Peering far deeper than ever before into humanity’s murky genetic past, scientists sequenced the DNA of an ancient European relative and found a puzzling connection to the Far East.
The genetic sample came from a 400,000-year-old thigh bone pulled from the cold, damp depths of a Spanish cave called Sima de los Huesos, or “Pit of Bones.” Researchers surmised that it belonged to an extinct species of hominin known as Homo heidelbergensis, a direct ancestor of Neanderthals, and they expected it to resemble DNA extracted from of a handful of Neanderthal bones found in Spain,...
Kitty, a female chimpanzee that gave birth to many offspring used in laboratory experiments, has died in a Texas animal sanctuary, the Humane Society of the United States announced Friday.
Believed to have been born some 51 years ago, Kitty had been held in captivity at the former Coulston Foundation biomedical research facility in Alamagordo, N.M., where she was used as a breeder.
Kitty was transferred in 1997 to the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch,in Murchison, Texas, which is operated by the Fund for Animals in partnership with the Humane Society. There, Kitty became a companion to the...
As we wait to find out what if anything survived Comet ISON's brush with the sun, check out this gorgeous image of Comet Lovejoy taken with the Hawaii-based telescope Subaru.
The image above was taken on Tuesday, and shows a clear view of the ionized plasma filaments in the comet's tail. This particular Comet Lovejoy (there have been others found and named by the same Australian astronomer), was discovered in September 2013.
Lovejoy is currently making its way away from Earth and toward the sun. But there will be no dramatic do-or-die moment for Lovejoy like there was for ISON. At its closest...
As if crocodiles and alligators weren't terrifying enough, scientists have discovered that these ancient, sharp-toothed beasts are incredibly cunning. So clever that they use lures to trap and gobble unsuspecting birds.
The discovery in two crocodilian species — mugger crocodiles and American alligators — is the first report of tool use in reptiles, according to a study in the journal Ethology Ecology and Evolution.
Some birds, like egrets, actually choose to nest around crocodile and alligator hangouts because they offer some protection from tree-climbing predators like raccoons,...
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved the first drug treatment for Peyronie's disease, a condition that results in severe and sometimes painful curvature of the penis, officials said.
The action marks a new use for the drug Xiaflex, which is already used to treat Dupuytren's contracture, a disease of the hand that impairs a person's ability to straighten their fingers.
Xiaflex is a bacterial enzyme -- collagenase clostridium histolyticum -- that is believed to reduce the build-up of collagen, the structural protein that makes up scar tissue.
Ocean acidification could alter the behavior of fish and make them more anxious, a new study says.
The finding came in an experiment by researchers interested in the neurological effects of the shift in the chemistry of seawater that is happening as the ocean takes up carbon dioxide that has built up in the Earth’s atmosphere from human activity.
In a laboratory, scientists put one group of young rockfish, a common species along the California coast, in normal seawater and put another group of the fish in water with the lower pH the ocean is predicted to reach in about 100 years.
If you enjoy Pi Day (3/14) and Avogadro’s Number Day (10/23), then get this: today is a Pythagorean triple date.
You’d have to be a serious math nerd to recognize that the sum of the squares of 5 and 12 equals the square of 13. Which is exactly what the co-founders of the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) noticed.
So, along with some 2,000 fellow math geeks and museum staff, MoMath co-founder Cindy Lawrence will help surround the most well-known right-triangle-based edifice in the country -- New York’s Flatiron Building -- and execute a glow-stick proof of the ancient...
A class of oral diabetes medications that has drawn controversy in recent years reduces the risk of cancer in women taking it by almost a third, says a large new study conducted by researchers at the Cleveland Clinic.
In preventing cancer, the researchers found that insulin sensitizers, including the drugs metformin, rosiglitazone and pioglitazone (the latter two marketed as Avandia and Actos) were more powerful than insulin secretagogues such as glyburide, glipizide and glimepiride.
The effect was seen only in women taking the medications, not in men with Type 2 diabetes. And it was most...
There’s no place like home – especially for lemon sharks about to give birth.
Despite absences as long as 17 years, the pregnant sharks returned to the exact spot in the Bahamas where they were born when they were ready to become mothers, according to scientists who have been tracking the creatures since Bill Clinton was in the White House.
Researchers have long suspected that sharks returned to their birthplaces to give birth themselves – a phenomenon known as natal philopatry. Salmon do it. Species that take longer to mature, such as sea turtles, return to the general area...