Plants and Animals News

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  • Predatory behavior of Florida's skull-collecting ant
    on November 16, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    New research describes the behavioral and chemical strategies of a Florida ant, Formica archboldi, that decorates its nest with the dismembered body parts of other ant species. […]

  • Drop your weapons!
    on November 15, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    It takes energy to make weapons, but it may take even more energy to maintain them. Because leaf-footed bugs drop their legs, it is possible to measure how much energy they allocate to maintaining this appendage that males use to fight other males. […]

  • Bursting bubbles launch bacteria from water to air
    on November 15, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    A new study shows how bubbles contaminated with bacteria can act as tiny microbial grenades, bursting and launching microorganisms, including potential pathogens, out of the water and into the air. […]

  • Fish recognize their prey by electric colors
    on November 13, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    The African elephantnose fish generates weak electrical pulses to navigate its environment. This localization sense apparently shows an astonishing similarity to vision, as a study now shows. The study demonstrates that different objects have different electrical ''colors''. Fish use these colors for instance to distinguish their favorite food - mosquito larvae - from other small animals or plants. […]

  • Purple bacteria 'batteries' turn sewage into clean energy
    on November 13, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    Purple phototrophic bacteria -- which can store energy from light -- when supplied with an electric current can recover near to 100 percent of carbon from any type of organic waste, while generating hydrogen gas for use as fuel. […]

  • How plants evolved to make ants their servants
    on November 13, 2018 at 12:17 am

    Plants have evolved ways to make ants defend them from attacks and spread their seeds, and this new study shows how it happened. In a new study breaking down the genetic history of 1,700 species of ants and 10,000 plant genera, researchers found that the long history of ant and plant co-evolution started with ants foraging on plants and plants responding by evolving ant-friendly traits. […]

  • Primates of the Caribbean: Ancient DNA reveals history of mystery monkey
    on November 13, 2018 at 12:16 am

    Analysis of ancient DNA of a mysterious extinct monkey named Xenothrix -- which displays bizarre body characteristics very different to any living monkey -- has revealed that it was in fact most closely related to South America's titi monkeys (Callicebinae). Having made their way overwater to Jamaica, probably on floating vegetation, their bones reveal they subsequently underwent remarkable evolutionary change. […]

  • Study shows how vultures evesdrop to gather vital flight information
    on November 7, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    A new study has shown vultures use their very own social networks to take advantage of thermal updrafts which help them fly vast distances. Researchers examined how the vultures seemed to make risky but efficient choices when it came to their flight patterns by observing other birds in the network. […]

  • Chlamydia attacks with Frankenstein protein
    on November 7, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    When Chlamydia trachomatis, the bacterium that causes one of the most common sexually transmitted infections worldwide, enters a human cell, it hijacks parts of the host to build protective layers around itself. Inside this makeshift fortress, the bug grows and reproduces, eventually bursting out in search of a new target and killing the host cell. While scientists have known for years that Chlamydia protects itself in this way, they were missing the mechanics until now. […]

  • Ultrasound releases drug to alter activity in targeted brain areas in rats
    on November 7, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    Scientists have developed a noninvasive way of delivering drugs to within a few millimeters of a desired point in the brain. The method, tested in rats, uses focused ultrasound to jiggle drug molecules loose from nanoparticle 'cages' that have been injected into the bloodstream. […]

  • Discovery: Rare three-species hybrid warbler
    on November 7, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    Scientists have shown that a bird found in Pennsylvania is the offspring of a hybrid warbler mother and a warbler father from an entirely different genus -- a combination never recorded before now and which resulted in a three-species hybrid bird. […]

  • 'Bionic mushrooms' fuse nanotech, bacteria and fungi
    on November 7, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    Researchers have taken an ordinary white button mushroom from a grocery store and made it bionic, supercharging it with 3D-printed clusters of cyanobacteria that generate electricity and swirls of graphene nanoribbons that can collect the current. […]

  • Drug pollution concentrates in stream bugs, passes to predators in water and on land
    on November 6, 2018 at 10:18 pm

    Sixty-nine pharmaceutical compounds have been detected in stream insects, some at concentrations that may threaten animals that feed on them, such as trout and platypus. […]

  • RNA microchips: A new chapter in ribonucleic acid synthesis
    on November 6, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is, along with DNA and protein, one of the three primary biological macromolecules and was probably the first to arise in early life forms. Chemists have developed a new synthetic approach that allows RNA to be chemically synthesized about a million times more efficiently than previously possible. […]

  • More affordable and effective conservation of species
    on November 5, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    No one had reported seeing the strange creature -- a cross between a bear and a monkey -- since before the Great Depression. Then, this past summer, an amateur biologist stumbled upon the presumed-extinct Wondiwoi tree kangaroo while trekking through Papua New Guinea. The revelation underscored how little we still know about the natural world -- a major obstacle to conservation. […]

  • Tying the knot: New DNA nanostructures
    on November 2, 2018 at 10:07 pm

    Researchers describe a method for coaxing segments of single-stranded DNA into complex 2- and 3D knotted structures. […]

  • Immigration to the United States changes a person's microbiome
    on November 1, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    Researchers new evidence that the gut microbiota of immigrants and refugees rapidly Westernize after a person's arrival in the United States. The study of communities migrating from Southeast Asia to the US could provide insight into some of the metabolic health issues, including obesity and diabetes, affecting immigrants to the country. […]

  • Zebrafish larvae help in search for appetite suppressants
    on November 1, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    Researchers have developed a new strategy in the search for psychoactive drugs. By analyzing the behavior of larval zebrafish, they can filter out substances with unwanted side effects right from the start. This method has resulted in the discovery of a number of new appetite modulators. […]

  • Drugs from dirt
    on November 1, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    Analyzing soil samples from across the country, researchers have identified an antibiotic capable of treating strains of tuberculosis that do not respond to existing therapies. […]

  • Watching whales from space
    on November 1, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    Scientists have used detailed high-resolution satellite images to detect, count and describe four different species of whales. The research is a big step towards developing a cost-effective method to study whales in remote and inaccessible places, that will help scientists to monitor population changes and understand their behavior. […]

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