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Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider confirms tiny drops of early universe 'perfect' fluid

Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider confirms tiny drops of early universe 'perfect' fluid

The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), a particle collider for nuclear physics research at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory, smashes large nuclei together at close to the speed of light to recreate the primordial soup of fundamental particles that existed in the very early universe. Experiments at RHIC-a DOE Office of Science User Facility that attracts more than 1,000 collaborators from around the world-have shown that this primordial soup, known as quark-gluon plasma (QGP), flows like a nearly friction free "perfect" liquid.

Isthminia panamensis: New species of ancient river dolphin discovered

Isthminia panamensis: New species of ancient river dolphin discovered

Examination of fossil fragments from Panama has led Smithsonian scientists and colleagues to the discovery of a new genus and species of river dolphin that has been long extinct. The team named it Isthminia panamensis. The specimen not only revealed a new species to science, but also shed new light onto the evolution of today's freshwater river dolphin species.

Study reveals human body has gone through four stages of evolution

Research into 430,000-year-old fossils collected in northern Spain found that the evolution of the human body's size and shape has gone through four main stages, according to a paper published this week.

Estimate claims plastic in 99 percent of seabirds by 2050 - but accuracy of the baseline is unknown

Researchers from CSIRO and Imperial College London have assessed how widespread the threat of plastic is for the world's seabirds, including albatrosses, shearwaters and penguins, and found the majority of seabird species have plastic in their gut.

The study, led by Dr Chris Wilcox with co-authors Dr Denise Hardesty and Dr Erik van Sebille and published today in the journal PNAS, found that nearly 60 per cent of all seabird species have plastic in their gut.

Frogs make irrational choices - and what means for understanding animal mating

In the attempt to choose a mate, it's no surprise that females will select the more "attractive" of two males, but now a new study reveals that female túngara frogs are susceptible to the "decoy" effect, where the introduction of a third, inferior mate results in the female choosing the less attractive of the first two options.

The results of this study counter the rational choice models that are currently used in sexual selection theory, suggesting they may prove inadequate to explain decisions in socially complex and dynamic mating arenas.

Study links air pollution to children's low GPAs

A University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) study on children's health has found that fourth and fifth graders who are exposed to toxic air pollutants at home are more likely to have lower GPAs.

UTEP researchers analyzed academic performance and sociodemographic data for 1,895 fourth and fifth grade children living in El Paso, Texas that were attending the El Paso Independent School District (EPISD).

Can eagles be saved from wind turbines?

If you are a hunter and accidentally shoot an endangered eagle, you could go to jail and you will certainly have a criminal record. If you are a wind turbine company, you kill 100 eagles a year and pay a token fine.

What is the difference? The latter is an alternative energy darling of the US government. But if we care about birds and not partisan rationalizations, there may be good news. A new study that maps both potential wind-power sites and nesting patterns of the birds reveals sweet spots, where potential for wind power is greatest with a lower threat to nesting eagles.

Colorado Front Range storm in 2013 caused 1,000 years of erosion

We can be concerned about erosion due to man-made causes but it is nothing like what nature will randomly do in a single year, without ever once consulting Natural Resources Defense Council or other industry-funded groups.

White Grain Disorder: New fungi behind emerging wheat disease

Researchers have unraveled the mystery cause of the emerging wheat disease White Grain Disorder.

Scientists at the Wheat Biosecurity Laboratory at The Australian National University (ANU) identified the cause of the disease when they isolated three previously undiscovered fungi from infected wheat samples and sequenced their genomes.

"Until now, growers and pathologists have recognised the symptoms of White Grain Disorder, but they haven't known what causes it," said lead researcher Associate Professor Peter Solomon from the ANU Research School of Biology.

Hypoallergenic parks coming soon?

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you're probably sick of this refrain. And you're not alone. Millions of Americans suffer from seasonal allergies. Moreover, there are allergy sufferers around the world echoing this allergy anthem.

Among the ranks is Paloma Carinanos, a professor of Botany at the University of Granada, in Spain. Rather than sitting back with a box of tissue, Dr. Carinanos has taken a more proactive approach to fighting her seasonal allergies. She studies how the trees in urban green spaces contribute to and even cause allergies.