Shannon Lumley

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Paleontology

Enduring mystery of Africa's fairy circles finally solved

The longstanding mystery of the Namibia's fairy circles appears to have finally been solved. The huge spherical patches of arid grass found in the …

The missing fossils matter as much as the ones we have found

The coelacanths are an ancient group of lobe-finned fishes, with weird appendages that take the form of bony, fleshy, muscular stalks. They’re …

Paleontology

7 Amazing Animal Organs People Don't Have

Under-eye "flashlights," venom glands, claspers. Nature abounds with body parts that aren't found in humans.<p>We humans like to explore the world, but sometimes we even find surprises in our own bodies.<p>Take the mesentery, a membrane that attaches the intestine to the abdominal wall. A new study …

Why Should You Care About the Microbiome?

What to know about the microorganisms in your gut.<p>Lately, there’s been a lot of talk about the term microbiome, which refers to a collection of …

Live Ruby Seadragon Caught on Tape for the First Time

Ruby seadragons are majestic and fascinating, but, up until 2015, were unknown to the scientific community. Now a new study published in the journal</i> …

Killer whales explain the mystery of the menopause

A study of the whales, one of only three species whose older females stop reproducing, claims competition between offspring may be the cause<p>Killer whales and humans would seem to have little in common. We inhabit very different ecosystems, after all. Yet the two species share one unexpected …

Biology

Nobel Prize Winner Claims to Have Found the Key to Slowing Aging

The Quest to Understand Aging<p>Within the past few decades, we have seen an exponential growth of technological advances in modern medicine. With more …

Nobel Prize

Outer layer of human heart regrown using stem cells

A multidisciplinary team working at Pennsylvania State University claim to have used human stem cells to regenerate the cells that cover the external …

The Stem-Cell Revolution Is Coming — Slowly

In 2001, President George W. Bush issued an executive order banning federal funding for new sources of stem cells developed from preimplantation human embryos. The action stalled research and discouraged scientists.<p>Five years later, a Kyoto University scientist, Shinya Yamanaka, and his graduate …

Cell Biology

January Is 'Love Your Liver' Month

Now that the holiday excesses are over, are you thinking about your liver? Worried about your alcohol consumption or maybe feeling bad about all …

Diabetes
Turtles

New research study creates new opportunities for treating brain diseases

Immunotherapy has proven to be effective against many serious diseases. But to treat diseases in the brain, the antibodies must first get past the …

Neuroscience

Why do women have periods? Everything you need to know about menstruation.

Humans are among a select few species that menstruate.<p>Menstruation is the process where an unfertilised egg, or a fertilised egg that has not become …

Autism Risk May Arise from Sex-Specific Traits

Genetic variants that shape physical features that vary with sex, such as waist-to-hip ratio, may also affect autism risk, according to a new …

Autism

Is there a distinctive smell associated with rain?

<b>Dear Tom,</b><p>Sometimes there is a very distinctive smell associated with rain. Am I imagining it, or is it real?<p><i>Matt R, Chicago</i><p>Dear Matt,<p>It is not your …

Scientists Have Restored Vision In Mice That Were Born Blind

The breakthrough could pave the way for a cure in humans.<p>Medical researchers have long hoped that stem cells can one day be used to restore sight in …

Immune System

Extremely rare 100-million-year-old sabre-toothed fish fossil dug up in Australian outback

A ferocious fish with razor-sharp teeth dating from the Early Cretaceous has been dug up in the Australian outback by tourists.<p>The fossil – a …

How to rebuild heart's layers with stem cells - Futurity

Researchers are one step closer to regenerating an entire heart wall using human stem cells. One day the approach might repair damage from a heart …

Rare Footage Shows Cuttlefish Hunting Off Australian Coast

Don't be fooled, they're ruthless...<p>The humble cuttlefish might appear to be nothing more than the lovable puppy of the seas but that’s probably got …

Space

Dogfish shark extract could help treat Parkinson’s disease, scientists hope

A substance found in the livers of dogfish sharks could help treat Parkinson’s disease, scientists at Cambridge University believe.<p>Early research suggests the compound, called squalamine, not only prevents the formation of toxic plaques called Lewy Bodies which accumulate in the brain of sufferers, …

Fish Don’t Do So Well in Space

Life in space is hard on the human body. The lack of gravity's pull can quickly take its toll—bone density declines, muscles deteriorate and more. …

8 Surprising Facts About the Deepest Part of the Ocean

The deepest part of our oceans, the region from below 20,000 feet to the very bottom of the deepest sea trench, is known as the hadal zone. It's …

Mysterious stranding kills 81 false killer whales off Southwest Florida

More than 80 false killer whales have been found dead after stranding themselves along the remote coast of Southwest Florida in Everglades National …

Zebra Shark Has Babies Without a Male After Years of Isolation

A female zebra shark in Australia has shocked scientists by producing three offspring after spending years away from her male partner. Subsequent …

Native American origins: When the DNA points two ways

This week, two teams of scientists released reports detailing the origins of Native American peoples. Both groups looked at ancient and modern DNA to attempt to learn more about the movements of populations from Asia into the New World, and about how groups mixed once they got here. Both discovered …