Author Archives: Christopher Intagliata

If Singing’s Tough, Try Whistling

A new study claims it’s easier to accurately whistle a melody than to sing it. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

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NYC Mice Are Packed with Pathogens

Mice trapped in New York City apartment buildings harbored disease-causing bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Some Habitable Zone Exoplanets May Get X-Rayed Out

Red dwarfs are a popular place to hunt for small exoplanets in the habitable zone—but the stars’ radiation bursts might fry chances for life as we know it. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Brain Scan Might Reveal Appetite for Risk

Volunteers willing to place riskier bets tended to sport larger amygdalas—a region associated with processing fear. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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13,000-Year-Old Footprints under West Coast Beach

Several feet below a beach in British Columbia, archaeologists discovered soil trampled by human feet—the oldest footprints found so far in North America. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Math Cracks a Knuckle-Cracking Mystery

The source of knuckle cracking sounds is much debated—but new mathematical models may reconcile two opposing views. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Rotting Flesh Offers Insight on Fossilization

To learn more about decay and fossilization, researchers conduct unorthodox experiments—like dissecting decomposing animals in the lab. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Arctic Heat Waves Linked to Snowpocalypse-Like Storms

An analysis of more than six decades of daily temperature and snowfall data linked warmer arctic temperatures to cold snaps at lower latitudes. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Gut Parasites Have Their Own Gut Microbiomes

The whipworm lives in the human gut, mooching microbes from its host to build its own microbiome. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Saliva Protein Might Inhibit Intestinal Anarchy

A protein found in spit prevents bad bugs from binding to intestinal cells in the lab, pointing to a possible way to lower the chances of dysentery. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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To See Gun Injury Drop, Hold an NRA Meeting

When the National Rifle Association holds its national convention, gun injuries drop 20 percent—perhaps because fewer gun owners are around their guns. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Big Cities Have Fewer Tweeters Per Capita

But those who do tweet in big cities are more prolific—tweeting more often, on average, than their small-town counterparts. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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How Baby Birds Learn to Duet

Recordings of songbird duets reveal baby birds learn conversational turn-taking like we do: gradually, and from adults. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Undersea Recordings Reveal a Whale’s Tale

By eavesdropping on the calls of blue whales, researchers hope to get a more accurate picture of the massive mammals’ distribution and abundance. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Seabird Feathers Reveal Less-Resilient Ocean

By analyzing 130 years of seabird feathers, researchers determined that food webs are losing complexity in the Pacific—meaning less-resilient ecosystems. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Boat Noise Means Fish Can’t Learn Their Lessons

Damselfish had trouble learning to avoid predators, when that lesson was accompanied by a soundtrack of buzzing boat engines. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Woodpeckers Drum to Their Own Tunes

The length and spacing of woodpecker drum rolls varies enough to tell woodpeckers apart—which could be useful to conservation biologists. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Killer Whale Culture Revealed by Mimicking Us

Orcas can imitate calls from other whales and even human speech—suggesting they can transmit cultural practices, such as unique dialects. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Wildfires Spike Wine with Smoky Notes

Chemists are working on ways for wildfire-affected winemakers to avoid creating smoky wines. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Catching Flu Also Boosts Heart Risk

Researchers found a sixfold increase in heart attacks in patients in the week following a flu. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Moon’s Tug Doesn’t Cause Big Quakes

An analysis of more than 200 earthquakes over the past four centuries concludes there’s no connection between moon phases and big earthquakes. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Salmonella Could Have Caused 16th-Century Epidemic

Using a new algorithm, geneticists uncovered the pathogen that could have caused a massive epidemic in the Aztec empire: Salmonella bacteria. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Which Came First, the Proboscis or the Flower?

A new fossil find reveals that the sucking tongue of butterflies—or proboscis—appears to have evolved before the emergence of flowers. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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You Live in a Strange Solar System

Astronomers found that other star systems tend to host similarly sized exoplanets—far different from ours. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Finches Can Learn To Sing Differently Than Their Genetics Dictate

The song training that Bengalese finches received appeared to overcome tempo tendencies baked into their genes. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Finding Further Places For Solar Panels

Siting solar panels over rooftops, parking lots, reservoirs and contaminated land could generate heaps of energy—with minimal effects on agriculture or the environment. Christopher Intagliata…

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This Fish Emits Damaging Decibels

The Gulf corvina produces a chattering chorus that’s one of the loudest underwater animal sounds on the planet. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Radiation Might Help Heart Regain Its Rhythm

A flash of radiation drastically reduced arrhythmia in a small group of patients, for at least a year after treatment. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Something Clicks for Dolphin Identification

Machine-learning algorithms teased seven distinct dolphin clicking patterns from a library of more than 50 million clicks, identifying one species by sound alone. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Invasive Frogs Don’t Bug Hawaiian Birds

Coquí frogs are invasive species in Hawaii. But they don’t seem to bug the islands’ native and non-native birds. Jason G. Goldman reports.

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