Excavation at the Sant'Omobono site in central Rome has provided evidence of early Romans' efforts to transform the landscape of their city. Sylvia Poggioli/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Sylvia Poggioli/NPR

Europe

Archaeologists Unearth What May Be Oldest Roman Temple

The site in central Rome has also yielded evidence of how actively the early Romans intervened to shape their urban environment. But the excavation has been particularly challenging because the temple lies below the water table.

Seattle Seahawks fans, perhaps in a moment of reflection, before the NFC championship game against the San Francisco 49ers on Jan. 19. Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Sweetness And Light

America's Love Affair With Football Keeps Getting Stronger

In the lead-up to the Super Bowl, commentator Frank Deford explores why football's popularity seems to grow and grow, like a fungus. Unlike other sports that are played with high frequency, he says, fans work up an anticipation for their team's once-a-week game.

Graduate student Jennifer Klunk of McMaster University examines a tooth used to decode the genome of the ancient plague. Courtesy of McMaster University hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of McMaster University

Shots - Health News

Ancient Plague's DNA Revived From A 1,500-Year-Old Tooth

When you hear the words bubonic plague, Black Death usually comes to mind. But the first plague pandemic happened 800 years earlier, when the Justinian plague wiped out nearly a quarter of the world's population. Scientists have decoded the bacteria responsible, which have roots in China.

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