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SCIENCE

Horses can read our body language even when they don’t know us

Horses can tell the difference between dominant and submissive body postures in humans, even when the humans are not familiar to them, according to a new University of Sussex-led study. The findings enhance our understanding of how animals can communicate using body posture across the species barrier, and are specifically ...

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Squishy or Solid? A Neutron Star’s Insides Open to Debate

The alerts started in the early morning of Aug. 17. Gravitational waves produced by the wreck of two neutron stars—dense cores of dead stars—had washed over Earth. The thousand-plus physicists of the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory rushed to decode the space-time vibrations that rolled across the detectors like a ...

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Scientists identify mechanism that helps us inhibit unwanted thoughts

Scientists have identified a key chemical within the ‘memory’ region of the brain that allows us to suppress unwanted thoughts, helping explain why people who suffer from disorders such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and schizophrenia often experience persistent intrusive thoughts when these circuits go awry. We are ...

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This Robot Snake Means You No Harm, Really

If you’ve never had a robot snake constrict around your leg, let me tell you, it’s a weird feeling. As it curls its way up your ankle, then shin, then finally wraps around your knee, it gets tighter and tighter. Fortunately, unlike a real snake, it doesn’t have teeth. Unfortunately, ...

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Wind Is Driving Rapid Melting in Antarctica’s Biggest Glacier

From the air, the largest glacier on the biggest ice sheet in the world looks the same as it has for centuries; massive, stable, blindingly white. But beneath the surface it’s a totally different story. East Antarctica’s Totten Glacier is melting, fast, from below. Thanks to warm ocean upwellings flowing ...

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Humans don’t use as much brainpower as we like to think

For years, scientists assumed that humans devote a larger share of their daily calories to their brains than other animals. Although the human brain makes up only 2 percent of body weight, it consumes more than 25 percent of our baseline energy budget. But a study published Oct. 31 in ...

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Museums Are Ready for the Next Natural Disaster. Are You?

This story originally appeared on Slate and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration. When Superstorm Sandy ripped through New York City in October 2012, it did not discriminate. At the construction site of the new Whitney Museum of American Art, chief operating officer John Stanley recalls “mechanical equipment bobbing like corks” in the ...

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Newfound Wormhole Allows Information to Escape Black Holes

In 1985, when Carl Sagan was writing the novel Contact, he needed to quickly transport his protagonist Dr. Ellie Arroway from Earth to the star Vega. He had her enter a black hole and exit light-years away, but he didn’t know if this made any sense. The Cornell University astrophysicist ...

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