To an outsider, the archaeological finds from Estate Little Princess in the U.S. Virgin Islands—fish and pig bones from centuries-old meals, buttons that fell off clothing, bits of coarse local pottery—might not look like much. But to archaeologists, they are treasures that offer an intimate look into some of the most enigmatic lives in modern history: those of the enslaved Africans who once lived there.
Genetic engineering proponents have long promised the technology will help meet the world’s growing demand for food. But despite the success of genetically modified pest -resistant crops, scientists haven’t had much success with boosting crop growth. Now, researchers have shown for the first time that they can increase corn yields up to 10% by changing a gene for plant growth.
Few things are more adorable—or destructive—than a new puppy. When they pee on rugs, chew furniture, and get aggressive with other pups, their stressed-out owners usually turn to dog training. Now, a novel study suggests programs that use even relatively mild punishments like yelling and leash-jerking can stress dogs out, making them more “pessimistic” than dogs that experience reward-based training.
Live in the urban jungle long enough, and you might start to see things—in particular, humanmade objects like cars and furniture. That’s what researchers found when they melded photos of artificial items with images of animals and asked 20 volunteers what they saw. The people, all of whom lived in cities, overwhelmingly noticed the manufactured objects as the animals faded into the background.
In 2016, a 73-year-old woman from Medellín, Colombia, flew to Boston so researchers could scan her brain, analyze her blood, and pore over her genome. She carried a genetic mutation that had caused many in her family to develop dementia in middle age. But for decades, she had avoided the disease. The researchers now report that another rare mutation—this one in the well-known Alzheimer’s disease risk gene APOE—may have protected her.