Six million years ago, giant otters weighing more than 100 pounds lived among birds and water lilies in the wooded wetlands of China's Yunnan province.
That's according to new research from a team of scientists who discovered a well-preserved cranium of the newly-discovered species in an open lignite mine in 2010. They recently published their findings in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology.
Researchers testing anti-Alzheimer's drug discover that it could be used to heal tooth cavities.
A new study of violent behavior in more than 1,000 mammal species found the meerkat is the mammal most likely to be murdered by one of its own kind.
The study...in the journal Nature, analyzed more than 4 million deaths among 1,024 mammal species and compared them with findings in 600 studies of violence among humans from ancient times until today.
The findings tell us two things:
-- Some amount of violence between humans is attributable to our place on the evolutionary tree.
-- Meerkats are surprisingly murderous.
I never knew there was a mystery about why there is so much carbon and other key elements on Earth, but one theory posits that a massive planetary collision occurred 4.4 billions years ago that brought large amounts of carbon, sulfur, and other key elements to Earth, thus making life possible a billion years later.
The drugmaker Purdue Pharma launched OxyContin two decades ago with a bold marketing claim: One dose relieves pain for 12 hours...
On the strength of that promise, OxyContin became America’s bestselling painkiller, and Purdue reaped $31 billion in revenue.
But OxyContin’s stunning success masked a fundamental problem: The drug wears off hours early in many people...OxyContin is a chemical cousin of heroin, and when it doesn’t last, patients can experience excruciating symptoms of withdrawal, including an intense craving for the drug.
The problem offers new insight into why so many people have become addicted to OxyContin, one of the most abused pharmaceuticals in U.S. history...
The [Los Angeles] Times investigation, based on thousands of pages of confidential Purdue documents and other records, found that:
-- Purdue has known about the problem for decades...
-- The company has held fast to the claim of 12-hour relief, in part to protect its revenue...
First part of an investigative series.
[vices, the biz]
Radiocarbon dating reveals the Greenland shark reaches sexual maturity at 150 years of age, and has a lifespan of at least 400 years, making it the longest-lived vertebrate on Earth, according to a study published in the journal Science.
A recent analysis of 60 years of data reveals that cephalopod populations, including squid, octopuses, and cuttlefish, have increased globally since the 1950s.
Quote: So we like silence for what it doesn’t do—it doesn’t wake, annoy, or kill us—but what does it do? When Florence Nightingale attacked noise as a “cruel absence of care,” she also insisted on the converse: Quiet is a part of care, as essential for patients as medication or sanitation. It’s a strange notion, but one that researchers have begun to bear out as true.
James Newman started work on the "Megaprocessor", which is 33ft (10m) wide and 6ft (2m) high, in 2012.
It does the job of a chip-sized microprocessor and Mr Newman has spent £40,000 ($53,000) creating it.
It contains 40,000 transistors, 10,000 LED lights and it weighs around half a tonne (500kg). So far, he has used it to play the classic video game Tetris.
Frigatebirds have to find ways to stay aloft because they can't land on the water. Since their feathers aren't waterproof, the birds would drown in short order. They feed by harassing other birds in flight until they regurgitate whatever fish they've eaten and the frigatebird takes it. Or they fly over a fish-feeding frenzy on the ocean surface and scoop up small fish that leap out of the water to escape larger fish.
So in between meals, apparently, frigatebirds soar ... and soar ... and soar.
In one case, for two months — continuously aloft.
Archerfish are already stars of the animal kingdom for their stunning spit-takes. They shoot high-powered water jets from their mouths to stun prey, making them one of just a few fish species known to use tools.
But by training [them] to direct those jets of spit at certain individuals, scientists have shown that the little guys have another impressive skill: They seem to be able to distinguish one human face from another, something never before witnessed in fish and spotted just a few times in non-human animals.
[Quote] The new optic, called a metalense, has better focusing power than traditional glass lenses and measures a fraction of a millimeter in thickness. Metalenses can focus light into an area tighter than one of its wavelengths, providing image resolution that would not be possible using less precise glass structures while streamlining tools that utilize the lenses.
"We knew from previous studies that the impact region allows the mantis shrimp to transfer incredible momentum to its prey while resisting fracture," co-author Nicholas Yaraghi, a doctoral candidate at UC Riverside, says in a press release, "but it was exciting to reveal through our research that the properties of this highly impact-resistant material are created by the novel herringbone structure."
Advancing battery technology - doctoral candidate Mya Le Thai discovers a technology that could lead to batteries than can be recharged over 200,000 times
A trio of researchers in Denmark has calculated the relative ages of the surface of the Earth versus its core and has found that the core is 2.5 years younger than the crust. Decades previously Richard Feynman made a wild guess that the core would be a few days younger than the earth's crust.