This is a red-footed booby on Christmas Island.

Scientists identify possible key in virus, cancer research

Florida State University researchers have taken a big step forward in the fight against cancer with a discovery that could open up the door for new research and treatment options.

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Fossil specimen reveals a new species of ancient river dolphin to Smithsonian scientists

This is an artistic reconstruction of <em>Isthminia panamensis</em>, a new fossil dolphin from Panama, feeding on a flatfish. Many features of this new species appear similar to today's ocean dolphins, yet the new fossil species is more closely related to the living Amazon River dolphin. The fossils of <em>Isthminia panamensis</em> were collected from marine rocks that date to a time (around 6 million years ago) before the Isthmus of Panama formed and a productive Central American Seaway connected the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.The careful examination of fossil fragments from Panama has led Smithsonian scientists and colleagues to the discovery of a new genus and species of river dolphin that has been long...

Clues from ancient Maya reveal lasting impact on environment

Evidence from the tropical lowlands of Central America reveals how Maya activity more than 2,000 years ago not only contributed to the decline of their environment but continues to influence...

Tail as old as time -- researchers trace ankylosaur's tail evolution

<i>Gobisaurus</i> compared with <i>Ziapelta</i>, an ankylosaur with a fully developed tail club.How did the ankylosaur get its tail club? According to research from North Carolina State University and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences that traces the evolution of the...

How wind sculpted Earth's largest dust deposit

Geoscientist Fulong Cai stands on a linear ridge on top of China's Loess Plateau and looks across a river valley at another of the plateau's linear ridges. The high hills in the far background are on the edge of the plateau, which drops about 1,300 feet (400 meters) to the Mu Us Desert to the northwest.China's Loess Plateau was formed by wind alternately depositing dust or removing dust over the last 2.6 million years, according to a new report from University of Arizona geoscientists.

We've all got a blind spot, but it can be shrunk

You've probably never noticed, but the human eye includes an unavoidable blind spot. That's because the optic nerve that sends visual signals to the brain must pass through the retina,...

Hubble survey unlocks clues to star birth in neighboring galaxy

This is a Hubble mosaic of 414 photographs of the M31, or the Andromeda galaxy. On the bottom left is an enlargement of the boxed field (top) reveals myriad stars and numerous open star clusters as bright blue knots,spanning 4,400 light-years across. On the bottom right are six bright blue clusters extracted from the field. Each cluster square is 150 light-years across.In a survey of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope images of 2,753 young, blue star clusters in the neighboring Andromeda galaxy (M31), astronomers have found that M31 and our own galaxy...

Grey Swans: Rare but predictable storms could pose big hazards

Toward the end of this century (project here for the years 2068 to 2098) the possibility of storm surges of eight to 11 meters (26 to 36 feet) increases significantly in cities not usually expected to be vulnerable to tropical storms, according to recent research in the journal <em>Nature Climate Change</em>.Researchers at Princeton and MIT have used computer models to show that severe tropical cyclones could hit a number of coastal cities worldwide that are widely seen as unthreatened by...

The timing of sleep just as important as quantity

Washington State University researchers have found that the timing of an animal's sleep can be just as important as how much sleeps it gets.

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UCI study finds dramatic increase in concurrent droughts, heat waves

Droughts and heat waves are happening simultaneously with much greater frequency than in the past, according to research by climate experts at the University of California, Irvine. Their findings appear...

Seeing the forest and the trees, all 3 trillion of them

This is the global map of tree density at the square-kilometer pixel scale.A new Yale-led study estimates that there are more than 3 trillion trees on Earth, about seven and a half times more than some previous estimates. But the total number...

FSU researcher: Change in environment can lead to rapid evolution

Kimberly Hughes is a professor of Biological Science at Florida State University.A new Florida State University study is giving researchers a glimpse at how organisms from fish to flowers to tumors evolve in response to rapid environmental change.

Not on my watch: Chimp swats film crew's drone

A female chimpanzee named Tushi uses a stick to "attack" the drone. Behind her Raimee is sitting also with a long stick.Cool. Calm. And oh, so calculated. That's how a chimpanzee living in the Royal Burgers' Zoo in the Netherlands set out to swat an aerial drone that was filming her...

Cosmic recycling

The rich patchwork of gas clouds in this new image make up part of a huge stellar nursery nicknamed the Prawn Nebula (also known as Gum 56 and IC 4628). Taken using the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile, this may well be one of the best pictures ever taken of this object. It shows clumps of hot new-born stars nestled in among the clouds that make up the nebula.Deeply immersed in this huge stellar nursery are three clusters of hot young stars -- only a few million years old -- which glow brightly in ultraviolet light. It is...

A marine creature's magic trick explained

Tiny sea sapphires' iridescence, created by a regular array of thin transparent crystal plates, is also the secret of their "disappearance."Tiny ocean creatures known as sea sapphires perform a sort of magic trick as they swim: One second they appear in splendid iridescent shades of blue, purple or green, and...

New type of prion may cause, transmit neurodegeneration

Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), a neurodegenerative disorder with similarities to Parkinson's disease, is caused by a newly discovered type of prion, akin to the misfolded proteins involved in incurable progressive...

Future climate models greatly affected by fungi and bacteria

When a plant dies, its leaves and branches fall to the ground. Decomposition of soil organic matter is then mainly carried out by fungi and bacteria, which convert dead plant...

Blueberry extract could help fight gum disease and reduce antibiotic use

Gum disease is a common condition among adults that occurs when bacteria form biofilms or plaques on teeth, and consequently the gums become inflamed. Some severe cases, called periodontitis, call...

Sex-specific biomarkers are needed to learn why heart attacks kill more women than men

<a href="http://www.liebertpub.com/jwh">Journal of Women's Health</a>, published monthly, is a core multidisciplinary journal dedicated to the diseases and conditions that hold greater risk for or are more prevalent among women, as well as diseases that present differently in women. The Journal covers the latest advances and clinical applications of new diagnostic procedures and therapeutic protocols for the prevention and management of women's healthcare issues. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the <a href="http://www.liebertpub.com/jwh">Journal of Women's Health</a> website. Journal of Women's Health is the official journal of the <a href="http://www.academyofwomenshealth.org/">Academy of Women's Health</a> and the Society for Women's Health Research.Disproportionately more women than men die due to cardiovascular disease and heart attacks in the U.S., and current risk scoring systems--based on factors measured mainly in male populations--are poor predictors...

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Brazilian wasp venom kills cancer cells by opening them up

This is the Brazilain social wasp <em>Polybia paulista</em>.The social wasp Polybia paulista protects itself against predators by producing venom known to contain a powerful cancer-fighting ingredient. A Biophysical Journal study published September 1 reveals exactly how the...

Evidence of ancient life discovered in mantle rocks deep below the seafloor

Scientist found mummified microbial life in rocks from a seafloor hydrothermal system that was active more than 100 million years ago during the Early Cretaceous when the supercontinent Pangaea was breaking apart and the Atlantic ocean was just about to open. Buried under almost 700 meters of sediment, the samples were recovered by the seafloor drilling vessel JOIDES Resolution near the coast of Portugal. Hydrothermal fluids rich in hydrogen and methane mixed with seawater about 65 meters below the seafloor. This process supported bacteria and archaea in what scientists call 'the deep biosphere' in rocks from Earth's mantle. Conditions for microbial life were nearly ideal, the study showed, in this seemingly inhospitable environment.Ancient rocks harbored microbial life deep below the seafloor, reports a team of scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Virginia Tech, and the University of Bremen. This new...