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Top stories featured on ScienceDaily's Plants & Animals, Earth & Climate, and Fossils & Ruins sections.
  1. Hidden in genetics: The evolutionary relationships of two groups of ancient invertebrates revealed

    Using high quality molecular data, researchers have re-investigated a long-standing question about the position of two phyla of small aquatic invertebrates -- Kamptozoa and Bryozoa -- on the evolutionary tree.
  2. Montana bio station researchers discuss mine risks to salmon rivers

    Recently, a group of 23 science and policy experts from the U.S. and Canada published a review of mining risks to watersheds ranging from Montana to British Columbia and Alaska. The paper brought together experts in salmon ecology, watershed science, mining impacts and mining policy to integrate knowledge across research fields that often work independently from one another.
  3. How placentas evolved in mammals

    The fossil record tells us about ancient life through the preserved remains of body parts like bones, teeth and turtle shells. But how to study the history of soft tissues and organs, which can decay quickly, leaving little evidence behind? In a new study, scientists use gene expression patterns, called transcriptomics, to investigate the ancient origins of one organ: the placenta, which is vital to pregnancy.
  4. Dinosaurs took over amid ice, not warmth, says a new study of ancient mass extinction

    There is new evidence that ancient high latitudes, to which early dinosaurs were largely relegated, regularly froze over, and that the creatures adapted -- an apparent key to their later dominance.
  5. Mining's effect on fish warrants better science-based policies

    A new article synthesizes the impact of metal and coal mines on salmon and trout in northwestern North America, and highlights the need for more complete and transparent science to inform mining policy.
  6. Rare wild ancestors of feral pigeons found living on British and Irish islands

    DNA testing reveals that the wild ancestors of the common domestic and feral pigeons, now extinct in many parts of the world, are still living on islands in Scotland and Ireland.
  7. Crushed, zapped, boiled, baked and more: Nature used 57 recipes to create Earth's 10,500-plus 'mineral kinds'

    A 15-year study details the origins and diversity of every known mineral on Earth, a landmark body of work that will help reconstruct the history of life on Earth, guide the search for new minerals and ore deposits, predict possible characteristics of future life, and aid the search for habitable planets and extraterrestrial life.
  8. Scientists warn of links between soil pollution and heart disease

    Pesticides and heavy metals in soil may have detrimental effects on the cardiovascular system, according to a review paper.
  9. Whales learn songs from each other in a cultural 'deep dive'

    A new study has found humpback whales can learn incredibly complex songs from whales from other regions.
  10. New study reveals impact of plastic on small mammals, as four out of seven species identified as 'plastic positive'

    Researchers investigating the exposure of small mammals to plastics in England and Wales have found traces in the feces of more than half of the species examined. The densities of plastic excreted were comparable with those reported in human studies.
  11. Research reveals structure of a human endogenous reverse transcriptase

    The crystal structure of a human endogenous reverse transcriptase has similarities to HIV reverse transcriptase, a well-known tractable drug target, which will help design drugs to treat cancer and other diseases, according to a study co-authored by a Rutgers researcher.
  12. Bacteria for blastoff: Using microbes to make supercharged new rocket fuel

    Biofuel scientists used an oddball molecule made by bacteria to develop a new class of sustainable biofuels powerful enough to launch rockets. The candidate molecules have greater projected energy density than any petroleum product, including the leading aviation and rocket fuels, JetA and RP-1.
  13. California's Dixie Fire shows impact of legacy effects, prescribed burns

    The 2021 Dixie Fire burned over nearly 1 million acres in California and cost $637 million to suppress, making it the largest and most expensive wildfire to contain in state history. Fire history largely determined how severely the wildfire burned, and low-severity fire treatments had the largest impact on reducing the worst effects of the fire, according to a research team.
  14. The hawk has landed: Braking mid-air to prioritize safety over energy or speed

    New research using computer simulations and Hollywood-style motion capture shows how birds optimize their landing maneuvers for an accurate descent.
  15. Signaling molecule potently stimulates hair growth

    Researchers have discovered that a signaling molecule called SCUBE3 potently stimulates hair growth and may offer a therapeutic treatment for androgenetic alopecia, a common form of hair loss in both women and men.
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