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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
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ScienceShot: Are Major Earthquakes Linked?
2 August 2012 12:44 pm
Two of the six largest quakes since 1900—the magnitude-8.8 temblor that rocked Chile in February 2010, and the 9.0 quake that slammed Japan in March 2011 (damage shown)—occurred just 13 months apart. What's more, a group of four major shocks around the Pacific Rim in the early 1960s occurred within the span of 57 months. Coincidence? Probably, say researchers who analyzed the spacing of temblors with a magnitude of 8.3 or greater that occurred from 1900 through 2011. The chance of two such quakes occurring within 1 year of each other was 9.5%, the researchers report today in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. That's about the same chances of duplicating any particular arrangement of quakes, the researchers say—even a pattern with widely scattered shocks that isn't particularly remarkable. After comparing the actual pattern of temblors in the past 111 years with hundreds of patterns generated by three different statistical distributions, the team says there's no compelling evidence that major quakes are linked. So next time a big quake happens somewhere in the world, rest easy: It doesn't bode ill for your local fault zone.
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