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4 Million Years at Africa's Salad Bar

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As grasses grew more common in Africa, most major mammal groups tried grazing on them at times during the past 4 million years, but some of the animals went extinct or switched back to browsing on trees and shrubs, according to a study led by the University of Utah.

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New Design Brings World’s First Solar Battery to Performance Milestone

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After debuting the world’s first solar air battery last fall, researchers at The Ohio State University have now reached a new milestone. In the Journal of the American Chemical Society, they report that their patent-pending design—which combines a solar cell and a battery into a single device—now achieves a 20 percent energy savings over traditional lithium-iodine batteries.

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EMBARGOED

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 6-Aug-2015 12:00 PM EDT

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Magnetism at Nanoscale

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As the demand grows for ever smaller, smarter electronics, so does the demand for understanding materials’ behavior at ever smaller scales. Physicists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory are building a unique optical magnetometer to probe magnetism at the nano- and mesoscale.

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An Exceptional Planetary System Discovered in Cassiopeia by Astronomers of UNIGE

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Astronomers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and members of the NCCR PlanetS have teased out a secret planetary system hiding in the arms of Cassiopea, just 21 light years away from us. The remarkable system, named HD219134, hosts one outer giant planet and three inner super-Earths, one of which transits in front of the star. The transiting super-Earth has a density similar to the Earth’s.

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Telescopes Team Up to Find Distant Uranus-Sized Planet Through Microlensing

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii have confirmed the existence of a Uranus-sized exoplanet orbiting far from its central star, discovered through a technique called gravitational microlensing. These results appear in two papers in The Astrophysical Journal.

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Evolutionary War Between Microorganisms Affecting Human Health, IU Biologist Says

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Health experts have warned for years that the overuse of antibiotics is creating “superbugs” able to resist drugs treating infection. Now scientists at Indiana University and elsewhere are finding evidence that an invisible war between microorganisms may also be catching humans in the crossfire.

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Designing Integrated Circuits for Venus Rover

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NASA has awarded grants to a University of Arkansas-affiliated technology firm to design complex integrated circuits that can operate on the surface of Venus, where the temperature can reach 500 degrees Celsius.

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Tiny Grains of Rice Hold Big Promise for Greenhouse Gas Reductions, Bioenergy

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Rice is the staple food for more than half of the world’s population, but the paddies it’s grown in contributes up to 17 percent of global methane emissions -- about 100 million tons a year. Now, with the addition of a single gene, rice can be cultivated to emit virtually no methane, more starch for a richer food source and biomass for energy production, as announced in the July 30 edition of Nature and online.

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Mammoths Killed by Abrupt Climate Change

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New research has revealed abrupt warming, that closely resembles the rapid man-made warming occurring today, has repeatedly played a key role in mass extinction events of large animals, the megafauna, in Earth’s past.