Open access has reached a milestone: Fifty percent of all papers are now freely available within a year or two of publication, concludes a new study . The study’s authors say that open-access publishing has reached a “tipping point” and will now accelerate. But some observers have been quick to criticize the study, which yielded a number twice as high as other analyses.
What if a psychiatrist could tell whether someone was about to commit suicide simply by taking a sample of their blood? That’s the promise of new research, which finds increased amounts of a particular protein in the bloodstream of those contemplating killing themselves.
Scientists say that they are one step closer to understanding the deadly new Middle East respiratory syndrome virus. They have found a small fragment of the virus's genome in an Egyptian tomb bat from Saudi Arabia, suggesting that these bats are a source of the virus—although another animal species may act as the bridge to humans.
Sometimes it's better not to be the best. Take rams. Those with bigger horns get the girl and make babies more often—but they also die younger. The weaker rams are less lucky in love and have fewer babies each season, but their longer lifetimes mean that they get a few more goes around the mating merry-go-round, managing to produce a few good offspring themselves. The tradeoff helps explain a long-standing puzzle about why the best genes for mating don’t take over, and why there are always plenty of small, weak males among the supermen.
The president of Ecuador says that he will move ahead with controversial plans to drill for oil in the Amazon Basin’s renowned Yasuni National Park. Researchers consider the park to be one of the world’s richest biological hotspots.