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What was Earth’s first predator and when did it live?

Posted on 3 Dec 2014 in Evolution, Featured, Journalism

Around the world right now, thousands of animals are about to die at the hands of a predator. But when did this carnage begin? Have predators stalked the Earth since the origin of life itself? Or was our primordial planet once a Garden of Eden where species lived in peaceful co-existence? Image: cavallotkd

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Lucky strike in search for Earth’s most common mineral

Posted on 27 Nov 2014 in Earth Science, Featured, Journalism

Scientific accolades don’t get much bigger. Percy Bridgman, an American physicist active during the first half of the 20th century, has just had one-third of the planet named after him, although it’s a chunk of Earth that we will probably never see. Image: jtaylor14368

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Dog head-turning shows they do understand what you say

Posted on 26 Nov 2014 in Journalism, Life

Our best friends really are good listeners. Dogs have probably ranked as our top companions for more than 30,000 years – new evidence that they can extract plenty of meaning from human speech may explain how they have held on to the number one spot for so long. Image: Adventures with my dogs

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Calorie-burning fat boosted by medicinal Chinese plant

Posted on 26 Nov 2014 in Health, Journalism

Easy weight loss always comes with a catch. A widely taken plant extract has helped obese mice burn off the calories without exercise – but there are concerns over its safety. Image: free photos & art

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Dawn of farming sparked speed-evolution in weeds

Posted on 19 Nov 2014 in Archaeology, Featured, Journalism

It didn’t take long. Just a few thousand years after humans began to domesticate crops, a wide variety of weeds had adapted to exploit the new farmlands – with some species seeming to have evolved, like crops, to be completely dependent on cultivated land. Image: Arthur Chapman

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Cells act like old tape recorders to monitor health

Posted on 13 Nov 2014 in Health, Journalism

They’re the world’s smallest documentary makers. E. coli bacteria have had their DNA hacked so they can store memories of their cellular environment. And they do it in much the same way as an analogue tape recorder. Image: dno1967b

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