Human culture, not smarts, may have overwhelmed Neanderthals

What happened to the Neanderthals? They left their African homes and migrated into Europe 350,000 to 600,000 years ago, well ahead of modern humans, who showed up only about 45,000 years ago. But within about 5,000 years of our arrival, the indigenous Neanderthals had...

Hedgehog in space

Your best guess is that the landscape is as inhospitable as it gets: an irregular range of sharp boulders and loose rubble piles strewn among jagged crevasses and deep troughs of dust. But then again, it’s just a guess because no one’s ever actually seen this...

Delivering Genes Across the Blood-Brain Barrier

Caltech biologists have modified a harmless virus in such a way that it can successfully enter the adult mouse brain through the bloodstream and deliver genes to cells of the nervous system. The virus could help researchers map the intricacies of the brain and holds...

The fat that refuses to disappear

Obese people aren’t always big because they eat too much. Some types of fat tissue won’t go away no matter how much one diets or exercises. And you don’t necessarily have to be large or overweight to suffer from these conditions. To aid the study of potential genetic,...

A new-generation exoskeleton helps the paralyzed to walk

Until recently, being paralyzed from the waist down meant using a wheelchair to get around. And although daily life is more accessible to wheelchair users, they still face physical and social limitations. But UC Berkeley’s Robotics and Human Engineering Laboratory has...

Saturn’s enormous B-ring: Great vista, less filling

After examining hidden density waves from Saturn’s B-ring – the largest of the planet’s awe-inspiring, cosmic bands – astronomers confirm that this circular object is as lightweight as it is opaque. Their findings are published online in the journal Icarus. Philip...

When ‘retail therapy’ makes you feel worse

If you just flubbed a big work project, you might be feeling down on yourself. Maybe you’ll head to the mall to indulge in a little retail therapy. Buying products is a common way to make yourself feel better, with half of all Americans reporting that they do it. But...

Enjoy your sneeze: It may mean you won’t get brain cancer

If allergy season has you sneezing, wheezing or itching, is your risk of developing a deadly form of brain cancer less? No one can say for sure, but researchers found an inverse association between allergies, asthma and eczema and a brain cancer called glioma, meaning...

Crowdfunding the fight against cancer

From budding social causes to groundbreaking businesses to the next big band, crowdfunding has helped connect countless worthy projects with like-minded people willing to support their efforts, even in small ways. But could crowdfunding help fight cancer? It’s already...

Graphene is strong, but is it tough?

Graphene, a material consisting of a single layer of carbon atoms, has been touted as the strongest material known to exist, 200 times stronger than steel, lighter than paper, and with extraordinary mechanical and electrical properties. But can it live up to its...

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