hbirky

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3 ways plants evolved to stand the cold

Using the largest dated evolutionary tree of flowering plants ever assembled, a new study suggests how plants developed traits to withstand low …

10 Science Stories That Changed The Way We Look At The World Around Us In 2013 (PHOTOS)

Looking for a recap of the top science news stories of 2013? You'll find <i>lots</i> of options out there, including this top 10 list and this top 25.<p>But if you want to know which science-themed news stories were <i>your</i> favorites this year--that is, the most-read news stories on HuffPost Science--this is the …

Rapid evolution of novel forms: Environmental change triggers inborn capacity for adaptation

Enter Whitehead Member Susan Lindquist, whose research has shown that HSP90 silences such genetic variation in a variety of organisms, from fruit …

Sunlight adaptation region of Neanderthal genome found in up to 65 percent of modern East Asian population

With the Neanderthal genome now published, for the first time, scientists have a rich new resource of comparative evolution. For example, recently, …

'Be different or die' does not drive evolution

A new study has found that species living together are not forced to evolve differently to avoid competing with each other, challenging a theory that …

6 Bright Microscopic Images Of Life

Here are the winners of the 2013 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition.<p>For the tenth year in a row, miscroscope and camera manufacturer Olympus sponsored a light microscope photography contest, and the results are stunning. The winner, pictured above, is an aquatic carnivorous plant, …

Embryonic

How It Works: A 3-D Printer For Liver Tissue

The first commercial 3-D bioprinter, Organovo's NovoGen MMX Bioprinter, is manufacturing functional liver tissues that will soon help biochemists test new drugs. Here’s a look at the printing process.<p><b>Step 1</b>: Engineers load one syringe with a bio-ink (A) made up of spheroids that each contain tens …

5 Body Parts Scientists Can 3-D Print

FYI: What Is The Evolutionary Purpose Of Tickling?

You probably know that you can't tickle yourself. And although you might be able to tickle a total stranger, your brain also strongly discourages you from doing something so socially awkward. These facts offer insight into tickling's evolutionary purpose, says Robert R. Provine, a neuroscientist at …

FYI: Did Dinosaurs Get The Flu?

Investigating diseases of prehistory<p>It’s very hard to figure out when the influenza virus first started making animals sick. Studies of the history of major human epidemics suggest the flu has been around for at least a thousand years. “The certainty diminishes as we go further back into the past,” …

A Scientific Miracle: Theories of Mary's Virgin Birth

<i>Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. - Matthew 1:18</i><p>Merry Christmas, scientists! It's that time of year again when all rational human beings shake our …

Chromosomes

1.34-million-year-old remains of strong, tree-climbing human ancestor

Researchers found a partial skeleton including arm, hand, leg and foot fragments. They say that P. boisei may have been as tall as 4.5 feet tall, …

Dinosaur asteroid 'sent life to Mars'

<b>The asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs may have catapulted life to Mars and the moons of Jupiter, US researchers say.</b><p>They calculated how many Earth rocks big enough to shelter life were ejected by asteroids in the last 3.5bn years.<p>The Chicxulub impact was strong enough to fire chunks of debris …

5,000-year-old cat fossils discovered in China help explain domestication

Though the modern human–cat relationship is well documented on YouTube, researchers are still puzzling over how our initial domestication of cats developed. But now a new discovery in China is helping to shed some light on it: in a paper published today, researchers describe finding multiple cats' …

Ancient Chinese cat bones shake up domestication theory

A cat-and-mouse game played out in a Chinese village 5,300 years ago is helping scientists understand how wild felines became the tame pets we know today.<p>Scientists believe it was the cat's appetite that led to domestication. Grain stored by ancient farmers was a magnet for rodents, which in turn …

Dinosaur Fossil With Fleshy Rooster's Comb Is First of Its Kind

Mummified fossil represents first description of a soft-tissue crest atop a dinosaur's head.<p><b>The structure above the fossil's head was so unexpected that Phil Bell put his chisel straight through the middle of it. "I was just expecting there to be rock, and all of a sudden there was skin underneath,</b> …

Scientists draw up definitive list of genes that make us human

Researchers have drawn up the first definitive list of genetic changes that make modern humans different from our nearest ancient ancestors, who died out tens of thousands of years ago.<p>The list amounts to a series of biological instructions that shape the brains and bodies of living people and …

The shadow genome: why DNA isn't destiny

Epigenetics is changing the way scientists look at genetic inheritance<p>How does a mother’s weight-loss surgery affect her child’s risk of obesity? It’s a question scientists have been struggling with since a Laval University study published in April, which looked at children born to mothers who’d …