By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Dinosaurs, those bygone masters of the planet, were warm-blooded just like today's mammals, according to a scientist who judged their metabolism using body mass and growth rates deduced from fossils of species including Tyrannosaurus rex. Paleontologist Michael D'Emic of Stony Brook University in New York took issue with the conclusion of other researchers last year that dinosaurs were neither cold-blooded nor warm-blooded, but had a metabolism somewhere in between. Scientists have debated since the 19th century whether dinosaurs were slow, lumbering, cold-blooded creatures, as originally thought, or boasted a more warm-blooded physiology allowing for a vigorous lifestyle.
By Robert Muller CHRUDIM, Czech Republic (Reuters) - Scientists battling a bee-killing disease are about to start testing a new weapon -- a sun-heated hive designed by a Czech high school teacher. Roman Linhart told Reuters he had secured a patent for his invention after 10 years of research into ways of wiping out varroosis disease, which has been destroying bee colonies across the world. The teacher at Chrudim's Secondary School of Agriculture, 120 km (75 miles) east from Prague, joins a line-up of experts who have been trying to find an efficient way to tackle the condition for decades.
By Ben Gruber Pittsburgh, Pensylvania - Researchers have taken their serpentine machines, developed over decades at Carnegie Mellon University in the United States, and connected them to a central hub to create one of the most robust robots ever developed. Its creators have named it the Snake Monster. At the technology's core, says robotics professor Howie Choset, are modules which connect to each other, allowing researchers to easily assemble and program task-specific robots in minutes. "These modules that we have designed and other modules to be designed, they are like a smart Lego set. Choset says robots that can be easily assembled could potentially have a huge impact on how search and rescue operations are carried out in the future.
Amid evidence of fraud in a high-profile study on how canvassers can convince people to back same-sex marriage, the journal Science, which published the study, retracted it on Thursday. The senior author agreed to the retraction, Science editor-in-chief Marcia McNutt said in a statement on the journal's website. Specifically, the study examined whether door-to-door canvassers who identify as gay can convince people to support same-sex marriage and do so more effectively than heterosexual canvassers.
By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Jaw and teeth fossils found on the silty clay surface of Ethiopia's Afar region represent a previously unknown member of humankind's family tree that lived 3.3 to 3.5 million years ago alongside the famous human ancestor "Lucy," scientists say. The fossils shed new light on a key period in the human lineage's evolution before the emergence of our genus Homo and provide the first evidence that two early human ancestor species lived at the same time and place prior to 3 million years ago, they said in announcing the discovery on Wednesday. The new species, Australopithecus deyiremeda, combined ape-like and human-like traits as did Lucy's species, Australopithecus afarensis, but was sufficiently different to warrant recognition as a separate species, they said.