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Study: A tenth of the world’s wilderness lost since the 1990s

Researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology show catastrophic declines in wilderness areas around the world over the last 20 years. They demonstrate alarming losses comprising a tenth of global wilderness since the 1990s – an area twice the size of Alaska and half the size of the Amazon. The Amazon and Central Africa have been hardest hit. The findings underscore an …

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Lauren McCauley – Fall of the Wild: Study Documents ‘Catastrophic Decline’ in World’s Untouched Places

Wilderness, though remote by nature, is not immune to the ravages of humanity. In fact, according to a new study in the journal Current Biology, the world’s wild places are undergoing “catastrophic decline” and could be facing elimination within decades if monumental policy shifts are not implemented. “If we don’t act soon, there will only be tiny remnants of wilderness around the planet, …

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EARLY STRESS MIGHT MAKE BRAINS GROW UP TOO FAST

Scientists understand that stress in early childhood can create lifelong psychological troubles, but have only begun to explain how they emerge in the brain. For example, they have observed that stress incurred early in life attenuates neural growth. Now a new study with male mice exposed to stress shows that the hippocampus reaches some developmental milestones early—essentially maturing faster in …

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Boehner Blames California Drought On Obama BY JOE ROMM

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) took to Facebook on Tuesday to recast California’s worst drought in 1200 years as a “man-made water shortage” — not worsened by climate change, but by President Obama himself. He also asserted that, in the midst of the historic Dust Bowl conditions, Americans still have a God-given right to green lawns. Boehner, of course, famously said in May that …

Did Affluence Spur the Rise of Modern Religions? By Bret Stetka

About 2,500 years ago something changed the way humans think. Within the span of two centuries, in three separate regions of Eurasia, spiritual movements emerged that would give rise to the world’s major moral religions, those preaching some combination of compassion, humility and asceticism. Scholars often attribute the rise of these moral religions—Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Christianity included—to population …

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Our bond with dogs may go back more than 27,000 years

Dogs’ special relationship to humans may go back 27,000 to 40,000 years, according to genomic analysis of an ancient Taimyr wolf bone reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on May 21. Earlier genome-based estimates have suggested that the ancestors of modern-day dogs diverged from wolves no more than 16,000 years ago, after the last Ice Age. The genome from this …