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Muslim students weigh in on evolution

In Indonesia and Pakistan, questions about how science and faith can be reconciled. In the first large study of its kind, a survey of 3,800 high-school students in Indonesia and Pakistan has found that teachers are delivering conflicting messages about evolution. The Can$250,000 Islam and Evolution research project is the first large study of students, teachers and scientists in countries with significant Muslim populations to examine their understanding and acceptance of evolution. Some results from the three-year project were presented at a symposium at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, this week. “We now have empirical data for how Muslim students, … Read more…

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Canadian science minister under fire

Comments on evolution spark fierce criticism. It’s been a rough month for Canada’s minister of science and technology. Gary Goodyear, who was appointed to the new position in October 2008, has been roundly criticized in the media for an outburst during a meeting with a university teachers’ group and for his comments on evolution. Some Canadian researchers say the criticism is unreasonable, but others say it suggests that Goodyear, a chiropractor by training, is not in tune with the community whose portfolio he oversees. :: Keep reading in Nature ::

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Climate change may alter malaria patterns

Malaria has long been endemic in Kenya’s humid lowlands and its tropical coast. But in recent decades there has been a spike in the number of malaria epidemics in the East African Highlands—an area where the people living there have little experience with the disease. The East African Highlands are high above sea level. Traditionally, the cool breezy climate has been inhospitable to mosquitoes. But in the late 1990s average temperatures in Kenya’s highlands were as much as 4 degrees higher than normal and the incidence of malaria jumped 300 percent. Many experts believe that climate change is fueling this … Read more…

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Warmer caves may save bats from deadly fungus

Shivering bats need help to fight off white-nose syndrome Researchers are hoping that heated bat boxes can curtail the number of bats dying from white-nose syndrome — a condition that has decimated hibernating bats across the northeastern United States. As many as half a million bats have died from the poorly understood ailment since it was discovered in New York state in 2006. Because the bodies of emaciated bats are often found strewn around the entrances of affected caves, scientists have hypothesized that the bats are starving to death during hibernation. Now, a pair of ecologists has created a mathematical … Read more…

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Reading the fine print of the human face

The expert behind a new hit TV series says tiny expressions reveal if someone is lying CHICAGO–Sometimes a curl of the lip can catch an unfaithful lover … or a murderer. In the new television series Lie to Me, deception expert Cal Lightman, played by British actor Tim Roth, reads people’s true feelings to uncover their lies. He and his team collaborate with law enforcement and government agents to crack their trickiest cases, solve murders and uncover scandal. Though it may seem unlikely that an upward glance or a slight shrug could catch a killer, most of the show’s science … Read more…