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Decades ago, while Philip H. Lieberman was soaking in a bathtub and listening to the radio, he heard anthropologist Loren Eiseley ponder an evolutionary puzzle: Why couldn’t monkeys talk? Like us, they’re social primates, intelligent and certainly not quiet. Rhesus macaques grunt, coo, screech and scream. Infant macaques make sounds known as geckers.   Despite the grunting and geckering, though, no
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The US has a long history of scientific discoveries. From the invention of the steam-powered boat engine in the 18th century to the sequencing of the human genome at the turn of the 21st, each state can claim its own scientific advancements.   To celebrate those achievements, we’ve compiled a list of important science discoveries in every state. Scroll through
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Scientists in Canada have used commercially available genetic material to piece together the extinct horsepox virus, a cousin of the smallpox virus that killed as many as a billion human beings before being eradicated. The laboratory achievement was reported Thursday in a news article in the journal Science.   The lead researcher in Canada, David Evans,
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Science fiction is full of fanciful devices that allow light to interact forcefully with matter, from light sabers to photon-drive rockets. In recent years, science has begun to catch up; some results hint at interesting real-world interactions between light and matter at atomic scales, and researchers have produced devices such as optical tractor beams, tweezers,
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The School of Science has announced that seven of its faculty members have been granted tenure by MIT. This year’s newly-tenured professors are: Mircea Dincă, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry, addresses research challenges related to the storage and consumption of energy and global environmental concerns through the synthesis and characterization of new inorganic
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The School of Engineering recently honored outstanding faculty, undergraduates, and graduate students, with the following awards:  Lorna Gibson, the Matoula S. Salapatas Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and a professor of mechanical engineering, won the Bose Award for Excellence in Teaching, given to a faculty member whose contributions have been characterized by dedication, care, and
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A review of three separate experiments has turned up “remarkably similar” results, pointing to what researchers say is a strong possibility that we’ve found hits of a phenomenon that goes beyond the standard model of particle physics.  When taken together, data from experiments conducted in the US, Switzerland, and Japan, have yielded a result with
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Since the discovery of graphene in 2004, there’s been a proliferation of strange new two-dimensional materials. In all of them, scientists have been chasing one invaluable property – magnetism, which is crucial for data storage, medical devices, and electricity generators. After years of searching, many suspected that true two-dimensional magnets might not actually exist. But
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Scientists have uncovered the earliest hints of human-caused changes in Earth’s geological processes, and they suggest that we’ve been impacting the planet’s climate and ecosystems for up to 11,500 years. Based on core samples dug up from the Dead Sea, erosion rates in the area were completely incompatible with what was going on elsewhere during
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Some 5,000 light-years from Earth, there’s a bizarre and mysterious nebula that clocks an average temperature of just 1 Kelvin (−272.15 °C or −457.87 °F), making it the coldest natural object in the known Universe. For decades, scientists have struggled to explain how this otherwise unremarkable cloud of gas maintains temperatures colder than empty space