Austin Spears

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An Incredible Fossil Just Changed What We Know About The Split of Pangaea

Earth's super-continent lasted longer than we thought.<p>A 130-million-year-old fossil has revealed that the ancient super-continent Pangaea may have …

Paleontology

Here's What the Next Pandemic Pathogen Might Look Like

It's a nightmare scenario: An infectious disease is spreading around the world and threatening to topple civilization as we know it. But what kind of …

Public Health

If sea slugs take 'eternal energy' from algae, can we? - Futurity

The sea slug Elysia chlorotica "has this remarkable ability to steal these algal plastids, stop feeding, and survive off the photosynthesis from the …

Algae

The global recession around the corner

The world economy is growing, yet among experts there is a nagging sense that the good times cannot last.<p>Last weekend, the world’s central bankers, …

Economics

Westworld fans rejoice: Hulu cuts HBO price to $5 per month

Want to see season 2 of the series about the creepy android-populated theme park? Hulu wants you to tune in with its streaming video service.<p>If you want to catch the newest episodes of Westworld or just watch Game of Thrones through for the third time, Hulu has dropped its HBO subscription price …

Televisions

An Iraq War vet makes the case against shallow patriotism

“I think a lot of people have a third-grade understanding of what patriotism is.”<p>If you’re looking for a rose-colored view of the military, Marine and Iraq War veteran Matt Young’s new memoir <i>Eat</i> <i>t</i><i>he Apple</i>isn’t for you.<p>But if you want a glimpse of the regret and shame and confused pride that consumes …

Your Body is a Teeming Battleground

It’s time to rethink the quest to control aging, death, and disease—and the fear of mortality that fuels it.<p>I went to medical school, at least in part, to get to know death and perhaps to make my peace with it. So did many of my doctor friends, as I would find out. One day—usually when you’re …

Immune System

Babies Who Get More Cuddles Seem to Have Their Genetics Changed For Years Afterwards

Touch can be powerful.<p>The amount of close and comforting contact that young infants get doesn't just keep them warm, snug, and loved.<p>A 2017 study …

In This Remote Village, Some Boys Don't Grow a Penis Until They're 12

Amazing but true.<p>Puberty can be an awkward time for anybody, but spare a thought for the <i>Guevedoce</i> children of the Dominican Republic, who literally …

How Genetics Is Changing Our Understanding of ‘Race’

In 1942, the anthropologist Ashley Montagu published “Man’s Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race<i>,</i>” an influential book that argued that race is a social concept with no genetic basis. A classic example often cited is the inconsistent definition of “black.” In the United States, historically, a …

Evolution

Study: wind and solar can power most of the United States

Wind, solar, and storage could meet 90–100% of America’s electricity needs<p>In order to combat climate change, we need to rapidly move from fossil fuel energy to clean, renewable energy. The two energy sources I am most interested in are wind and solar power; however, there are other sources that …

Renewable Energy

China offers to buy more U.S. semiconductors as it mulls stabbing Qualcomm in the back

In the deepening trade negotiations between China and the U.S., the bargaining chips are quite literally chips.<p>According to multiple reports, China has offered to increase the percentage of semiconductor chips it buys from American sources, replacing offerings from South Korea and Taiwan, if the …

Platypus milk might save us from bacterial infections, and that’s not even the best thing about them

These weird lil’ guys defy everything about how we try to categorize animals.<p>You may have heard that platypuses are going to save us from antibiotic resistance. This may or may not be true. But here’s what we do know: they’re definitely weird enough to pull off a feat like that.<p>Here’s the deal: so …

Biology

The Population Bomb Has Been Defused

The Earth and humanity will survive as fertility rates fall almost everywhere.<p>Some of the most spectacularly wrong predictions in history have been made by those who claim that overpopulation is going to swamp the planet. Thomas Malthus, a British economist writing in the late 1700s, is the most …

Geography

6 Exercises to Stretch Tight Hamstrings

Tight hamstrings are a common problem for many people. If your hamstrings are tight, or if you have suffered an injury to your hamstrings—like a …

Yoga

How Running Faster Can Actually Protect Your Knees

Speeding up may actually be better for your body than taking things slow.<p>The faster you run, the faster you're done! Well, duh. But speeding up may …

The Best Home-Based Tools for Self Myofascial Release

Self-myofascial release sounds like a complicated subject, doesn't it? And while everything that has to do with the body can get pretty complicated, …

Why Won't The Old Caveman Stereotypes For Neanderthals Die?

