Ice Age Fashion: The Murky Origins of Neanderthal Clothing

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The Neanderthals had a good run. They were around from at least 200,000 years ago to about 42,000 years ago, only a couple millennia after they began to interbreed with modern humans. After that window, all physical traces of them disappearedThroughout that period, though, Neanderthals would have certainly experienced some cold weather — so much that it’s unlikely they would have walked around completely naked. In fact, some research has shown that the temperatures were likely too cold in pa ...read more

If Strep Throat Is Highly Contagious, Why Isn’t There a Vaccine for It?

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With millions of cases per year in the United States, strep throat is an extremely common disease. You might recognize it from a distinctively unpleasant scratchy feeling in the throat, or as the source of many sick days from school for young children. But there’s still no vaccine for this bacterial infection, mainly because antibiotics can provide an effective treatment. With outbreaks of severe strep throat infections on the rise worldwide — particularly in countries with limited access t ...read more

Saturn’s Ocean Moon Enceladus Is Able To Support Life

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Saturn has 146 confirmed moons– more than any other planet in the solar system – but one called Enceladus stands out. It appears to have the ingredients for life.From 2004 to 2017, Cassini– a joint mission between NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency – investigated Saturn, its rings and moons. Cassini delivered spectacular findings. Enceladus, only 313 miles (504 kilometers) in diameter, harbors a liquid water ocean beneath its icy crust that spans the entire moon ...read more

Why Can we Lose Our Memory If we Experience a Concussion?

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Concussions are a mild form of traumatic brain injury. 'Mild’ means that most patients make a complete recovery within a week or so. But some of the symptoms experienced in the immediate aftermath of a bang on the head can be disturbing. In addition to headaches, blurry vision, and nausea, some people experience brain fog and memory loss. What Happens to the Brain During a Concussion?When you get a blow to the head, on the soccer field or in a tumble from a bicycle, say, your brain can bang a ...read more

Fermented Foods Sustain Both Microbiomes and Cultural Heritage

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Many people around the world make and eat fermented foods. Millions in Korea alone make kimchi. The cultural heritage of these picklers shape not only what they eat every time they crack open a jar but also something much, much smaller: their microbiomes.On the microbial scale, we are what we eat in very real ways. Your body is teeming with trillions of microbes. These complex ecosystems exist on your skin, inside your mouth and in your gut. They are particularly influenced by your surrounding e ...read more

Citizen Science Month and #OneMillionActsOfScience Needs You!

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The last full week of Citizen Science Month is jam packed! It’s the week of Earth Day, Arbor Day, Noise Awareness Day, and the City Nature Challenge! Find a project and report your Act of Science here. Just creating a SciStarter account and participating in any Affiliate project before May 1 will earn you a One Million Acts of Science badge! And don't forget to share your activity on social media with the hashtag "#OneMillionActsOfScience," so we can celebrate with you. April 21: Step Up for V ...read more

Exploding Stars Send Out Powerful Bursts Of Energy

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When faraway stars explode, they send out flashes of energy called gamma-ray bursts that are bright enough that telescopes back on Earth can detect them. Studying these pulses, which can also come from mergers of some exotic astronomical objects such as black holes and neutron stars, can help astronomers like me understand the history of the universe.Space telescopes detect on average one gamma-ray burst per day, adding to thousands of bursts detected throughout the years, and a community of vol ...read more

Ancient Artifacts Have Been Found in the Grand Canyon, Going Back 12,000 Years

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The Colorado River slowly cut one of the world’s most epic scars into the landscape of northern Arizona. That scar, of course, is better known as the Grand Canyon. One of the top tourist attractions in the U.S., this natural wonder draws visitors from all over the world every year to gawk at the views created by roughly 278 miles of river.Modern visitors are hardly the first to appreciate the vistas. In fact, archaeologists have discovered the remains of a number of ancient cultures in and aro ...read more

From Millions to Quadrillions and Beyond: Do Numbers Ever End?

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Here’s a game: Ask a friend to give you any number, and you’ll return one that’s bigger. Just add “1” to whatever number they come up with, and you’re sure to win.The reason is that numbers go on forever. There is no highest number. But why? As a professor of mathematics, I can help you find an answer.First, you need to understand what numbers are and where they come from. You learned about numbers because they enabled you to count. Early humans had similar needs– whether to count ...read more

Orcas May be Smarter Than You Think, Here’s What to Know About Their Behaviors

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Orcas, commonly known as killer whales, are among the ocean's most captivating inhabitants. Reknowned for their striking beauty and complex social structures orcas have long fascinated scientists and the public alike. However, despite their popularity, many misconceptions and questions persist about these marine mammals. From their diet, habitat, behavior, and conservation status, let's take a deep dive into the orca's world and discover just how intelligent they are.Orcas' Surprising Family Con ...read more

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