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Ecstasy Could Help Adults With Autism Cope

For some people with autism, the idea of facing social situations can be so unnerving it impairs their ability to finish school, hold a job or form relationships.

Listen to Baby Humpback Whales Whisper to Their Mothers

Humpback whale babies don't scream for their mothers' attention — they whisper. Researchers who listened in on communications between humpback whale mothers and their calves believe they recorded what amounts to a whale whisper.

The Search is on for New Horizons' Next Target

The eyes of the world turned from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft after its 2015 flyby at Pluto. But on New Year’s Eve next year, the space probe will zoom past another object unlike any astronomers have ever seen before.

Uncovering the Secrets of Blood Falls

In the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica, pristine glaciers are marred in one spot by a striking feature: a crimson stain on the white cliffs, looking not unlike a gaping wound in the ice.

Artificial Placenta Keeps Premature Lambs Alive for 28 Days

Lamb fetuses have been sustained for four weeks outside of their mothers' bodies with a new system that mimics a placenta.

Plastic Bags Are a Feast for This Caterpillar

A caterpillar that can eat plastic and produce an industrially useful compound while doing so could take a bite out of the global scourge of plastic trash, a new study finds.

The Hobbit: A Lineage More Ancient Than Once Thought?

The 2003 discovery of the Homo floresiensis added a new, weird branch to the human family tree. At the same time humans were spreading across Asia and Neanderthals were inching toward extinction in Europe (and the mysterious Denisovans were doing … something), this three-and-a-half foot human relative was carving out an existence on the Flores island in what is now Indonesia.

Naked Mole-rats Can Go 18 Minutes Without Oxygen

Though they may look ugly to us, naked mole-rats never want for friendship. The hairless rodents live in large colonies under the earth, inhabiting byzantine warrens under the soil of their native East Africa.

Potentially Balmy Super-Earth Is a Tempting Case Study in Habitability

A new, nearby exoplanet could be just the boilerplate needed to find out if life could exist in untold numbers of star systems.

Untangling the Ancient Inca Code of Strings

Two vibrant bundles of string, over 10,000 feet high in the Peruvian Andes, may hold clues for deciphering the ancient code of the Inca civilization.

Indian Frog Secretes Virus-destroying Compound Through Its Skin

A peptide secreted by a species of Indian frog can destroy variants of the influenza virus. Frogs, with little defensive weaponry to rely on, have armed themselves with a chemical arsenal that gets leached out through their skins.

Eye Movements Betray 'Eureka!' Moments

You've likely seen some version of this scenario on television or in the halls of a university: A researcher runs out of the lab in a frenzy, electrified after suddenly arriving at the solution to an impossible problem. These "aha!

New Material Sucks Drinking Water Out Of Thin Air

A thin lattice of metals and organic compounds could turn moisture trapped in the atmosphere into drinkable water using only the power of the sun.

Tarzan-inspired Robot Swings Like a Champion

As robots take on greater roles in society, one simple question remains without a satisfying answer: How are they going to move around?

Hydrothermal Vents on Enceladus Hint at Life Beyond Earth

In 1977, a group of marine researchers discovered something they’d only before theorized: cracks in the ocean floor releasing heat, warming up (and often boiling) the ocean around it.

Magnetic Maps Behind one of Nature’s Craziest Migrations

In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, there’s an enormous patch of seaweed that’s perplexed sailors for centuries: the Sargasso Sea.

Deception Island Keeps Deceiving Gentoo Penguins

Over the past 7,000 years, as mighty civilizations rose and crumbled, another saga was playing out in the southern reaches of the world.

This Is Why Your Shoelaces Are Always Untied

Hey, your shoe is untied, and now scientists know why: the combination of foot stomping and leg swinging cause the laces to slip apart.

13,000-Year-Old Fillings Prove Ancient Dentistry Was Brutal

Going to the dentist may not be any fun today, but 13,000 years ago it would have been outright traumatic.

Octopuses Edit Their Genetic Code Like No Other Animal

New research into the cephalopod genome is undermining our assumptions about evolution, and the role that DNA mutations play in updating a species' physiology.