patients - and could even consign heart transplants to history.<p>A pioneering new treatment that allows damaged hearts to recover without the need for major surgery is being trialled by …