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Articles written by Malcolm Ritter

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Science Says: Airplane turbulence can strike out of the blue

NEW YORK (AP) — They literally don't see it coming. "Clear-air turbulence," which evidently jolted an Air Canada flight Thursday over the Pacific Ocean, strikes almost literally out of the blue, with no visible warning in the sky ahead. An...

 

Greek find called earliest sign of our species out of Africa

NEW YORK (AP) — Scientists say they've identified the earliest sign of our species outside Africa, a chunk of skull recovered from a cave in southern Greece. Its estimated age is at least 210,000 years old, making it 16,000 or more years older...

 

Scientists feel chill of crackdown on fetal tissue research

WASHINGTON (AP) — To save babies from brain-damaging birth defects, University of Pittsburgh scientist Carolyn Coyne studies placentas from fetuses that otherwise would be discarded — and she's worried this kind of research is headed for the chop...

 

Chinese fossil sheds light on mysterious Neanderthal kin

NEW YORK (AP) — Nearly 40 years after it was found by a monk in a Chinese cave, a fossilized chunk of jawbone has been revealed as coming from a mysterious relative of the Neanderthals. Until now, the only known remains of these Denisovans were a...

 

Scientists spur some activity in brains of slaughtered pigs

NEW YORK (AP) — Scientists restored some activity within the brains of pigs that had been slaughtered hours before, raising hopes for some medical advances and questions about the definition of death. The brains could not think or sense anything,...

 

Bones from Philippine cave reveal a new human cousin

NEW YORK (AP) — Fossil bones and teeth found in the Philippines have revealed a long-lost cousin of modern people, which evidently lived around the time our own species was spreading from Africa to occupy the rest of the world.  It's yet another r...

 

Science Says: Why scientists prize plant, animal genomes

NEW YORK (AP) — Just about every week, it seems, scientists publish the unique DNA code of some creature or plant. Just in February, they published the genome for the strawberry, the paper mulberry tree, the great white shark and the Antarctic...

 

NASA's plan to scoop up dirt from asteroid hits a snag

NEW YORK (AP) — NASA's plan to scoop up dirt and gravel from an asteroid has hit a snag, but scientists say they can overcome it. The asteroid Bennu was thought to have wide, open areas suitable for the task. But a recently arrived spacecraft...

 

Scientists back temporary global ban on gene-edited babies

NEW YORK (AP) — An international group of scientists and ethicists on Wednesday called for a temporary global ban on making babies with edited genes. It's the latest reaction to last November's announcement that gene-edited twins had been born in...

 

Lab revokes honors for controversial DNA scientist Watson

NEW YORK (AP) — James Watson, the Nobel Prize-winning DNA scientist who lost his job in 2007 for expressing racist views, was stripped of several honorary titles Friday by the New York lab he once headed. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory said it was...

 

Skulls reveal Neanderthals, humans had similarly harsh lives

NEW YORK (AP) — Life as a Neanderthal was no picnic, but a new analysis says it was no more dangerous than what our own species faced in ancient times. That challenges what the authors call the prevailing view of our evolutionary cousins, that...

 

Study: DNA websites cast broad net for identifying people

NEW YORK (AP) — About 60 percent of the U.S. population with European heritage may be identifiable from their DNA by searching consumer websites, even if they've never made their own genetic information available, a study estimates. And that...

 

Genetic glitch increases men's risk of impotence, study says

NEW YORK (AP) — Scientists say they've located the first well-documented genetic glitch that increases a man's risk of impotence, a step that might someday lead to new treatments. Most impotence isn't caused by genetics but rather things like...

 

Chemistry Nobel for using evolution to create new proteins

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Three scientists won the Nobel Prize in chemistry Wednesday for using a sped-up version of evolution to create new proteins that have led to a best-selling drug and other products. The Royal Swedish Academy of Science said their...

 

Science fiction into reality: Nobel Prize honors laser work

NEW YORK (AP) — Scientists from the United States, Canada and France won the Nobel Prize in physics Tuesday for revolutionizing the use of lasers in research, finding ways to make them deliver more powerful flashes of light and even to act like...

 

Memory's frailty may be playing role in Kavanaugh matter

NEW YORK (AP) — She says he sexually assaulted her; he denies it. Is somebody deliberately lying? Not necessarily. Experts say that because of how memory works, it's possible that both Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey...

 

Lab test may identify dangerous gene mutations, study finds

NEW YORK (AP) — Scientists say they've found a new way to help determine whether specific genetic abnormalities are likely to make people sick, a step toward avoiding a vexing uncertainty that can surround DNA test results. Researchers used...

 

#Ancient? Crisscrossed lines called world's oldest drawing

NEW YORK (AP) — It looks a bit like a hashtag, but it's 73,000 years old. And scientists say this tiny sketch found in a South African cave is the oldest known drawing. It's not the earliest deliberate design; some abstract engravings are far...

 

Have you herd? Moose, bighorn sheep pass on migration tips

NEW YORK (AP) — Looking for the best place to eat? Ask a local. Now scientists say that same insider knowledge shapes the springtime migrations of moose and bighorn sheep. Animals learn from experienced members of the herd about where to find the...

 

DNA to X-ray: Military has variety of tools to ID remains

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. military remains released by North Korea on Friday will be sent to a military lab in Hawaii, where they'll enter a system that routinely identifies service members from decades-old conflicts. Identifications depend on...

 

Gene tests can provide health clues -- and needless worry

NEW YORK (AP) — Last year, Katie Burns got a phone call that shows what can happen in medicine when information runs ahead of knowledge. Burns learned that a genetic test of her fetus had turned up an abnormality. It appeared in a gene that, when i...

 

Study offers new look at why our brains evolved to be so big

NEW YORK (AP) — Why do people have such big brains? Some researchers asked a really powerful brain — a computer — and got back a surprising answer. In relation to body size, our brains are huge, about six times larger than one would expect...

 

Hawking's last physics paper argues for a 'simpler' cosmos

NEW YORK (AP) — Weeks after his death, physicist Stephen Hawking has delivered his last thoughts about the nature of the cosmos, and he says it may be simpler than often believed. Well, simpler if you understand theoretical physics, anyway. It...

 

Parenting of the future: Many embryos, each with DNA profile

NEW YORK (AP) — So you want to have a baby. Would you like a dark-haired girl with a high risk of someday getting colon cancer, but a good chance of above-average music ability? Or would you prefer a girl with a good prospect for high SAT scores...

 

Stone tools from Kenya give early glimpse of human behavior

NEW YORK (AP) — Stone tools and other items from ancient sites in Kenya give a glimpse at the emergence of some key human behaviors, perhaps including a building of relationships with distant neighbors, new research says. Scientists can't be sure...

 

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