Erin Harrington

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The incredible shrinking dinosaur

Dinosaurs still roam the Earth - only now, according to researchers at the University of Oxford, they rule the air. At least, according this landmark …

Emerald Lizard Discovered in Ecuador

Wildlife & Wild Places<p>This is a live male of the new species of shade lizard, <i>Alopoglossus viridiceps</i>. Photograph by Omar Torres-Carvajal<p><b>A new species of lizard with a brilliant emerald head is the new jewel of Ecuador.</b><p><i>Alopoglossus viridiceps</i> is the first species of shade lizard found at the Santa …

Skin Cell Research Suggests Schizophrenia Begins in Womb

Neurons generated from the skin cells of schizophrenia patients behave strangely in the early developmental stages, offering clues that might lead to …

The Science Of Bubbles

More than just good for a bath, bubbles are a focus of new research<p>Bubbles may seem pretty ordinary. We tend to think of them just as beverage enhancers or entertainment for small children. But scientists are uncovering another side to bubbles: They can perform computations, drive climate, and even …

University College London

Longest Land Mammal Migration in Lower 48 Discovered

Wyoming mule deer cross many obstacles, from low desert to high mountains.<p>Deer are among the most ubiquitous animals in North America, giving humans ample chances to observe their habits. But until recently, scientists had missed one remarkable behavior of a hardy group of mule deer: a twice-yearly …

This is How You Study The Evolution of Animal Intelligence

There are many scientists who study the mental abilities of animals. As intelligent animals ourselves, we’re keen to learn whether other species share our skills, and how our vaunted smarts evolved. We see study after study about whether chimpanzees care about fairness, whether pigeons outsmart …

Blue-Footed Booby Threatened in the Galápagos

Breeding is down among birds known for their happy feet.<p>A cartoonish character in the avian world, the blue-footed booby is known for its vivid webbed feet and its high-stepping mating dance. But the birds have mostly ceased their hypnotic moves on the breeding grounds of the Galápagos Islands, …

To Breathe Upside-Down, Sloths Tape Organs To Their Ribs

If you spent a lot of your life hanging upside-down, you’ve got a problem. Your liver, kidneys, stomach and other internal organs would press down upon your lungs and diaphragm, making it marginally harder to breathe. This won’t matter in the short term but in the long run, you’d spend a lot more …

Sleep cycles: Why do some people stay up late and others get up early?

<i>This question originally appeared on Quora.</i><p><b>Answer by Suzanne Sadedin, Ph.D. in zoology from Monash University:</b><p>Advertisement<p>Your sleep cycle is …

White matter might matter much more than we thought

Changes in the brain's myelin distribution might be an unrecognised form of neuronal plasticity.<p>Look up ‘myelin’ in any neuroscience textbook and you’ll find something along these lines: It is a fatty substance that forms a sheath around axons, and gives the fibre bundles their white appearance …

How to See Without Glasses

Our godless brains: Emerging science reveals mind-blowing alternatives to a higher power

Science has yet to uncover many mysteries of the mind. But there are more reasons than ever why God isn’t necessary<p>Physics is the mother science. As such, it holds the greatest power for discovering the true nature of the universe and life within it. Physicists these days seem preoccupied with …

It's strange, but true — this is a praying mantis wearing 3-D glasses

Among insects, the praying mantis is believed to be the only one that sees in three dimensions, with depth, as humans do. And that gave scientists at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom an idea.<p>If they could fit the insects with miniature 3-D glasses, mini versions of what you might wear to …

How To Boost Blood Supplies

Because we don't want to run out.<p>PROBLEM<p>The shelf life of donated blood is short, just 42 days, and during emergencies even a large supply can quickly run out. To prolong blood’s useful life, hospitals can freeze it, but they rarely do so because technicians need to add glycerol, which prevents ice …

Medicine

From liability to viability: Genes on the Y chromosome prove essential for male survival

Despite a well-documented history of dramatic genetic decay, the human Y chromosome has over the course of millions of years of evolution managed to …

Chameleon crystals could enable active camouflage (w/ video)

(Phys.org) —The ability to control crystals with light and chemistry could lead to chameleon-style color-changing camouflage for vehicle bodies and …

Y Chromosome Is More Than a Sex Switch

The small, stumpy Y chromosome—possessed by male mammals but not females, and often shrugged off as doing little more than determining the sex of a …

Doctors want to fix you with 3D-printed tissues made from water droplets

Doctors dream of using 3D-printed tissues to patch up injuries, but current techniques tend to kill a lot of the cells used in the process. Thankfully, researchers at Oxford University spin-off OxSyBio have found a gentler way to build these materials. Their technique 3D prints water droplets …

Holy Hemihelix! Scientists Discover a Bizarre Twist

Researchers have figured out how to create a natural helix that looks like the tangle in a telephone cord — and that discovery could lead to new kinds of nanocircuitry.<p>The new twist is called a "hemihelix," and it's not really that new. All you need to do to create a hemihelix is twist your phone …

Imaging

The Independent | News | UK and Worldwide News | Newspaper

Revered professor spent decades exploring the mysteries of the universe and authored one of the best-selling science books of all time<p>obituary<p>Iconic …

Microbes provide insights into evolution of human language

Big brains do not explain why only humans use sophisticated language, according to researchers who have discovered that even a species of pond life …

How to avoid common mistakes in science writing

In science writing, as in life, a good checklist can prevent embarrassing mistakes. Here is one that will help you dodge some common pitfalls<p>The Wellcome Trust Science Writing Prize, in association with the Guardian and the Observer, is open for entries. The closing date is 11 May 2014<p>1. Are you …