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Science News Archive - January 22, 2010

Psychologists at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Memphis have released a new study on linguistic evolution that challenges the prominent hypothesis for why languages differ throughout the world.

Weizmann Institute scientists show that in one kind of forest, its 'energy budget' includes significant reserves of heat.

University of Miami psychologists use non-expert student observers in autism research.

A discovery by associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry Brian Baker and his research group at the University of Notre Dame reveals the importance of dynamic motion by proteins involved in the body's immune response.

Expert consumers like to be surprised by unusual product presentation, while novices crave familiarity, so claims a new Pitt/USC study titled “Smart Subcategories: How Assortment Formats Influence Consumer Learning and Satisfaction,” to be published in the June issue of “Journal of Consumer Research.”

Living organisms have good reason for engaging in sexual, rather than asexual, reproduction according to Maurine Neiman, assistant professor of biology in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and researcher in the Roy J. Carver Center for Genomics.

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A new analysis of global surface temperatures by NASA scientists finds the past year was tied for the second warmest since 1880.

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A new scientific paper co-authored by a University of Adelaide researcher reports strong evidence that humans, not climate change, caused the demise of Australia's megafauna - giant marsupials, huge reptiles and flightless birds - at least 40,000 years ago.

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The efficient methods of a slime mold could inform human engineers.

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Civil engineers at the University of Washington and the US Army Corps of Engineers' Seattle office have taken a first look at how dams in the Columbia River basin, the nation's largest hydropower system, could be managed for a different climate.

Word of the Day
toccata
  • In music, a work for a keyboard-instrument, like the pianoforte or organ, originally intended to utilize and display varieties of touch: but the term has been extended so as to include many irregular works, similar to the prelude, the fantasia, and the improvisation.
This word is Italian in origin, coming from the feminine past participle of 'toccare,' to touch.
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