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Science & Technology

Earth’s first animals probably triggered a change in climate

Human beings might be the most egregious example of how life can wreak havoc on a planet’s natural environment, but life of all kinds push the world’s climate in new directions over time. The evolution of the first animals on Earth, in fact, helped spur climate change nearly half a …

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Do Thundershirts Really Calm Dogs During Fireworks?

The dogs will lose their minds. They always do. Every Fourth of July in America, as children stay up past their bedtime to watch colors explode in the sky and adults sit on the back of pickup trucks drinking beer and marveling at a pyrotechnic technology 12 centuries old, pets …

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Evidence grows that an HPV screen beats a Pap test at preventing cancer


Evidence continues to grow that screening for human papillomavirus infection bests a Pap test when it comes to catching early signs of cervical cancer. In a large clinical trial of Canadian women, pap tests more often missed warning signs of abnormal cell growth in the cervix than did HPV tests, …

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Astronomy at the Speed of Light

The following essay is reprinted with permission from The Conversation, an online publication covering the latest research. Astronomers strive to observe the universe via ever more advanced techniques. Whenever researchers invent a new method, unprecedented information is collected and people’s understanding of the cosmos deepens. An ambitious program to blast …

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How to think about… Time

Physics says that our perception of smoothly flowing time is a cosmic accident. So why do we think the future always comes after the past? By Richard Webb NEVER trust a physicist to tell you the time, says Marina Cortes at the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh, UK. “Physics has a …

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Japan Launches Nozomi Mars Mission

Welcome to “On This Day … in Space!” where we peer back in our archives to find historic moments in spaceflight and astronomy. So enjoy a blast from the past with Space.com’s Hanneke Weitering to look back at what happened on this day in space! On July 3, 1998, …

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Another giant study confirms that your coffee habit is probably good for you

Here’s the thing about coffee: there’s never been much scientific debate about whether it’s healthy. Yes, people have been concerned about it since the 16th century, but as long as we’ve been analyzing its effects we’ve observed that drinking coffee tends to improve your health, not harm it. In moderation, …

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New University Rules Encourage Scientists to Avoid Air Travel

Last December, on a dark evening in Baltimore, Anna Scott left her apartment and dragged her bag three minutes to the train station. She eventually caught her train, the Crescent, claimed a comfortable seat to cuddle up in, and took out her laptop full of files related to her PhD …

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Finally, there’s a way to keep syphilis growing in the lab

Treponema pallidum

For more than a century, scientists have tried to grow Treponema pallidum, the corkscrew-shaped bacterium that causes syphilis. But the stubborn spirochete has refused to thrive any place outside of a human or rabbit for more than 18 days. That doesn’t give researchers much time to study it. “I’ve basically …

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