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A sense of disgust in bonobos?

Even bonobos lose their appetites with enough ‘ick’. These primates, known for their liberal attitudes toward sex, are also generally open-minded when it comes to new foods — as long as the grub is clean. Researchers from Kyoto University’s Primate Research Institute have now found that a bonobo’s curiosity transforms ...

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Where the brain processes spiritual experiences

Yale scientists have identified a possible neurobiological home for the spiritual experience — the sense of connection to something greater than oneself. Activity in the parietal cortex, an area of the brain involved in awareness of self and others as well as attention processing, seems to be a common element ...

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Space Photos of the Week: A Cruise Around Mars’ Hale Crater

Mars isn’t short of interesting craters, but Hale Crater has a lot going on. It’s a fairly large impact crater running almost 62 miles across, featuring recurring slope lineae (elements that are seasonal and some think are linked to liquid water) and active gullies. The greenish blue is colored bedrock, ...

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The Wild Physics of a Firefighter’s Window Catch

[embedded content] Are superheroes real? Maybe. In this recently released video, a firefighter in Latvia catches a man falling past a window. Let me tell you something. I have a fairly reasonable understanding of physics and this catch looks close to being impossible—but it’s real. Here is the situation (as ...

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Why Darpa Wants Everyone to Launch Tiny Satellites

You could be excused, when you first hear Dane Rudy describe his company, for thinking that he wants to use raccoons to send satellites into space. Trash pandas, though, are not the future that Rudy is talking about. He’s talking about rockoons—rockets launched from high-altitude balloons. Rockoons trace their trajectory ...

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How to Get a Robot to (One Day) Do Your Chores

Perhaps the greatest outrage in modern robotics is the continued non-existence of the robot housekeeper. Is it really so much to ask for a robot that sweeps and mops and brings you pills on platters, like Rosie from The Jetsons? Actually, it kind of is a lot to ask: A ...

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Dino-bird dandruff research head and shoulders above rest

Palaeontologists from University College Cork (UCC) in Ireland have discovered 125 million-year-old dandruff preserved amongst the plumage of feathered dinosaurs and early birds, revealing the first evidence of how dinosaurs shed their skin. UCC’s Dr Maria McNamara and her team studied the fossil cells, and dandruff from modern birds, with ...

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Maybe DNA Can’t Answer All Our Questions About Heredity

Heredity is a powerful concept. It’s the thing that ties families together—that gives shape to their shared history of stories, of homes, of personalities. And more and more, it’s the way we understand families’ shared genetic inheritance. But that more modern biological notion of heredity comes with some new, technical ...

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There’s Nothing Noble about Science’s Nobel Prize Gender Gap

We scientists are pretty good with numbers. Whether it’s tallying the number of galaxies in the universe or probing reagent reactions that last mere femtoseconds, nothing quantitative seems beyond our reckoning. But lately it seems that scientists have gotten a little too comfortable with some very small numbers. Take the ...

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