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Top stories of 2015: Pluto, gene editing, a new hominid and more

It probably comes as no surprise that the New Horizons mission to Pluto takes the top spot in <i>Science News’</i> list of 2015’s most important …

Study: No evidence of advanced alien life in nearby galaxies

While a sequel to the 1990s alien invasion flick “Independence Day” is in the works, moviegoers shouldn’t worry about fact following fiction anytime soon. This is according to a new report by the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, which determined that there are no signs of advanced alien …

London zoo monkey-keeper and meerkat-keeper 'fought over llama-keeper'

A London zoo love triangle between keepers of meerkats, monkeys and llamas led to bloody fight at a Christmas party, a court has heard.<p>Caroline Westlake, who worked in the meerkat enclosure, was convicted on Friday of assault by beating after glassing her colleague, Kate Sanders, in the …

North London

Are viruses alive? New evidence says yes

Evolutionary history suggests they evolved from ancient cells<p>Influenza, SARS, Ebola, HIV, the common cold. All of us are quite familiar with these names. They are viruses—a little bit of genetic material (DNA or RNA) encapsulated in a protein coat. But what we don’t really understand, and what …

Biology

2015 Fall Books Preview: 33 Can't-Miss New Reads

BRB, we'll be in our bedrooms reading until winter.<p>Setting aside Jonathan Franzen's ubiquitously discussed new novel <i>Purity</i>, fall 2015 is an embarrassment of literary riches. Intriguing fiction debuts, humorous essays from masters of the form and new offerings from some of the greatest novelists of …

Raising Dion: a diverse comic book that turns its back on superhero tropes

No one ever said being a single mother was easy, but raising a child with superpowers takes things to a whole other level.<p>That is the premise for Raising Dion, a new comic book that focuses on Nicole, a widowed, African American mother, and the challenges she faces in bringing up her son Dion – a …

Graphic Novels

The Underwater Cemetery Where Spaceships Go to Die

For centuries, burial at sea has been a common practice across cultural lines. It can be done out of necessity, for religious reasons, or because …

The Six Most Incredible Fossils Preserved In Amber

Even if fossils in amber are not useful for extracting dinosaur blood from for cloning purposes, despite what <i>Jurassic Park</i> may have you believe, they still preserve amazing snapshots of life millions of years ago. Amber is fossilized tree resin, a sticky, viscous substance secreted by plants in …

Paleontology

By 2100, Earth Will Have an Entirely Different Ocean

A complete guide to the hotter, higher, trashier, fish-free oceans of the near future.<p>The ocean is in the midst of a radical, manmade change. It can seem kind of crazy that one of the most immense properties on Earth—the ocean washes over 71 percent of the planet—could be completely transformed by …

Two dolphin species band together to form unprecedented alliance

Swimming in sync <i>(Image: David Fleetham/Naturepl.com)</i><p>IT’S a social network like no other. The dolphins of the Bahamas forage and play together and …

11 Things In Nature You Didn't Know Could Glow In The Dark

Who knew fungus gnats could be so magical?

Nature

Myth Debunked: Boa Constrictors Don't Suffocate Prey to Death

Boa constrictors are notorious for their deadly grip, squeezing their next meal until it expires. But scientists have long wondered whether this …

The Six Weirdest Ancient Roman Ideas About The Human Body

Given our 21st century understanding of medicine, in which scientists can grow or 3D print new organs, the ancient Romans may seem fantastically clueless about human anatomy and disease. But until Anders Vesalius revolutionized the study of anatomy in the 16th century, Western medicine was …

Ancient History

RebelMouse vs. WordPress VIP

After building the product for Huffington Post, and owning the product and engineering groups at AOL after we were acquired, it was clear to me there …

The cost of space missions

This week, NASA’s New Horizons probe made the first ever flyby of distant, frozen Pluto. We were wondering how much the mission cost, how that …

The First Photos Taken of Every Planet in Our Solar System

Scientists may no longer consider Pluto a planet, but it remained the last unexplored world of our solar system until Tuesday, when the fastest …

Astronomy

Spiders can sail the oceans like ships

LONDON, July 3 (UPI) -- Spider are impressively quick to colonize new territory, perhaps second only to winged species among arachnids and insects in …

Newly identified coral can live for over 4,000 years

You might just call it the vampire of the deep seas.<p>Scientists at NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and the Smithsonian National Museum of …

Newfound groups of bacteria are mixing up the tree of life

Jill Banfield, professor of EPS and ESPM, and grad student Christopher Brown discovered a large number of new groups or phyla of bacteria, suggesting …

Biology