Prairie voles have long been heralded as models of monogamy. Now, a study suggests that the “love hormone” once thought essential for their bonding — oxytocin — might not be so necessary after all. Interest in the ... [more]
As far back as roughly 25,000 years ago, Ice Age hunter-gatherers may have jotted down markings to communicate information about the behavior of their prey, a new study finds. These markings include dots, lines and the ... [more]
Patricia Hidalgo-Gonzalez saw the future of energy on a broiling-hot day last September. An email alert hit her inbox from the San Diego Gas & Electric Company. “Extreme heat straining the grid,” read the message, which ... [more]
Birds that dive underwater — such as penguins, loons and grebes — may be more likely to go extinct than their nondiving kin, a new study finds. Many water birds have evolved highly specialized bodies and behaviors that ... [more]
The Arctic today is a hostile place for most primates. But a series of fossils found since the 1970s suggest that wasn’t always the case. Dozens of fossilized teeth and jaw bones unearthed in northern Canada belonged to ... [more]
Shape-shifting liquid metal robots might not be limited to science fiction anymore. Miniature machines can switch from solid to liquid and back again to squeeze into tight spaces and perform tasks like soldering a ... [more]
The worst procrastinators probably won’t be able to read this story. It’ll remind them of what they’re trying to avoid, psychologist Piers Steel says. Maybe they’re dragging their feet going to the gym. Maybe they ... [more]
SEATTLE — Luke Skywalker’s home planet in Star Wars is the stuff of science fiction. But Tatooine-like planets in orbit around pairs of stars might be our best bet in the search for habitable planets beyond our solar ... [more]
A 120-million-year-old fossil bird found in China could offer some new clues about how landbound dinosaurs evolved into today’s flying birds. The dove-sized Cratonavis zhui sported a dinosaur-like head atop a body similar ... [more]
No backside, no problem for some young sea spiders. The creatures can regenerate nearly complete parts of their bottom halves — including muscles, reproductive organs and the anus — or make do without them, researchers ... [more]
Our planet may have had a recent change of heart. Earth’s inner core may have temporarily stopped rotating relative to the mantle and surface, researchers report in the January 23 Nature Geoscience. Now, the direction ... [more]
A crucial link in the life cycle of one parasitic plant may be found in a surprising place — the bellies of the descendants of an ancient line of rabbits. Given their propensity for nibbling on gardens and darting ... [more]
In full swing The swaying feeling in jazz music that compels feet to tap may arise from near-imperceptible delays in musicians’ timing, Nikk Ogasa reported in “Jazz gets its swing from small, subtle delays” (SN: ... [more]
More than a century ago, scientists proved that carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere could act like a thermostat — adding more CO2 would turn up the heat, removing it would chill the planet. But back then, most scientists ... [more]
Our modern lives depend on rare earth elements, and someday soon we may not have enough to meet growing demand. Because of their special properties, these 17 metallic elements are crucial ingredients in computer ... [more]
In Appalachia’s coal country, researchers envision turning toxic waste into treasure. The pollution left behind by abandoned mines is an untapped source of rare earth elements. Rare earths are a valuable set of 17 ... [more]
The night sky has been brightening faster than researchers realized, thanks to the use of artificial lights at night. A study of more than 50,000 observations of stars by citizen scientists reveals that the night sky grew ... [more]
Today’s red jungle fowl — the wild forebears of the domesticated chicken — are becoming more chickenlike. New research suggests that a large proportion of the wild fowl’s DNA has been inherited from chickens, and ... [more]
A type of bacteria that’s overabundant in the nasal passages of people with hay fever may worsen symptoms. Targeting that bacteria may provide a way to rein in ever-running noses. Hay fever occurs when allergens, such ... [more]
High-tech shrink art may be the key to making tiny electronics, 3-D nanostructures or even holograms for hiding secret messages. A new approach to making tiny structures relies on shrinking them down after building ... [more]