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Can simulating evolution on a computer explain our enormous brains?

Current News / News & Features /

Compared to the rest of the animal kingdom, the human brain is way out of whack.

Our brains are roughly six times larger than what you would expect for a placental mammal of our stature, scientists say.

And no other animal has a brain as large as ours relative to body size.

So why did humans evolve to have such large brains when other animals...Read more

Senate leaders reach bipartisan deal for handling sexual harassment claims on Capitol Hill

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WASHINGTON -- After months of delay, senators said Wednesday they have reached a deal on legislation to reform how sexual harassment claims against lawmakers and staff are handled on Capitol Hill.

The legislation requires members of Congress to personally repay taxpayers for settling harassment claims filed against them, even if they resign.

...Read more

High school apologizes after 'No one ugly allowed' headline appears over photo of cheerleading team

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An Illinois high school principal has apologized for a yearbook headline that has been called "disgusting" by some in a heated social media debate.

The headline, "No one ugly allowed," is printed in bright letters on a yearbook page devoted to an Oswego High School cheerleading team, a picture of the page provided by Community Unit School ...Read more

Airport shooter wasn't 'really thinking about it' when he killed 5, he says in pleading guilty

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Esteban Santiago gave his first public statement Wednesday about why he killed five people and injured six others in the January 2017 mass shooting at Fort Lauderdale's main airport.

"Umm, I don't know. I wasn't really thinking about it at the moment. A lot of things were going on in my mind. Messages," Santiago said.

...Read more

Feds are investigating cracks in collapsed Miami bridge

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MIAMI -- Federal transportation safety investigators are looking into cracks that appeared in a critical structural support piece in the Florida International University pedestrian bridge days before it collapsed, according to a preliminary report issued Wednesday.

The four-page report from the National Transportation Safety Board confirms that...Read more

New 'unified theory' of childhood leukemia raises possibility of preventing the disease

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Kids who develop acute lymphoblastic leukemia may be the victims of a triple-whammy stroke of bad luck, according to a provocative new theory from a respected British cancer researcher.

If the explanation turns out to be correct, it would be good news for the most common type of childhood cancer: Doctors could prevent cases of acute ...Read more

Former student in custody after 'credible threat' closes Belleville, Ill., high schools

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ST. LOUIS -- Classes were canceled at Belleville West and Belleville East high schools Wednesday after reports of a "credible threat" made by a former student against a current student.

Belleville Township High School District 201 Superintendent Jeff Dosier said the former student was a male who had been a student at Belleville West. The threat...Read more

A rare great ape, a 130-foot-tall tree and an extinct marsupial lion make the Top 10 New Species list for 2018

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The highest branches of a Brazilian forest. The permanent darkness of a cave in China. The deepest place on Earth.

Life has carved niches for itself in the most extreme and stunning habitats. As a result, it has taken on surprising -- and just plain weird -- physical attributes and behaviors.

In celebration of this biodiversity, the SUNY ...Read more

300 patients come forward in USC gynecologist misconduct case as LAPD begins investigation

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LOS ANGELES -- About 300 people have contacted the University of Southern California about a longtime campus gynecologist accused of misconduct as administrators Tuesday began sharing the names of former patients with Los Angeles police for a criminal investigation.

The university declined to say how many of the 300 callers to a dedicated ...Read more

Poll: Half of country not happy with Ryan but don't recognize possible successors

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WASHINGTON -- A new poll found most Americans don't like what Congress has been doing the past few years, even if they don't know the major players in office.

Over 59 percent of respondents to this week's Economist/YouGov poll said they disapproved of Congress' performance, placing the blame on both parties.

But no one is quite sure of how ...Read more

House GOP immigration and leadership battles entwined

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WASHINGTON -- House Republicans are on the precipice of a major win or an embarrassing loss on immigration. Either outcome will have lasting impacts for the current leadership team and future contenders for those jobs.

But the prospect of an immediate backlash against Paul D. Ryan's speakership over anything that could be perceived as an ...Read more

Arpaio: 'I am not a yes man' to Trump

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Arizona GOP Senate candidate Joe Arpaio, who has expressed an undying support of President Donald Trump, pushed back Tuesday on the notion that he is blindly following the president's policies without knowing the details.

At a news conference Tuesday to deliver the signatures necessary to get on the ballot, reporters repeatedly challenged ...Read more

Researchers tally the physical and financial costs of opioid painkillers' side effects

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The opioid crisis has shown us that prescription painkillers and their illicit counterparts can wreak havoc in American communities. Now researchers have quantified the damage they can do inside hospitals when administered to patients following surgeries and other invasive medical procedures.

More than 10 percent of hospitalized patients who ...Read more

Comcast is preparing bid for Fox TV and movie assets, countering Disney's offer

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Walt Disney Co. is getting some serious competition in its effort to acquire 21st Century Fox's movie and television assets: Comcast Corp.

Comcast said Wednesday that it is in the advanced stages of preparing an all-cash counteroffer that will top Disney's $52.4-billion stock bid.

"While no final decision has been made, at this point the work ...Read more

Three more teens charged, identified in killing of Baltimore County police officer

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BALTIMORE -- Three more teenage boys have been charged in Baltimore County police Officer Amy Caprio's death Monday.

Darrell Jaymar Ward, 15, of the 2300 block of Ashland Avenue; Derrick Eugene Matthews, 16, of the 200 block of Dallas Court; and Eugene Robert Genuis IV, 17, of the 400 block of Lakewood Road, were each charged with first-degree ...Read more

Legendary Philip Roth, author of 'Portnoy's Complaint,' dies at 85

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Author Philip Roth, who tackled self-perception, sexual freedom, his own Jewish identity and the conflict between modern and traditional morals through novels that he once described as "hypothetical autobiographies," has died. He was 85.

Roth was one of America's pre-eminent 20th century novelists in a career that began in the 1950s and ...Read more

Gadhafi regime's legacy fuels bloody conflicts in West Africa

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ABUJA, Nigeria -- Centuries-old communal tensions across West Africa are taking an increasingly bloody turn, fueled by competition for land and water and an influx of weapons and fighters from Libya.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has blamed that cocktail of guns and gunmen for the intensifying clashes between crop farmers and herders as ...Read more

An $83 abortion pill is shaping Ireland's last great moral fight

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DUBLIN -- An $83 pill whose use carries a 14-year jail sentence is helping drive Ireland's abortion debate.

On Friday, Ireland will vote on a proposal to liberalize some of Western Europe's most restrictive abortion laws, with polls suggesting the government's plan will carry the day. Bookmakers' odds suggest the government, which wants to give...Read more

The FIU bridge crushed their daughter. Her iPhone survived — but they can't unlock it

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MIAMI -- Tucked away inside a white, weathered dresser rests a brown, crumpled paper bag.

Inside that bag are a few ounces of what's left of the dead teen -- two wrinkled dollar bills, a quarter, a dusty hair tie, a black leather choker, a long pendant necklace, a silver ring, a sorority keychain, a Sunpass transponder and a driver's license.

...Read more

Hillary Clinton acolytes adopt Bernie Sanders agenda to drag Democrats left

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WASHINGTON -- The 2018 electoral map is dotted with Democratic campaigns that closely resemble Bernie Sanders' own unabashedly liberal, anti-establishment presidential candidacy.

But it has markedly fewer candidates who actually supported the progressive champion in 2016.

All across the country this year, many of the progressive heroes of 2018...Read more