Analysis of DNA from early settlers of the pacific overturns leading genetic model

A scientific team analyzed DNA from people who lived in Tonga and Vanuatu between 2,500 and 3,100 years ago, and were among the first people to live in these islands. The results overturn the leading genetic model for this last great movement of humans to unoccupied but habitable lands.

Flu virus’ best friend: Low humidity

Researchers have pinpointed a key reason why people are more likely to get sick and even die from flu during winter months: low humidity.

Wrens’ calls reveal subtle differences between subspecies

Birds' songs and the ways they vary between places have been well studied -- but what can the simpler vocalizations known as calls tell us about bird biology? A new study provides the first detailed description of how Marsh Wren calls vary across eastern North America and hints at the evolutionary processes playing out between wren subspecies.

Northern corn leaf blight genes identified in new study

Midwestern corn growers know the symptoms of northern corn leaf blight all too well: greenish-gray lesions on the leaves that can add up to major yield losses if not detected and treated early. Corn resistance genes have been identified, but the fungal disease has found ways to sneak around corn's defenses. Now, researchers have discovered how the fungus is outsmarting corn, and they may be able to use this information to help corn fight back.

An RNA key that unlocks innate immunity

New research shows that a versatile RNA molecule may be a key player in human cells' frontline defenses against viruses.

78,000 year cave record from East Africa shows early cultural innovations

Scientists have excavated the Panga ya Saidi cave site, in the coastal hinterland of Kenya. The excavations and analyses represent the longest archaeological sequence in East Africa over the last 78,000 years. The evidence for gradual cultural changes does not support dramatic revolutions, and despite being close to the coast, there is no evidence that humans were using coastal 'super-highways' for migrations.

Scientists synthesize molecule capable of eliminating hepatitis C virus

The compound called GA-Hecate also acts on bacteria, fungi and cancer cells and will be tested against Zika and yellow fever viruses.

The amazing recovery of Yosemite’s yellow-legged frog

With 7,000 amphibian surveys conducted over 20 years, biologists detail the remarkable recovery of an endangered frog species in Yosemite.

Why cereal crops are so drought-tolerant

Cereal is much more drought-tolerant than other plants. Researchers have now found out why that is so. Their insight could help breed crops that are more resistant to drought.

Fish can detox too — but not so well, when it comes to mercury

By examining the tissues at a subcellular level, researchers discovered yelloweye rockfish were able to immobilize several potentially toxic elements within their liver tissues (cadmium, lead, and arsenic) thus preventing them from interacting with sensitive parts of the cell. But mercury was found in concentrations known to be toxic - and most of it was in sensitive sites, such as mitochondria and enzymes, within liver cells.

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Migrants stranded off Italy rescued after 19 days at sea

Italy's interior minister banned migrant rescue vessels from docking in Italy

Cardinal George Pell loses appeal against sexual abuse convictions

By a two-to-one majority, the judges upheld Pell's sex abuse convictions. He is serving a six-year sentence.

NASA scientists tracking Greenland’s melting ice

President Trump has expressed interest in purchasing Greenland. But there is something he should know -- the real estate is melting. Seth Doane reports from Greenland.