One of the ocean’s little known carnivores has been allocated a new place in the evolutionary tree of life after scientists discovered its unmistakable resemblance with other sea-floor dwelling creatures. Comb jellies occupy a pivotal place in the history of animal evolution with some arguing that they were among the first animals to evolve. Now

In research that casts cells as curators of their own history, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists have discovered that adult tissues retain a memory, inscribed on their DNA, of the embryonic cells from which they arose. The discovery led to one even more intriguing—that the memory is fully retrievable: under certain conditions, cells can play the

The world’s smallest bears can exactly mimic another bear’s facial expressions, casting doubt on humans and other primates’ supremacy at this subtle form of communication. It is the first time such exact facial mimicry has been seen outside of humans and gorillas. The research, by Dr. Marina Davila-Ross and Ph.D. candidate Derry Taylor, both at

Periodontitis affects nearly half of Americans ages 30 and older, and in its advanced stages, it could lead to early tooth loss or worse. Recent studies have shown that periodontitis could also increase risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. A team of UCLA researchers has developed methods that may lead to more effective and

Thawing permafrost in high-altitude mountain ecosystems may be a stealthy, underexplored contributor to atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions, new University of Colorado Boulder research shows. The new findings, published today in the journal Nature Communications, show that alpine tundra in Colorado’s Front Range emits more CO2 than it captures annually, potentially creating a feedback loop that could increase climate

Female birds age more slowly and live longer when they have help raising their offspring, according to new research from the University of Sheffield. Researchers studied the relationship between ageing and offspring rearing patterns in the Seychelles warbler, and found that females who had assistance from other female helpers benefitted from a longer, healthier lifespan. The findings

An international research team, including a member of the Complexity Science Hub Vienna, investigated the role of “big gods” in the rise of complex large-scale societies. Big gods are defined as moralizing deities who punish ethical transgressions. Contrary to prevailing theories, the team found that beliefs in big gods are a consequence, not a cause,

The center of our galaxy is a frenzy of activity. A behemoth black hole—4 million times as massive as the sun—blasts out energy as it chows down on interstellar detritus while neighboring stars burst to life and subsequently explode. Now, an international team of astronomers has discovered two exhaust channels—dubbed “galactic center chimneys”—that appear to

Light-by-light scattering is a very rare phenomenon in which two photons interact, producing another pair of photons. This process was among the earliest predictions of quantum electrodynamics (QED), the quantum theory of electromagnetism, and is forbidden by classical physics theories (such as Maxwell’s theory of electrodynamics).  Direct evidence for light-by-light scattering at high energy had proven elusive for

The realization of so-called topological materials—which exhibit exotic, defect-resistant properties and are expected to have applications in electronics, optics, quantum computing, and other fields—has opened up a new realm in materials discovery. Several of the hotly studied topological materials to date are known as topological insulators. Their surfaces are expected to conduct electricity with very little

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