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February 5, 2013
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Your World of Science News

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  • Study: Neanderthals, humans may not have coexisted for long
    Neanderthals and modern humans may not have existed together for as long as once thought, according to a study that analyzed hundreds of bones excavated from sites in modern-day Spain. The evidence suggests that there were no Neanderthals in the area after 42,000 years ago, researchers say. "Our results cast doubt on a hypothesis that has been broadly accepted since the early 1990s -- that the last place for surviving Neanderthals was in the southern Iberian Peninsula," said researcher Rachel Wood. "Much of the evidence that has supported this idea is based on a series of radiocarbon dates, which cluster at around 35,000 years ago. Our results call all of these results into question." (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Science in the News 
  • Mars rover completes another round of tests
    The Mars Curiosity rover hammered into a piece of rock this week, bringing the robot one step closer to a drilling operation on the planet. The NASA rover is exploring a rock formation named "John Klein," and plans to drill into one of its rocks to see if the site could have supported microbial life. (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Telescope returns from mission seeking light as old as Big Bang
    A telescope sent floating above Antarctica recently returned from its mission seeking a rare light that has been traveling space for 13.7 billion years. It's expected to take nearly a year for scientists to learn whether the balloon-borne telescope was successful in its mission. Researchers have been hoping to capture a specific part of the light, called cosmic microwave background, that has never been recorded before, but is thought to have existed since the Big Bang. (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Newly discovered wasps prey on ant-eating spiders
    Researchers discovered two parasitic wasp species capable of attacking ant-eating spiders. The wasps, found in Portugal, were detailed in the journal ZooKeys, and are known for devouring spiders shortly after hatching, then using the spider's nest as a home while developing into adults. Our Amazing Planet (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study: Cockroaches groom to keep alert and find food
    Cockroaches constantly clean their antennae, which are essential for keeping tabs on their surroundings, according to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study compared two sets of American cockroaches and found that those with clean antennae could sense key signals for survival. "Grooming is necessary to keep these foreign and native substances at a particular level. Leaving antennae dirty essentially blinds insects to their environment," said the study's co-author and entomologist Coby Schal. (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Fossil reef in Spain contains remnants of oldest-known spider crabs
    A fossil reef found in an abandoned quarry in northern Spain contains the remains of ancient spider crabs believed to have lived 100 million years ago. The two types of spider crabs, believed to be the world's oldest on record, were among eight newly discovered species of decapod crustaceans. Researchers have collected fossils from the quarry on various occasions and believe nearly 36 decapod species once existed, making it one of the most diverse places for the creatures in the Cretaceous period. (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Researchers look to give dull strawberries a wild twist
    Scientists at the University of Florida are exploring various ways to genetically enhance the flavor of strawberries, which have long been groomed for size and color, rather than taste. Of particular interest are genomes from the wild woodland strawberry rich with a grapelike flavor produced by the molecule methyl anthranilate, which commercial strawberries lack. (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.K. opens sixth research base in Antarctica
    The Halley VI Research Station is officially up and running in Antarctica, according to the British Antarctic Survey. The station is the sixth U.K.-built base and is made up of interlocking modules to be used as homes, research labs and offices for up to 52 people. Our Amazing Planet (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • ITER project nears completion
    Scientists produced an alternative to superconducting cables for the ITER fusion reactor after previous designs showed signs the cables would degrade too quickly. The international project, under construction in France, is scheduled to be completed in 2020. Japan, which was responsible for making the cables, also produced the alternative solution, which officials say they're confident will work. Insider blog (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Research Policy Regulations 
  • Program widens access for science, technology education in Arabic
    A joint initiative between the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization and the U.S. State Department will make educational resources available online in Arabic. The Open Book Project, one of Hillary Clinton's final initiatives before she steps down as secretary of State, will focus mainly on science and technology materials. "Our hope is to lower geographic, economic and even gender-based barriers to learning," Clinton said at the project's launch. Nature (free content) (2/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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