Mysterious mats of bacteria, dubbed Venus’s hair, have been found thriving on a volcano near the Canary Islands after it erupted and wiped out other living things… Read the rest
The first analyses of skull data from the most recently discovered species of early human suggest that its brain was surprising sophisticated… Read the rest
His 200-year-old essay on “shaking palsy” ensured his name lived on. But during his life, James Parkinson was a star fossilist who eroded creationist views… Read the rest
That seamless sense of who you are can be disturbed by many things, including illness, injury or drugs, explain Anil Ananthaswamy and Graham Lawton… Read the rest
Excessive intake of sugar has been linked to a huge variety of health problems, many of them a consequence of the obesity that’s also linked to excessive sugar. That’s led many people to switch to drinks with artificial sweeteners that aren’t metabolized by the body. A new study is now suggesting that these sweeteners are associated with their own health risks, namely stroke and dementia. But the study doesn’t get into causality, and there’s enough oddities in the data to suggest that it’s not time to purge your fridge just yet.
The study, run by a collaboration of Boston-based researchers, relied on a cohort of individuals that had been recruited starting in 1971. On average, every four years since, the… Read the rest
Thousands rallied and marched in the rain in the US capital to stand up for science and its place in politics… Read the rest
The journal Tumor Biology is retracting 107 research papers after discovering that the authors faked the peer review process. This isn’t the journal’s first rodeo. Late last year, 58 papers were retracted from seven different journals— 25 came from Tumor Biology for the same reason.
It’s possible to fake peer review because authors are often asked to suggest potential reviewers for their own papers. This is done because research subjects are often blindingly niche; a researcher working in a sub-sub-field may be more aware than the journal editor of who is best-placed to assess the work.
But some journals go further and request, or allow, authors to submit the contact details of these potential reviewers. If the editor isn’t… Read the rest
There has been a lot of talk about the millions of people worldwide whose homes will be at the mercy of rising sea levels. Within the US, a 1.8-meter rise in the oceans by 2100 could displace as many as 13.1 million people. Worldwide, up to 180 million people could be at risk.
There has been less talk about where exactly those people will go when they leave their homes. Research on climate migration has painted sea level rise as “primarily a coastal issue,” writes Mathew E. Hauer in Nature Climate Change this week. But the inland regions that absorb climate change migrants will need to have sufficient transport, housing, and infrastructure to absorb the migrants.
To get a picture… Read the rest
The March for Science reflects the growing gap between slow, steady, vital scientific gains and quick-fire, opportunist US politics, says Dave Levitan… Read the rest
Using ultrasonic detectors, drones in the air and on the water are detecting bat calls, in the hope of finding out what the mammals get up to when flying… Read the rest
Headless human and animal symbols carved into stone in Turkey tell the story of a devastating comet impact that triggered a mini ice age more than 13,000 years ago… Read the rest
First results from trials of single-jab vaccine offer hope that the sexually transmitted disease devastating Australia’s koala population can be halted… Read the rest
Fishing for the endangered European eel is allowed only under strict rules. Clare Wilson joins the environmental officers patrolling the banks of the UK’s River Severn… Read the rest