You are here
Home > 2016 > December

Ancient Chaco Canyon population likely relied on imported food

The ancient inhabitants of New Mexico’s Chaco Canyon, the zenith of Pueblo culture in the Southwest a thousand years ago, likely had to import corn to feed the multitudes residing there, says a new University of Colorado Boulder study. CU Boulder scientist Larry Benson said the new study shows that Chaco Canyon believed by some…

Bat calls contain wealth of discernible information

Bats, like humans, are extremely social mammals. They enjoy an average lifespan of 20-30 years, settle in large colonies, and rely heavily on social interactions for their survival, using vocalizations or calls for communication. There is very little known about the purpose and content of these noises. A new Tel Aviv University study extracts critical…

Flood threats changing across US

The risk of flooding in the United States is changing regionally, and the reasons could be shifting rainfall patterns and the amount of water in the ground. In a new study, University of Iowa engineers determined that, in general, the threat of flooding is growing in the northern half of the U.S. and declining in…

Did teen perception, use of marijuana change after recreational use legalized?

Marijuana use increased and the drug’s perceived harmfulness decreased among eighth- and 10th-graders in Washington after marijuana was legalized for recreational use by adults but there was no change among 12th-graders or among students in the three grades in Colorado after legalization for adults there. Washington and Colorado became the first two states to legalize…

Hubble gazes at a cosmic ‘megamaser’

This galaxy has a far more exciting and futuristic classification than most — it hosts a megamaser. Megamasers are intensely bright, around 100 million times brighter than the masers found in galaxies like the Milky Way. The entire galaxy essentially acts as an astronomical laser that beams out microwave emission rather than visible light (hence…

Your microbiota’s previous dining experiences may make new diets less effective

Your microbiota may not be on your side as you try improving your diet this New Year’s. Researchers explore why mice that switch from an unrestricted American diet to a healthy, calorie-restricted, plant-based diet don’t have an immediate response to their new program. They found that certain human gut bacteria need to be lost for…

Sprinting towards extinction? Cheetah numbers crash globally

The world’s fastest land animal, the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), is sprinting towards the edge of extinction and could soon be lost forever unless urgent, landscape-wide conservation action is taken. Led by Zoological Society of London (ZSL), Panthera and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the study reveals that just 7,100 cheetahs remain globally, representing the best available…

First movie of energy transfer in photosynthesis solves decades-old debate

Using ultrafast imaging of moving energy in photosynthesis, scientists have determined the speed of crucial processes for the first time. This should help scientists understand how nature has perfected the process of photosynthesis, and how this might be copied to produce fuels by artificial photosynthesis. During photosynthesis, plants harvest light and, though a chemical process…

Temperature drives biodiversity

The diversity of plants and animals in Earth’s arctic regions is moderate. Tropical latitudes in contrast are teeming with different species where new organisms are being discovered all the time. What is the cause of this uneven distribution? Why are the tropics home to more species than higher latitudes? “This question has intrigued ecologists for…

Coffee-ring phenomenon explained in new theory

                                         The formation of a simple coffee stain has been the subject of complex study for decades, though it turns out that there remain some stones still to be turned. Researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno have modeled how a colloidal droplet evaporates and found a previously overlooked mechanism that more accurately determines the…

Top