Sexual rivals can influence the size of a duck’s penis

Odds are, most people haven’t spent a lot of time pondering the specifics of duck penises, but a researcher from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts has spent more than a decade investigating their genitalia and has published a new study detailing her findings. As study...

New evidence that the highest energy cosmic rays come from beyond our galaxy

The Pierre Auger Observatory includes 1660 water tanks like this one spread over an area five times bigger than the city of Chicago. Steven Saffi New evidence that the highest energy cosmic rays come from beyond our galaxy When it comes to the highest energy cosmic ...

Slacker parents beware: Your babies may follow in your footsteps

Babies who watch their parents struggle and succeed are more determined, a new study shows. Alina Demidenko/iStockPhoto Slacker parents beware: Your babies may follow in your footsteps Don’t quit, parents. When 15-month-old babies watched a grown-up try hard to solv...

Podcast: Cosmic rays, color words, and sleeping jellyfish

Doug Letterman/Flickr CC by 2.0 This week we hear stories on animal hoarding, how different languages have different numbers of colors, and how to tell a wakeful jellyfish from a sleeping one with Online News Editor Catherine Matacic, Brice Russ, and Sarah Crespi.   Andrew Wagn...

One in three Chinese children faces an education apocalypse. An ambitious experiment hopes to save …

One in three Chinese children faces an education apocalypse. An ambitious experiment hopes to save them Glasses askew and gray hair tousled, Scott Rozelle jumps into a corral filled with rubber balls and starts mixing it up with several toddlers. The kids pelt the 62-year-old econo...

Neandertals, like humans, may have had long childhoods

Neandertal children may have grown up as slowly as modern humans.  © S.Plailly, E.Daynes/LookatSciences Neandertals, like humans, may have had long childhoods Neandertals have long been seen as the James Deans of human evolution—they grew up fast, died young, ...

You don’t need a brain to sleep. Just ask jellyfish

You don’t need a brain to sleep. Just ask jellyfish We think of sleep as restoring our brains: a time to process memories, cleanse our cells of toxins, and prepare for a new day. But even animals that lack brains need to snooze. Biologists have discovered that, like people, jellyfi...

Updated: First big efforts to sequence ancient African DNA reveal how early humans swept across the…

The Khoe-San in Southern Africa split off early from other Africans, but carry DNA from East African herders. Roger de la Harpe/Newscom Updated: First big efforts to sequence ancient African DNA reveal how early humans swept across the continent *Update, 21 Se...

A far-right party is about to enter the German parliament. What does that mean for science?

Alternative for Germany opposes subsidies for renewable energy and says wind farms are “ecologically counterproductive.” querbeet/iStockPhoto A far-right party is about to enter the German parliament. What does that mean for science? BERLIN—Angela Merke...

HHMI’s own brand of diversity in the life sciences

fitie/iStock Photo HHMI’s own brand of diversity in the life sciences “Zero is a real problem.” Erin O’Shea is talking about the number of minority professors in life science departments at many of the top U.S. research universities. O’Shea, a systems biologist, trai...
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