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How one group of Indonesians evolved to have bigger spleens
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
We humans are not a stagnant species.Take the Bajau (pronounced Bah-joe). They’re a group of about 5,000 people that have lived on one of Indonesia’s ‘s 17,500 islands for centuries. The Bajau they live close to the water and spend a lot of their time diving for food in the sea, a hydrophilic lifestyle that…
Are humans still evolving? Freediving people have evolved to stay underwater longer
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
New research shows the Bajau Laut people of Southeast Asia have evolved bigger spleens to store more oxygen-rich blood.
Common British flowers can stay dormant underground for 20 years
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Gardeners puzzled by the sudden emergence of an unusual orchid or despairing that their annuals have vanished should take heart. Scientist have discovered that some British flowers can lie dormant under the ground for up to 20 years, emerging into bloom only when the conditions are just right. Native flowers which have the capability of sheltering underground include the lady’s slipper orchid, the dark-red helleborine, spring vetch, autumn’s lady’s tresses, the broad bucker fern and the bee orchid. Researchers at the University of Sussex found at least 114 plant species are capable of living dormant under the soil for up to two decades, enabling them to survive through difficult times. Orchids and ferns seem particularly adept at slumbering for years at a time, the authors discovered. Prof Michael Hutchings, Emeritus Professor in Ecology at the University of Sussex, said: “It would seem to be paradoxical that plants would evolve this behaviour because being underground means they cannot photosynthesise, flower or reproduce. “And yet this study has shown that many plants in a large number of species frequently exhibit prolonged dormancy.  Many of these species have found ways to overcome the loss of opportunities to photosynthesise during dormancy, especially by evolving mechanisms enabling them to obtain carbohydrates and nutrients from soil-based fungal associates.   “This allows them to survive and even thrive during dormant periods.” The research found that dormancy is triggered when the weather is poor, or there is a new threat from herbivores or competing plants. Sometimes winters are so mild that the plant does not realise that spring has begun. Dormancy in seeds has been widely known about and studied for decades but the phenomenon of dormancy within plants that have left the seed stage behind and embarked upon adult life is far less well-known and understood. The study, led by University of Tokyo associate professor Richard Shefferson, is the first detailed analysis of the causes. Dormancy appeared to be more common near the equator, where threats from factors such as disease, competition, herbivores and fire are more severe. Co-author Dr Eric Menges of Archbold Biological Station in Florida, USA, said: “In fire-prone areas, there appears to be an advantage to plants remaining dormant and then sprouting after fire when favourable conditions exist for growth and flowering”. Prof Hutchings added: “Dormancy has evolved and persisted numerous times throughout the evolutionary history of the land plants.   “This suggests not only that it has proved beneficial under many different ecological circumstances, but also that its evolution may be achievable through the occurrence of a small number of mutations at only a few genetic loci.” The research was published in the journal Biology Letters.
Waitresses talk about on
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
"My Reality: A Hidden America": Waitressing is a first job for many in the workforce and these women say they have dealt with lewd comments, inappropriate touching and predatory situations at work.
Brooklyn Postal Worker Hoards 17,000 Pieces of Mail to Focus on 'Important' Deliveries
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
He now faces federal charges
Arizona Teachers Vote for the First
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Arizona teachers voted to walk off the job to demand better school funding. The strike builds on a movement for higher pay in other states
‘Overdose Deaths Do Not Discriminate.’ Prosecutors Discuss Prince’s Death and Why They’re Not Filing Criminal Charges
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Prince thought he was taking Vicodin when he died of a fentanyl overdose in 2016
'I Wrapped My Arm Around Her.' Southwest Passenger Describes Helping Victim After Engine Explosion
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Hollie Mackey was seated in the aisle seat on the same row as Jennifer Riordan
Hubble's 28 years marked by shot of wild stellar nursery
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
NASA marks Hubble Space Telescope's 28th launch anniversary with peek into a wild stellar nursery
Donald Trump’s NASA administrator has finally been confirmed by the Senate
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Jim Bridenstine, perhaps the most politically controversial NASA administrator in history, was confirmed today (April 19) on a party-line vote in the Senate, giving the US space agency a permanent leader for the first time in 15 months. The 50-49 vote puts the Oklahoma congressman in charge of the sprawling space agency and its $20-billion…
Bajau people 'evolved bigger spleens' for free
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
In an example of human natural selection, Asia's Bajau people have evolved bigger spleens for diving.
