Studies that have mostly blamed the arrival of humans for die-offs among Australia’s large mammals 50,000 years ago missed the role played by a changing climate, new research suggests. Most assessments of Australian extinctions have used evidence gathered at sites that typically include fossils from only one narrow interval of time, Gilbert Price, a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Queensland
t's no surprise that many of the most creative and innovative technological music experiments out there are being produced outside the traditional recording industry. Here are three examples worth knowing about...
A MacGuffin is the inanimate object that drives plot into motion. It could be Green Lantern's ring or the Death Star. Often reviled as a lazy genre convention, the MacGuffin is nevertheless crucial to great science fiction. Here's why.
Just as people plug in to computers, smart phones and electric outlets to communicate, electric fish communicate by quickly plugging special channels into their cells to generate electrical impulses. The fish generate electric fields to navigate, fight and attract mates in murky streams and rivers throughout Central and South America. They do so at night, while trying to avoid predators such as catfish that sense the electric fields.
Could a Gravity Trick Speed Us to Mars?
Putting a human on Mars might be easier than anyone thought. A flight to the Red Planet currently takes at least six months, which is why we send robots—the trip is boring, fuel costs are astronomical, and cosmic radiation is nobody's friend. But NASA engineer Robert Adams has a solution: the two-burn maneuver, an all-but-forgotten secret of orbital mechanics that could cut travel time in half.Celebrate Sea Otter Awareness Week!
According to the Defenders of Wildlife, the 2009 spring population census revealed a slight decline in the California sea otter population, the first decline in nearly 10 years. Mortality rates have jumped and some researchers believe the otters’ food may contain deadly pathogens. Other threats to the otter population include oil spills, habitat degradation, disease, fishing gear entanglement and limited food supply.Online Service Let Cities Zap the Mailbox
Last week, the city of San Francisco sent its first letter to residents using Zumbox, a secure e-mail service that allows senders to contact people online using their street address, which regular e-mail doesn't do. If the experiment catches on with even a fraction of the population, San Francisco could save a chunk of the $3 million it spent last fiscal year on postage and associated labor costs. Although the service typically costs 5 cents per e-mail, Zumbox is not charging the city.
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