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Researchers link teen sex to early friendships

The nature of preteen friendships can play a key role in determining whether or not a child will engage in sexual activity early in adolescence, a new study suggests. For example, researchers found that boys who had mostly female friends when they were preteens were more likely to have had sex by age 16 than were other boys. However, the same wasn't true for girls who as preteens had mostly male friends.

Health of Native Americans on decline before Columbus’ arrival

The health of indigenous people in the Western Hemisphere was on a downward trajectory long before Columbus set foot in the Americas, Ohio researchers say. The rise of agriculture is partly to blame as the demands of tending domestic crops encouraged people to settle in larger communities, where disease was more easily spread. The current research suggests that the overall health of the average person declined with the development of agriculture, government and urbanization.

Aluminum shows strange behavior; research solves old mystery

Aluminum -- one of nature's best conductors of electricity conductors of electricity -- may behave like a ceramic or a semiconductor in certain situations, according to an Ohio State University scientist and his colleagues. Among the findings that appear in the current issue of the journal Science: When it comes to forming tiny structures in computer chip circuits and nanotechnology, aluminum may endure mechanical stress more than 30 percent better than copper, which is normally considered to be the stiffer metal

Kilimanjaro ice reveals devastating history, future

Researchers analyzing ice cores taken from Tanzania's Mount Kilimanjaro say they've found evidence of several catastrophic droughts that plagued the tropic over the millennia, and strong signs the ice field itself will disappear within 20 years, the victim of global warming.

Strange attraction: Shaping metal with magnets

Researchers in Ohio say they've come up with a way to shape metal using powerful magnetic fields, a process that could help cut down on the use of toxic lubricants otherwise needed to stamp products as diverse as auto parts and kitchenware. Said one of the researchers: "The process has to be reliable, and require as little human intervention as possible.... In automobile production especially, manufactures need to make parts in as few steps as they possibly can. I think we can do a lot of good things for industry with this technique."

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