Prosecutors Investigating Prince's Death to Announce Possible Criminal Charges
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Prosecutors in Minnesota will announce a decision on criminal charges following a probe into Prince's death from an accidental overdose
Smallville Actress Arrested for Role in Alleged Sex Cult that Branded and Enslaved Women
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Prosecutors say she helped recruit sex slaves for leader Keith Raniere
Researchers say humans are responsible for mammals being so small today
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Have you ever wondered why land animals are so small today? Fossils have shown us that many dinosaurs were absolutely massive beasts, evolving over millions and millions of years to become huge, intimidating creature that could crush small animals under their mighty feet, and modern day mammals, by contrast, are tiny. Sure, elephants are big, but that seems to be a rare exception rather than the rule. As it turns out, the plight of many modern elephant species tells us everything we need to know about why mammals are so small: humans keep killing all the big ones. A new study from a team of researchers from several American universities points to humans being the main reason why modern day animals are so tiny compared to the past. The research was published in Science. This is why we can't have nice things. “We used to have animals on the Earth that weighed over 10 tons,” Felisa Smith, a paleoecologist at the University of New Mexico and co-author of the research, told Seeker. “Now the biggest thing is an elephant that on average is only about three and a half-ish, and if they go extinct, then we’re talking about things no bigger than 900 kilos (2,000 pounds). And that’s maximum size. If you look at mean size, it’s much, much different.” The work focuses on what life roamed the earth in the post-dinosaur world, with creatures like the the wooly rhinoceros, mastodon, and the giant sloth which was as large as an elephant. These examples of "megafauna" began to disappear right around the time human ancestors pushed their way out of Africa. The scientists have drawn a pretty damning link between large-scale extinction of huge mammals and the arrival of human ancestors with insatiable appetites. Even more unsettling than what our family tree has done to the animal kingdom may be what lies ahead. Smith and her fellow researchers suggest that, based on the trends humans have set in motion, such as climate change, larger modern animals face a similar fate as the ones we've already pushed to extinction. "If we don’t cope with it, we actually are going to end up with an Earth where there is nothing bigger than a cow," Smith says. "And that’s a depressing thought for me personally.”
Journey into the ravishing Lagoon Nebula with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A Hubble Space Telescope snapshot shows the star Herschel 36 as it emits "powerful ultraviolet radiation and hurricane-like stellar winds."
How 'Hero' Southwest Pilot Pushed to 'Break into the Club' of Elite Navy Fighter Pilots
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Tammie Jo Shults was one of the first female fighter-pilots in the U.S. Navy
What It's Like to Study at the Strictest School in Britain
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Students at Michaela Community School can get a detention for slouching or forgetting a pen. But they seem happy, and they're getting good grades...
Justice Department Sends Confidential Comey Memos to Congress
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Comey wrote the memos after conversations with President Trump, who later fired him
How Asia's Super Divers Evolved for a Life At Sea
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The Bajau people of Southeast Asia are among the most accomplished divers in the world. In the summer of 2015, Melissa Ilardo got to see how good they are firsthand. She remembers diving with Pai Bayubu, who had already gone fairly deep when he saw a giant clam, 30 to 50 feet below him. “He just dropped down,” Ilardo recalls. “He pointed at it, and then he was there. Underwater, the Bajau are as comfortable as most people are on land. They walk on the seafloor. They have complete control of their breath and body. They spear fish, no problem, first try.”
Meet Daisy: Apple’s 200
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Say hello to Daisy, Apple’s latest iPhone recycling robot. Equipped to dissemble 200 iPhones every hour, Daisy allows the company to access parts traditional recyclers cannot.
Rudy Giuliani Wants to End Robert Mueller's Investigation Soon. Trump's Allies Think He Can Do It
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
"If anyone can do that, it would be Rudy"
SpaceX rocket launched carrying planet
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A SpaceX rocket launched from Cape Canaveral Wednesday evening carrying NASA’s latest planet-hunting telescope. Known as TESS, the satellite will look for planets capable of supporting life over a two-year mission.
Officials say postal worker hoarded over 17K pieces of mail
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
NEW YORK (AP) — A postal worker who prosecutors say hoarded away more than 17,000 pieces of undelivered mail in New York City allegedly told investigators he was overwhelmed by the amount of mail he had to deliver.
As its beaches recede, Florida shores up private ownership
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
With his straw hat, rubber waders, and a quartet of 12-foot fishing poles, Peter Schilling is the modern version of an ancient archetype: the surf fisherman, casting knee-deep in the ocean foam. At least twice a week, Mr. Schilling casts the breakers for pompano, whiting, or spotted trout, driving up to Amelia Island from his home in Jacksonville.
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JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
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Rudy Giuliani Joins President Trump's Legal Team in the Russia Probe
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is joining the legal team defending Donald Trump in the special counsel's Russia investigation.
