Live-in grandparents helped human ancestors get a safer night’s sleep

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Live-in grandparents helped human ancestors get a safer night’s sleep. Duke Today, July 12, 2017. A sound night’s sleep grows more elusive as people get older. But what some call insomnia may actually be an age-old survival mechanism, researchers report. A study of modern hunter-gatherers in Tanzania finds that, for people who live in groups, differences in sleep patterns commonly associated with age help ensure that at least one person is awake at all times. Picked up by The New York Times, CBS NewsNew Scientist, Discover Magazine, Science, Huffington PostDaily MailCosmosThe Guardian, BBC News, Mental Floss, Popular Science, Toronto StarReader’s Digest, USA Today and The Telegraph.

Island rodents take on nightmarish proportions

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Island rodents take on nightmarish proportions. Duke Today, June 22, 2015. Duke University researchers have analyzed size data for rodents worldwide to distinguish the truly massive mice and giant gerbils from the regular-sized rodents. They found that the furry animals with chisel-like teeth are 17 times more likely to evolve to nightmarish proportions on islands than elsewhere. The results are in keeping with an idea called the “island rule,” which previous studies claimed didn’t apply to rodents. Picked up by the Daily Mail, the Charlotte Observer, BBC, and National Public Radio’s WUNC.