The comparatively light bone structure of modern humans compared to early human species and other modern primates may be due to the modern abandonment of the constant physical activity that was inherent in the life of early hunter gathers, according to an international team of researchers. This knowledge may aid in prevention of osteoporosis and hip fracture in the elderly.
In 2014, researchers at the California Academy of Sciences added 221 new plant and animal species to our family tree. The new species include 110 ants, 16 beetles, three spiders, 28 fishes, 24 sea slugs, two marine worms, 9 barnacles, two octocorals, 25 plants, one waterbear, and one tiny mammal.
Latest analysis of prehistoric bones show there is no anatomical reason why a person born today could not develop the skeletal strength of a prehistoric forager or a modern orangutan. Findings support the idea that activity throughout life is the key to building bone strength and preventing osteoporosis risk in later years, say researchers.
The Rosetta spacecraft caught up with the comet known as 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko beyond Mars this August, and its preliminary results--along with the studies it will allow in the near-future -- top this year's list of the most important scientific breakthroughs, according to the editors of Science. This annual list of groundbreaking scientific achievements, selected by Science and its international nonprofit publisher, AAAS, also includes groundbreaking advances in medicine, robotics, synthetic biology, and paleontology, to name a few.
Four of six major archaeological sites in Syria have been heavily looted and damaged, according to a AAAS analysis of high-resolution satellite images that documents the extent of the destruction. The report analyzes six of the 12 sites that Syria has nominated as World Heritage Sites: Dura Europos, Ebla, Hama's Waterwheels, Mari, Raqqa, and Ugarit. A forthcoming report will analyze the additional six sites.
A key discovery to understanding Roman architectural concrete that has stood the test of time and the elements for nearly two thousand years has been made by researchers using beams of X-rays at Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source.
A University of Otago, New Zealand, Ph.D. student analyzing dental calculus from ancient teeth is helping resolve the question of what plant foods Easter Islanders relied on before European contact.
A small stone container found by archaeologists a half-century ago has now been recognized as further evidence of a Viking or Medieval Norse presence in Arctic Canada during the centuries around 1000 A.D.
NOAA and its partners today released 3-D sonar maps and images of an immigrant steamship lost more than 100 years ago in what many consider the worst maritime disaster in San Francisco history. On Feb. 22, 1901, in a dense morning fog, the SS City of Rio de Janeiro struck jagged rocks near the present site of the Golden Gate Bridge and sank almost immediately, killing 128 of the 210 passengers and crew aboard the ship.
According to an article in the December 2014 issue of The Quarterly Review of Biology, current studies modeling the diets of early hominids are too narrow.