If it’s free online, you are the product
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Facebook is not just in the business of providing you with a service. It is also in the business of farming your data.
Trump told Comey he never slept in Moscow. But he did.
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
According to memos by former FBI Director James Comey, Donald Trump disputed allegations about cavorting with prostitutes in Moscow by insisting that he didn’t spend the night in Moscow during his 2013 trip. But the record clearly shows he did.
Michigan couple gives 14th son creative middle name
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan couple had a little bit of fun naming their 14th son.
The art of parsing apologies
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Sorry to say but in recent days there has been an abundance of apologies from public figures. Mark Zuckerberg, Laura Ingraham, Tony Robbins, Theresa May, Jimmy Kimmel – all have issued some form of regret over words spoken, actions taken, or past neglect. On Thursday, Philadelphia’s police commissioner apologized to two black men, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, who were arrested while merely sitting in a Starbucks.
Doctor Who Illegally Prescribed Prince Painkillers Before Overdose Pays $30,000 Settlement
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Dr. Michael Todd Schulenberg is not the target of criminal investigations
'The Glue That Held Us Together.' Jenna Bush Hager Shares Tribute to Grandmother Barbara Bush
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
She gave an update on President George H.W. Bush: "Because he loves so fiercely in his old age, he's trying to be the one to make the jokes"
Miguel Diaz
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Fidel Castro's brother Raul, 86, remains head of the party
Chuck Schumer to Unveil Bill Decriminalizing Marijuana at the Federal Level
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
"Ultimately, it's the right thing to do"
Minnesota Woman Suspected of Killing Her Husband and Another Woman Has Been Captured in Texas
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A Minnesota woman suspected of killing her husband and another woman in southwest Florida was captured Thursday at a South Texas resort
Students protest gun violence nationwide on Columbine anniversary
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Thousands of students walked out of classes across the United States on Friday, marking the 19th anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School with a show of unity aimed at pressuring politicians to enact tighter gun restrictions.
Diversity on display at tech conference minus 'tech bros'
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
The one-day event held here Tuesday was explicitly designed to to show that the privacy and security sector has a healthy share of female and minority experts who can speak to a wide spectrum of issues relevant to a male-dominated industry. OURSA, short for Our Security Advocates, was conceived in early March after a major security convention, the RSA conference, announced a list of 20 keynote presenters with only one woman: Monica Lewinsky, who was to speak on cyberbullying.
Churches struggle with their #MeToo moment
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
Basyle “Boz” Tchividjian has devoted most of his career to an emotionally and spiritually wrenching task. A former prosecutor, he’s been investigating charges of sexual misconduct and child abuse for nearly three decades. “It was an eye opener for us, we left our soul behind after the investigation,” says Mr. Tchividjian, who in 2003 founded an organization called GRACE, or Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment.
Deep Sea Mystery: How Do These Sea Nomads Free
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The freediving Bajau people of Southeast Asia, however, are not your average people. Scientists have discovered the group of “sea nomads” may have developed genetic adaptations that allow them to free dive to depths of up to 230 ft. Bajau members report lasting up to thirteen minutes underwater in a single dive. For more than 1,000 years the Bajau have lived off of the seas in Southeast Asia.
Paul Manafort Had a Suspected Role as 'Back Channel' Between Russia and Trump Campaign, DOJ Says
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Mueller’s interest in Manafort stemmed from his suspected role as a “back channel” for the Russians
The Origin Story of Mars' Moons Has Taken Unexpected Turn
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Somehow weirder than we thought.
Justice Department Files Criminal Referral About Fired FBI Deputy Chief Andrew McCabe
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Prosecutors could decide to charge him with a crime if they conclude he intentionally lied
No turkeys, please: Owner seeks gander for pet goose
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (AP) — Lucy is a lover of long walks and a shared dinner of weeds, and she's looking for love.
Mom: Preschool's ban of the term 'best friend' is silly
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
GEORGETOWN, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts family is looking for a new preschool for their 4-year-old daughter because her current school has barred use of the term "best friend."
Kushner Companies Has Been Subpoenaed as Part of a Probe Into False Housing Paperwork
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
AP reported the company routinely filed false paperwork about its buildings with New York City
NASA’s Lunar Space Station Is Almost Here
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The first contract to build components of the “Gateway” will be awarded next year.
What technologies are used to avoid major airline disasters?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Delta and Southwest airline accidents open the door to safety concerns. The 'CyberGuy' Kurt Knutsson reacts on 'Fox & Friends First.'
President Trump Says He'll Pull the Plug on the North Korea Summit if He Feels it Won't be 'Fruitful'
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Donald Trump said he'll pull out of a historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un if he feels it’s “not going to be fruitful”