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Why Vultures Matter – and What We Lose if They’re Gone

The primary threat to vultures is the presence of toxins in the carrion they consume. Losses of vultures can allow other scavengers to flourish. Proliferation of such scavengers could bring bacteria and viruses from carcasses into human cities.

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Scientists Watch Bacterial Sensor Respond to Light in Real Time

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Researchers have made a giant leap forward in taking snapshots of these ultrafast reactions in a bacterial light sensor. Using the world’s most powerful X-ray laser at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, they were able to see atomic motions as fast as 100 quadrillionths of a second – 1,000 times faster than ever before.

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ALMA Measures Mass of Black Hole with Extreme Precision

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Astronomers using ALMA have delved remarkably deep into the heart of a nearby elliptical galaxy to study the motion of a disk of cold interstellar gas encircling the supermassive black hole at its center, provide one of the most accurate mass measurements to date for a black hole outside of our Galaxy.

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Bats’ Flight Technique Could Lead to Better Drones

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Long-eared bats are assisted in flight by their ears and body, according to a study by researchers at Lund University in Sweden. The recent findings improve researchers’ understanding of the bats’ flying technique and could be significant for the future development of drones, among other things.

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How to Talk About Climate Change So People Will Act

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Framing the issue of climate change collectively is more effective than emphasis on personal responsibility, finds a UC San Diego study. People are willing to donate up to 50 percent more cash to the cause when thinking in collective terms. Thinking about climate change from a personal perspective produced little to no change in behavior.

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Humans Have Faster Metabolism than Closely Related Primates, Enabling Larger Brains, Study Finds

Loyola University Chicago researchers are among the co-authors of a groundbreaking study that found humans have a higher metabolism rate than closely related primates, which enabled humans to evolve larger brains. The findings may point toward strategies for combating obesity.

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Second Strongest Shock Wave Found in Merging Galaxy Clusters

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A physics doctoral student at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) has discovered the second-strongest merger shock in clusters of galaxies ever observed.

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First-of-Its-Kind Global Analysis Indicates Leopards Have Lost Nearly 75 Percent of Their Historic Range

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The leopard (Panthera pardus), one of the world’s most iconic big cats, has lost as much as 75 percent of its historic range. This study represents the first known attempt to produce a comprehensive analysis of leopards’ status across their entire range and all nine subspecies.

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April Was 4th Warmest Month in Satellite Record

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Global Temperature Report: April 2016

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Planet Nine: A World That Shouldn't Exist

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Earlier this year scientists presented evidence for Planet Nine, a Neptune-mass planet in an elliptical orbit 10 times farther from our Sun than Pluto. Since then theorists have puzzled over how this planet could end up in such a distant orbit.

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Indiana University Researchers Find Earth May Be Home to 1 Trillion Species

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Earth could contain nearly 1 trillion species, with only one-thousandth of 1 percent now identified, according to a study from biologists at Indiana University. The estimate, based on the intersection of large datasets and universal scaling laws, appears today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Three Potentially Habitable Worlds Found Around Nearby Ultracool Dwarf Star

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Currently the best place to search for life beyond the solar system.

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Possible Extragalactic Source of High-Energy Neutrinos

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Nearly 10 billion years ago in a galaxy known as PKS B1424-418, a dramatic explosion occurred. Light from this blast began arriving at Earth in 2012. Now, an international team of astronomers, led by Prof. Matthias Kadler, professor for astrophysics at the university of Würzburg, and including other scientists from the new research cluster for astronomy and astroparticle physics at the universities of Würzburg and Erlangen-Nürnberg, have shown that a record-breaking neutrino seen around the same time likely was born in the same event. The results are published in Nature Physics.

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Bearded Dragons Show REM and Slow Wave Sleep

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Brain sleep appeared early in vertebrate evolution.

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Trinity Scientists Reveal Origin of Earth's Oldest Crystals

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The tiny crystals probably formed in huge impact craters not long after Earth formed, some 4 billion years ago

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You’ll Never Dance Alone with This Artificial Intelligence Project

Project allows people to get move with a computer-controlled dancer, which “watches” the person and improvises its own moves based on prior experiences. When the human responds, the computerized figure reacts again, creating an impromptu dance couple based on artificial intelligence.

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Are We Alone? Setting Some Limits to Our Uniqueness

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Are humans unique and alone in the vast universe? This question-- summed up in the famous Drake equation--has for a half-century been one of the most intractable and uncertain in science. But a new paper shows that the recent discoveries of exoplanets combined with a broader approach to the question makes it possible to assign a new empirically valid probability to whether any other advanced technological civilizations have ever existed.

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Millions of Native Orchids Flourish at Former Mining Waste Site

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Millions of native orchids are flourishing on the site of a former iron mine in New York's Adirondacks, suggesting that former industrial sites – typically regarded as blighted landscapes — have untapped value in ecological restoration efforts.

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First Multi-Year Study of Honey Bee Parasites and Disease Reveals Troubling Trends

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Honey bee colonies in the United States are in decline, due in part to the ill effects of voracious mites, fungal gut parasites and a wide variety of debilitating viruses. Researchers from the University of Maryland and the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently completed the first comprehensive, multi-year study of honey bee parasites and disease as part of the National Honey Bee Disease Survey. The findings reveal some alarming patterns, but provide at least a few pieces of good news as well.

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Hubble Discovers Moon Orbiting the Dwarf Planet Makemake

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Astronomers using the Hubble telescope have discovered a tiny moon orbiting the dwarf planet Makemake. The moon is estimated to be 100 miles wide and is 13,000 miles away from Makemake.