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6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
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...
- 6 March 2014 1:04 pm , Vol. 343 , #6175
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ScienceShot: More Babies, More Problems
26 February 2014 1:45 pm
Raising offspring is so stressful that it could take years off your life. That’s the conclusion of a new study on Western jackdaws (Corvus monedula), crowlike birds that live in both cities and rural areas across Europe. Over an 8-year period, researchers manipulated the number of young that 186 parent birds across the Netherlands had to raise. They tracked the jackdaws with colored leg bands, ensuring that those who received extra nestlings one year also did so the next year, and those who lost nestlings always raised smaller broods. Over time, both mother and father birds who parented more young—about six or seven birds instead of two or three—had a 34% to 64% drop in remaining life expectancy, the researchers report online this month in Ecology Letters. A 2-year-old parent bird’s average remaining lifespan, for example, dropped from 2.64 years to 1.73 years. In reality, these numbers probably underestimate the total lifespan cost of reproduction, the scientists hypothesize, because the experimental setup didn’t take into consideration the effects of producing and incubating eggs. The results likely hold true for other bird species—the jackdaw’s parenting behaviors are typical for nesting birds. No word yet on whether they apply to humans.