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6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
- 6 March 2014 1:04 pm , Vol. 343 , #6175
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ScienceShot: (Very) Early Bloomers
1 October 2013 4:00 pm
Could the early dinosaurs and ancestral crocodiles of the Triassic period stop and smell the flowers? Six fossilized pollen grains found in northern Switzerland suggest they could. The earliest appearance of flowering, fruiting plants, known as angiosperms, is still under debate: Many estimates place their origins in the early Cretaceous period—about 140 million years ago—but there have been controversial claims of even earlier examples. The newly discovered grains, stuck inside silty core samples about 900 meters deep, are roughly 240 million years old and bear the key features of known angiosperm fossils, the researchers report online today in Frontiers in Plant Science. Seen through a laser scanning microscope that reveals 3D structure, the tiny objects (shown) sport perforated outer walls with a single furrow, reminiscent of ancestral angiosperms. But pushing the origin of flowering plants into the Middle Triassic period presents a new puzzle: explaining a 100-million-year gap in the fossil record.