The fossilized skull of <i>Australopithecus sediba</i> specimen MH1 and a finite element model of its cranium depicting strains experienced during a simulated bite on its premolars. "Warm" colors indicate regions of high strain, "cool" colors indicate regions of low strain.
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Clean energy from water

Fuel cells generate electrical energy through a chemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen. To obtain clean energy, the splitting of water into its components of hydrogen and oxygen is critical....

Online shopping might not be as green as we thought

A study by researchers in the Delaware Center for Transportation provides insight into the impacts of home shopping on vehicle operations and greenhouse gas emissions.Logic suggests that online shopping is "greener" than traditional shopping. After all, when people shop from home, they are not jumping into their cars, one by one, to travel to...

Kaiser Permanente study finds effectiveness of routine Tdap booster wanes in adolescents

A new study from Kaiser Permanente's Vaccine Study Center found that the Tdap booster vaccine provides moderate protection against whooping cough during the first year after vaccination, but its effectiveness...

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Record Missouri flooding was manmade calamity, scientist says

Intersection of Interstate 44 and Route 141 in St. Louis County, Mo., on Dec. 30, 2015. Water levels more than 4 feet higher than previous record floods closed a 20-mile stretch of the highway.At the end of December 2015, a huge storm named "Goliath" dumped 9-10 inches of rain in a belt across the central United States, centered just southwest of St. Louis,...

Flu tackles Super Bowl fans

If you're a fan of the Panthers or Broncos, be sure to wash your hands on Super Bowl Sunday before you give a friend a celebratory fist bump.

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New tarantula named after Johnny Cash among 14 spider species found in the United States

This is a comparison of the largest and the smallest tarantula species in the United States. These are adult females of <i>Aphonopelma anax</i> (L) from Texas and <i>Aphonopelma paloma</i> (R) from Arizona.A new species of tarantula named after the famous singer-songwriter Johnny Cash is one of fourteen new spiders discovered in the southwestern United States. While these charismatic spiders have captured...

Radar reveals the hidden secrets of wombat warrens

This is a southern hairy-nosed wombat on its burrow in Australia's Murraylands.For the first time ever, researchers from the University of Adelaide have been able to non-invasively study the inner workings of wombat warrens, with a little help from ground-penetrating radar.

Secondhand smoke: Nations producing less greenhouse gas most vulnerable to climate change

Conversely, nations that produce most greenhouse gases less vulnerable Study shows "enormous global inequality" between emitters versus impacted nations Countries like U.S., Canada, Russia, and China are climate "free riders,"...

From allergens to anodes: Pollen derived battery electrodes

This scanning electron microscope image shows bee pollen studied for potential use as electrodes for lithium-ion batteries. Color was added to the original black-and-white image. 
A publication-quality photo is available at, the bane of allergy sufferers, could represent a boon for battery makers: Recent research has suggested their potential use as anodes in lithium-ion batteries.

The iron stepping stones to better wearable tech without semiconductors

Iron-dotted boron nitride nanotubes, made in Yoke Khin Yaps' lab at Michigan Tech, could make for better wearable tech because of their flexibility and electronic behaviors.The road to more versatile wearable technology is dotted with iron. Specifically, quantum dots of iron arranged on boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs). The new material is the subject of a...

Wolf species have 'howling dialects'

This is a picture of North-western wolves howling at the Wolf Conservation Trust, UK.The largest ever study of howling in the 'canid' family of species -- which includes wolves, jackals and domestic dogs -- has shown that the various species and subspecies have...

Using the physics of your perfect pancake to help save sight

This is an example of pancakes.Understanding the textures and patterns of pancakes is helping UCL scientists improve surgical methods for treating glaucoma.

Motorboat noise gives predators a deadly advantage

This image shows a predatory dottyback eyeing up a juvenile Ambon damselfish.A pioneering new study shows the rate fish are captured by predators can double when boats are motoring nearby.

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Chromosomes reconfigure as cell division ends

Chromosomes 4 (red) and 18 (green) are noticeably smaller in the nucleus of a senescent cell (right) than in a nonsenescent cell (left).Cellular senescence -- when a cell can no longer divide -- is a programmed stage in a cell's life cycle. Sometimes, as in aging, we wish it didn't happen so...

Uncovering secrets of elastin's flexibility during assembly

This is a 2-D schematic of tropoelastin molecules assembling.Elastin is a crucial building block in our bodies - its flexibility allows skin to stretch and twist, blood vessels to expand and relax with every heartbeat, and lungs to...

Prunetin prolongs lifespan in male fruit flies and enhances overall health

Here's a reason for men to eat their lima beans--If research in male fruit flies holds up, it might help you live longer. A new research report published in the...

Discovery: Many white-tailed deer have malaria

In the lab of University of Vermont biologist and malaria expert Joseph Schall (back), Ellen Martinsen, a researcher at the Smithsonian and adjunct at UVM, helped confirm a discovery she and colleagues made: a malaria parasite that infects white-tailed deer. It's the first-ever malaria parasite known to live in a deer species and the only native malaria parasite found in any mammal in North or South America. Their results were published in the journal <i>Science Advances</i>.Two years ago, Ellen Martinsen, was collecting mosquitoes at the Smithsonian's National Zoo, looking for malaria that might infect birds--when she discovered something strange: a DNA profile, from parasites in...

Man-made underwater sound may have wider ecosystem effects than previously thought

This is a langoustine (<I>Nephrops norvegicus</i>).Underwater sound linked to human activity could alter the behaviour of seabed creatures that play a vital role in marine ecosystems, according to new research from the University of Southampton.

Central Appalachia flatter due to mountaintop mining

Years of blowing away mountain ridges in search of coal and depositing the excess rock in nearby valleys have dramatically flattened the landscape in parts of Central Appalachia. This animation shows an elevation map of West Virginia's Mud River watershed before and after mountaintop mining became widespread. To see the impact on other West Virginia watersheds, visit <a target="_blank"href=""></a>.Forty years of mountaintop coal mining have made parts of Central Appalachia 60 percent flatter than they were before excavation, says new research by Duke University.

Climate change's frost harms early plant reproduction, Dartmouth study finds

Studying the western spring beauty wildflower, Dartmouth College's Zak Gezon and his colleagues found that climate change may harm early-flowering plants not through plant-pollinator mismatch but through frost damage.Climate change may harm early-flowering plants not through plant-pollinator mismatch but through frost damage, a Dartmouth College-led study shows.

Graphene is strong, but is it tough?

Polycrystalline graphene contains inherent nanoscale line and point defects that lead to significant statistical fluctuations in toughness and strength.Graphene, a material consisting of a single layer of carbon atoms, has been touted as the strongest material known to exist, 200 times stronger than steel, lighter than paper, and...

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