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Himalayan Viagra Fuels Caterpillar Fungus Gold Rush

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Overwhelmed by speculators trying to cash-in on a prized medicinal fungus known as Himalayan Viagra, two isolated Tibetan communities have managed to do at the local level what world leaders often fail to do on a global scale — implement a successful system for the sustainable harvest of a precious natural resource, suggests new research from Washington University in St. Louis.

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New Tech Aims to Improve Communication Between Dogs and Humans

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NC State researchers have developed a suite of technologies that can be used to enhance communication between dogs and humans, which has applications in everything from search and rescue to service dogs to training our pets.

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Plump Turtles Swim Better: First Models of Swimming Animals

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For the first time, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Florida Atlantic University (FAU), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have measured the forces that act on a swimming animal and the energy the animal must expend to move through the water.

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Urban Seismic Network Detects Human Sounds

When listening to the Earth, what clues can seismic data reveal about the impact of urban life? Although naturally occurring vibrations have proven useful to seismologists, until now the vibrations caused by humans haven’t been explored in any real depth. Scripps Institution of Oceanography researchers Nima Riahi and Peter Gerstoft will describe their efforts to tap into an urban seismic network to monitor the traffic of trains, planes, automobiles and other modes of human transport.

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Scripps Research Institute Scientists Make Enzyme that Could Help Explain Origins of Life

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Mimicking natural evolution in a test tube, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have devised an enzyme with a unique property that might have been crucial to the origin of life on Earth.

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Planet-Forming Lifeline Discovered in a Binary Star System

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Scientists using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have detected a streamer of dust and gas flowing from a massive outer disk toward the inner reaches of a binary star system. This never-before-seen feature may be responsible for sustaining a second, smaller disk of planet-forming material that otherwise would have disappeared long ago.

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Giant Tortoises Gain a Foothold on a Galapagos Island

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A population of endangered giant tortoises has recovered on the Galapagos island of Española, a finding described as “a true story of success and hope in conservation” by the lead author of a published study.

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Ancient Auditory Illusions Reflected in Prehistoric Art?

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Some of mankind’s earliest and most mysterious artistic achievements—including prehistoric cave paintings, canyon petroglyphs and megalithic structures such as Stonehenge—may have been inspired by the behaviors of sound waves being misinterpreted as “supernatural.”

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NUS Researchers Discover for the First Time That a Rare Bush Frog Breeds in Bamboo

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Researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have discovered a new reproductive mode in frogs and toads - breeding and laying direct developing eggs in live bamboo with narrow openings - which was observed in the white spotted bush frog (Raorchestes chalazodes). This critically endangered frog is currently only one of two species known to adopt this novel reproductive strategy. The findings were published in The Linnean Society of London’s Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, in October 2014.

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In Amazon Wars, Bands of Brothers-in-Law

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When Yanomamö men in the Amazon raided villages and killed decades ago, they formed alliances with men in other villages rather than just with close kin like chimpanzees do. And the spoils of war came from marrying their allies’ sisters and daughters, rather than taking their victims’ land and women.

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