Science Friday for Friday, October 18, 2013

New Fossil May Trim Branches of Human Evolution

Writing in Science , researchers say a 1.8 million-year-old skull found in Dmanisi, Georgia indicates that early humans may have evolved from a single lineage rather than from multiple species. Anthropologist Adam Van Arsdale tells us what this could mean for the way we view human evolution.

Logging In to the Brain's Social Network

Does the pain we feel from rejection and loss have the same effect as physical pain? How does our brain respond to social interactions? In his new book Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect , social neuroscientist Matthew Lieberman describes the biology behind how our brains engage with the social world.

Promising New Treatment for the Deadly Ebola Virus

Current treatments for the Ebola virus only work when they are given immediately after infection. A recent study published in Science Translational Medicine describes a new antibody cocktail that was effective in macaques up to four days after infection. Lead author Gary Kobinger discusses how the treatment targets the virus's quick replication process.

With Shutdown Over, Scientists Assess the Damage

The U.S. government shutdown may be over, but J. Marshall Shepherd, president of the American Meteorological Society, says American science has suffered a lasting blow. He says the shutdown has delayed potentially life-saving research, weakened our international credibility, and signaled to youth that government science may not be a wise career option.

Making Sense of Science Infographics

Modern science infographics can show everything from rising temperatures to population growth�"if you know how to read them. The Best American Infographics 2013 editor Gareth Cook and neuroscientist Stephen Kosslyn explain how to be a savvier infographics reader, and how to spot graphics that mislead.

Vines Choking Out Trees in the Tropics

It's a rivalry as old as forests themselves: the ancient battle between trees and their competitors, the vines. But now, ecologists say, the vines are winning. Bill Laurance, of Australia's James Cook University, says increased forest fragmentation and a boost in carbon dioxide may be contributing to the vines' domination.
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