60-Second Science

Science news and technology updates from Scientific American. Leading science journalists provide a daily minute commentary on some of the most interesting developments in the world of science.

Bird's Song Staying Power Implies Culture (6/2018)

Certain motifs in swamp sparrow songs can last hundreds, even thousands of years—evidence of a cultural tradition in the birds. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Alaskan Beluga Whales Ace Hearing Exam (6/2018)

Researchers tested the hearing of beluga whales in an Alaskan bay and found that they seem to have suffered little hearing loss due to ocean noise. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Fat-Carb Combo Is a Potent One-Two Punch (6/2018)

Foods high in both carbs and fats tickle the brain’s reward circuits more so than snacks that showcase just one or the other. Karen Hopkin reports. 

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Jupiter Crackles with Polar Lightning (6/2018)

Juno spacecraft data suggest lightning on Jupiter is much more common than we thought—but it congregates near the poles, not the equator as on Earth. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

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Coral Reefs Keep Costly Waves at Bay (6/2018)

A new analysis found the flood protection benefits of coral reefs save the global economy $4 billion dollars a year. Christopher Intagliata reports. 

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Hippo Dung Fouls Up Freshwater Fisheries (6/2018)

Hippo poop is piling up in Tanzania’s freshwater fisheries—which is bad news for biodiversity, and deleterious for the dinner plate. Jason G. Goldman reports. 

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A Litmus Test for Bad Breath (6/2018)

Researchers engineered a portable device that detects even the tiniest trace of hydrogen sulfide—one of the primary offenders in bad breath. Karen Hopkin reports. 

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Prez (of AMA) Issues Call to Arms-Science (6/2018)

At the AMA annual meeting the organization's president petitioned for an evidence-based, science-driven analysis of gun violence and solutions.

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Powder Pulls Drinking Water from Desert Air (6/2018)

A structure known as a metal organic framework traps water vapor by night, then releases it when heated the next day. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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Ancient Clan War Explains Genetic Diversity Drop (6/2018)

Some 5,000 to 7,000 years ago, the diversity of Y chromosomes plummeted. A new analysis suggests clan warfare may have been the cause. Christopher Intagliata reports.

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