Latest Blog Posts


An Important Group of European Hunter-Gatherers Taught Themselves To Farm

By Roni Dengler | March 20, 2019 12:00 pm

Some 12,000 years ago, the land was exceptionally fertile curving up from the Nile River basin across Jordan, Syria, and Iraq, down into the Tigris River Valley. The area’s earliest settlers grew wheat, barely and lentils. Some kept pigs and sheep. Farming soon replaced hunting and foraging as a way of life there. The region became known as the Fertile Crescent, the birthplace of agriculture.

This pastoral lifestyle eventually spread across Europe from a place called Anatolia, which sit …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, top posts


How Did Dinosaurs Hear The World? Alligators Give Us Clues

By Roni Dengler | March 20, 2019 11:30 am

How did dinosaurs hear? Researchers now have an idea thanks to alligators. In a new study, researchers have discovered that American alligators process sounds the same way that barn owls and chickens do. And because birds and reptiles last shared a common ancestor nearly 250 million years ago, the finding means the shared hearing strategy originated before dinosaurs existed.

“We know so little about dinosaurs,” Catherine Carr, a biologist at the University of Maryland in College Park, who …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, top posts
MORE ABOUT: evolution, paleontology


Israeli Moon Lander to Touch Down Near Apollo Landing Sites Next Month

By John Wenz | March 20, 2019 10:44 am

Beresheet, the first privately launched moon lander, has a site selected — and it’s in a fairly familiar locale.

Scientists at Israeli spaceflight company SpaceIL, working with Jim Head of Brown University — who also worked on the Apollo missions — chose Mare Serenitatis as the landing spot for their historic moon landing. It’s free of large rocks and craters, obstacles that can prove hazardous or even fatal to landers, something that also appealed to a very different set of moon mi …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts

Citizen Science Salon

Fighting Alzheimer’s Disease During the Megathon: Spotlight on Three Citizen Scientists

By nfriedman | March 20, 2019 8:36 am

Stall Catchers, a gamified way of contributing to Alzheimer’s research, is going big! Working with SciStarter, the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at Arizona State University, the Citizen Science Association, the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Pacific Southwest Region, and other partners, Stall Catchers is activating the Megathon (register at during Citizen Science Day ( on April 13.

New players can join the thou …

MORE ABOUT: Megathon, Spotlight
Observing phenology with Nature’s Notebook will teach you the science of the seasons. Photo credit: Brian F. Powell.

Citizen Science Salon

Nature’s Notebook: Investigating the Science of Seasons

By Guest | March 20, 2019 8:27 am

Nature’s Notebook is a citizen science project focused on the signs of the seasons. Participants can track the changes in plants and animals in their own backyards.

How do you know when spring arrives? Is it when the first flower buds appear on your favorite tree, when the daylight hours lengthen, or when the first day that you don’t need your winter jacket arrives? Though it’s difficult to put a finger on just when spring begins, being able to pinpoint when spring activities o …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Citizen Science, Environment, Research


Independent Discussion Sections?

By Neuroskeptic | March 20, 2019 8:19 am

Scientific papers should have two Discussion sections – one written by the authors, and the other by an independent researcher.

According to a new paper from Michael S. Avidan, John P. A. Ioannidis and George A. Mashour, this “second discussant” system could help ensure more balanced and objective inference in science.

The authors begin by noting that while the reproducibility crisis has focussed attention on the Methods and Results sections of papers, Discussion sections are not free  …


Satellite imagery reveals the stunning scope of historic flooding inundating the Midwest

By Tom Yulsman | March 19, 2019 5:10 pm

Flooding characterized by the National Weather Service as “major to historic and catastrophic” is continuing across parts of the central plains and Upper Midwest.

The flooding has come in the wake of last week’s “bomb cyclone,” which dumped heavy rain atop snowpack with high water content. The resulting runoff has triggered record-setting flooding throughout the Missouri and Mississippi river basins.

As I’m writing this on the afternoon of Tuesday, March 19, more than 8 million p …


OSIRIS-REx Caught its Asteroid Ejecting Strange, High-Speed Bursts of Particles

By Korey Haynes | March 19, 2019 4:30 pm

Right now, there are two missions exploring asteroids in our solar system. NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission is revealing surprises at its asteroid home called Bennu. It arrived there not long after Japan’s similar Hayabusa2 sample-return mission reached asteroid Ryugu.

So far, NASA’s mission is finding similarities with Ryugu, as well as big differences, scientists announced on Tuesday. Both asteroids are more rugged and rocky than anticipated. But Bennu also revealed surprising flurrie …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts
MORE ABOUT: solar system


Hayabusa2 Results Hint Asteroid Ryugu Was Broken Off Larger Space Rock

By Korey Haynes | March 19, 2019 3:22 pm

The Japanese Space Agency’s (JAXA) Hayabusa2 spacecraft swooped down and collected a first sample from the asteroid Ryugu on February 22. And now JAXA is ready to make an even more dramatic sample collection in April when it uses explosives to shoot an impactor at the space rock to create an artificial crater. Hayabusa2 won’t leave Ryugu until the end of 2019, and it’s expected to make it home to Earth with the samples at the end of 2020.

In the meantime, scientists are learning …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Space & Physics, top posts
MORE ABOUT: solar system


Ancient Human Ancestors May Have Grown Big Brains Scavenging Bone Marrow

By Thomas Garlinghouse | March 19, 2019 3:00 pm

(Inside Science) — In the late 1970s, anthropologists popularized the now familiar scenario that our very early ancestors were scavengers rather than hunters. These ancestors, the australopithecines, lived on the African savanna between 2 million and 4 million years ago. Most researchers think that instead of actively hunting large game, the australopithecines likely consumed whatever edible portions were left on the carcasses of large animals killed by carnivores such as wild dogs, hyenas, l …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Living World, top posts

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