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Top stories: Drunk chimps, dinosaur blood, and irreproducible research

Top stories: Drunk chimps, dinosaur blood, and irreproducible research

Signs of ancient cells and proteins found in dinosaur fossils

Scientists studying a collection of dinosaur fossils have made an amazing discovery: They've uncovered what appear to be ancient dinosaur blood cells and protein fibers. The find suggests that this kind of soft tissue preservation may be more common than anyone had guessed, and it could help us figure out how ancient dinosaur proteins differ from their modern relatives.

Study claims $28 billion a year spent on irreproducible biomedical research

An eye-popping $28 billion is spent in the United States each year on preclinical research that can’t be reproduced by other researchers. That’s the conclusion of a provocative analysis published this week by economists and biologists who based their findings on past studies of error rates in biomedical studies. Some researchers have said that the figure may overstate the extent of any problem, but the lead author says it is meant to stimulate discussion.

Nomadic herders left a strong genetic mark on Europeans and Asians

How did the Bronze Age come to Europe and Asia 5000 years ago? Two of the largest studies of ancient DNA from Bronze Age and Iron Age people have now found that outsiders deserve the credit: Nomadic herders from today's Russia and Ukraine brought their culture with them—and made a lasting imprint on the genetic makeup of Europeans and Asians.

Chimps caught drinking after hours

A new study of chimps with easy access to palm wine shows that some drink it enthusiastically and may actually crave it as humans do. The discovery could help us figure out why humans evolved a craving for alcohol, with all its pleasures and pains.

World’s heaviest dinosaur just lost tons of weight

Dreadnoughtus, supposedly the world's heaviest dinosaur, just lost tons of weight—literally. The massive dino was originally thought to weigh 59 metric tons, as heavy as a herd of elephants. Now, scientists are putting its weight at somewhere between 28 and 38 metric tons. It's a downsizing of dinosaurian proportions!