<i>Barbara J. King is an anthropology professor emerita at the College of William and Mary. She often writes about the cognition, emotion and welfare of animals and about biological anthropology, human evolution and gender issues. Barbara's new book is</i> Personalities on the Plate: The Lives and Minds …

Anthropology

These Viruses Found in Brazil Are So Huge They're Challenging What We Think a 'Virus' Is

This could change everything.<p>Scientists have discovered two new kinds of virus in Brazil that display such size and genetic complexity we may need to …

'They beat our a--es': Russian mercenaries talk about humiliating defeat by US in reportedly leaked audio

Leaked audio recordings said to be of Russian mercenaries in Syria capture expressions of lament and humiliation over a battle in early February involving US forces and Russian nationals.<p>Published by Polygraph.info — a fact-checking website produced by Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio …

The nation that thrived by ‘nudging’ its population

Singapore has grown from almost nothing in 50 years. And this well-regarded society has been built up, partly, thanks to the power of suggestion.<p>“Kopi lah,” says the elderly Singaporean man, leaning against the counter of the café. The stall holder hands him a bag filled with thick, creamy coffee …

Asia

Six grand ideas to fight the end of antibiotics

Overuse of antibiotics has led them to becoming less and less effective to treat us when we’re sick – leaving scientists scrambling for a fix. Here are some of the best ideas to tackle one of the 21st Century's biggest challenges.<p>The world is nearing a moment when antibiotics no longer work to …

Microbiology

Genetically Engineering Yourself Sounds Like a Horrible Idea—But This Guy Is Doing It Anyway

Josiah Zayner took a swig from his beer and squinted into the spotlight. He was already kind of drunk. He also hadn’t bothered to write a speech. …

Is a Bigger Genetic Code Better? Get Ready to Find Out

Evolution settled on a genetic code that uses four letters to name 20 amino acids. Synthetic biologists adding new bases to DNA will be free to …

Genetics

The Octopus: Stable Genius

<b>Q. Does an octopus have a brain? Where is it? And just how smart is an octopus?</b><p><b>A.</b> In a sense, an octopus has several brains, collections of neurons that control each arm. A famous 2001 study in the journal Science described how the commands that control one arm’s movement continue even when …

Octopuses

The United States’s Corn Belt is making its own weather

The Great Plains of the central United States—the Corn Belt—is one of the most fertile regions on Earth, producing more than 10 billion bushels of …

Osteoarthritis: Could researchers have found the key to prevention?

A new study may have revealed a possible new prevention and treatment strategy for osteoarthritis, which is one of the most common and debilitating …

Pain

Tardigrades — the microscopic, oddly cute toughest animals on Earth — explained

Six facts about the toughest animal on Earth.<p>Paul Bartels gets a rush every time he discovers a new species of tardigrade, the <b>phylum</b> of microscopic animals best known for being both strangely cute and able to survive the <b>vacuum of space</b>.<p>”The first paper I wrote describing a new species, there was a …

North Korea: what war with the US would look like - Vox

A full-blown war with North Korea wouldn’t be as bad as you think. It would be much, much worse.<p>Late last September, I moderated a discussion about North Korea with retired Navy Adm. James Stavridis, whose 37-year military career included a stint running NATO, and Michèle Flournoy, the No. 3 …

How democracies die, explained

The problems in American democracy run far deeper than Trump.<p>There are images that come to mind when we imagine a democracy’s end. Democracies fall in coups and revolutions, burn in fires and riots, collapse amid war and plague. When they die, they die screaming.<p>Not anymore, argue Steven Levitsky …

Political Science