SCIENCE

  • New Linguistics Technique Could Reveal Who Spoke the First Indo-European Languages

    Almost half of all people in the world today speak an Indo-European language, one whose origins go back thousands of years to a single mother tongue. Languages as different as English, Russian, Hindustani, Latin and Sanskrit can all be traced back to this ancestral language. Over the last couple of hundred years, linguists have figured out a lot about that…

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  • Dominatrices Are Showing People How to Have Rough Sex Safely

    [CLIP: Lady Harper Chase, speaks in her Intro to Whips class: “For me, my style of dominance…, I call myself, like, a nurturing pervert. This is a two foot signal whip. I call him swishy…. I just go like this on a person: tap, tap, tap, tap, tap.”] [CLIP: Intro music] On supporting science journalism If you’re enjoying this article,…

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  • Sucking Carbon from the Air Becomes A Lead Strategy

    CLIMATEWIRE | The Department of Energy announced up to $100 million in funding for carbon removal pilot projects Monday in an effort to advance technologies designed to suck CO2 directly out of the atmosphere. While there are a variety of strategies that can be used to remove carbon from the air, both natural and technological, applicants are invited to focus on three specific…

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  • Why Do Birds Have Such Skinny Legs?

    February 10, 2024 4 min read The songbirds in your backyard hop around on such itty-bitty legs. Here’s why bird legs are so skinny and how they can support a bird’s weight By Asher Elbein Splendid Fairy-wren (Malurus splendens). A bird in flight is poetry; a bird on the ground presents a conundrum. Watch a sparrow or other songbird bobbing…

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  • Large Hadron Collider’s $17-Billion Successor Moves Forward

    February 7, 2024 4 min read A feasibility study on CERN’s Future Circular Collider identifies where and how the machine could be built—but its construction is far from assured By Elizabeth Gibney, Davide Castelvecchi & Nature magazine The proposed Future Circular Collider, or FCC (large circle, dashed outline), would be built close to its predecessor at CERN, the Large Hadron…

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  • Why Does a Solar Eclipse Move West to East?

    February 3, 2024 3 min read Here’s why the path of a solar eclipse travels in the opposite direction of that of the sun By Stephanie Pappas The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. A glimpse at the map of the April 2024 North American solar eclipse, however, shows a path from west to east. What…

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  • An Alarming Rise in Measles Cases Is Being Driven By Low Vaccination Rates

    UK health services are battling an outbreak of measles — causing alarm in a nation that had eliminated the disease in 2017. On 19 January, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), the public-health authority, declared a national incident over rising cases of measles. The agency has logged more than 300 cases in England since 1 October 2023. A decline in uptake of…

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  • Ancient Jewelry Shows Ice Age Europe Had 9 Distinct Cultures

    Bling isn’t a modern invention; humans have been wearing what anthropologists call personal ornamentation for tens of thousands of years. And the distinct ways prehistoric people adorned themselves can illuminate long-vanished cultures. A new study has used more than 100 types of beads, made of shells, ivory and other materials, to determine that there were at least nine distinct cultural…

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  • The Roman Empire’s Worst Plagues Were Linked to Climate Change

    January 26, 2024 4 min read Changes in the climate may have caused disruptions to Roman society that manifested as disease outbreaks, researchers have found By Tom Metcalfe Jules Élie Delaunay’s “Plague in Rome” (1869) The sixth-century C.E. Plague of Justinian was “a pestilence, by which the whole human race came near to being annihilated,” according to the Byzantine historian…

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  • Some Adults May Need a Measles Booster

    The following essay is reprinted with permission from The Conversation, an online publication covering the latest research. Imagine a disease more infectious than any other known to medical science, that would kill 2.6 million young children every year and leave millions more with deafness and even brain damage. It sounds like something from pandemic horror fiction, but such a disease does exist…

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