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Science News: Breakthrough Prizes in science, math earn winners $3 million each

By Sarah McBride SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Academia doesn't usually bring rich financial rewards. But that changed Sunday for recipients of a record 12 Breakthrough Prizes, the award created two years ago by Russian billionaire venture capitalist Yuri Milner, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Google co-founder Sergey Brin and other tech industry luminaries. Each prize is worth $3 million (1.89 million pound), almost three times the cash a Nobel Prize winner receives. This year is the first to honour mathematicians. Five won for work ranging from algebraic geometry to analytic number theory. ...

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Science News: 'Big Bang' of Species May Be Explained by Continental Shift

'Big Bang' of Species May Be Explained by Continental ShiftScientists are still unsure what caused the number of species to skyrocket in such a short period of time, but Ian Dalziel, a research professor at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics, thinks part of the answer may lie in how the continents shifted. Dalziel thinks the ancient continent Laurentia (present-day North America) remained attached to the fused supercontinent Gondwana longer than current reconstruction models suggest.


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Science News: Giant Armored Dinosaurs Breathed Through 'Krazy Straw' Airways

Giant Armored Dinosaurs Breathed Through 'Krazy Straw' AirwaysThese Cretaceous dinosaurs had "Krazy Straw" nasal passages that helped them air-condition their brains, according to a new study. Bourke and his colleagues were intrigued by the "roller-coaster" paths taken by the nasal passages of tanklike ankylosaurs, which become well-preserved fossils because they are so bizarrely bony.


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Science News: 47-Million-Year-Old Pregnant Mare Sheds Light on Ancient Horses

47-Million-Year-Old Pregnant Mare Sheds Light on Ancient HorsesWhen a thirsty pregnant horse drank from a freshwater lake 47 million years ago, she was unaware that poisonous volcanic gases might lead to her sudden demise. Now, the fossilized remains of the mare and her tiny, unborn foal are revealing new insights into reproduction in ancient horses, including surprising reproductive similarities with today's horses, according to a new study.


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Science News: The AstroCritic: An Astronaut's Take on 'Interstellar' (Op-Ed)

The AstroCritic: An Astronaut's Take on 'Interstellar' (Op-Ed)Leroy Chiao, AstroCritic, is a former NASA astronaut and commander of the International Space Station. Chiao is the special adviser for human spaceflight to the Space Foundation and the Houston Association for Space and Science Education. He also holds appointments at Baylor College of Medicine and Rice University. "Interstellar" is a marathon that lasts 2 hours and 48 minutes — but it didn't seem like it.


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