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  • Feathers: Better than Velcro?
    on January 16, 2019 at 8:06 pm

    The structures zipping together the barbs in bird feathers could provide a model for new adhesives and new aerospace materials, according to a new study. Researchers 3D printed models of the structures to better understand their properties. […]

  • Vampire bat venom could hold key to new medical treatments
    on January 16, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    Vampire bats could hold the key to new treatments for a range of serious medical problems, but researchers have hit a snag accessing the specimens needed to advance their work. Now scientists have found a new class of blood pressure-regulating peptides in the venom of the common vampire bat (Diphylla ecaudata). […]

  • Ocean giant gets a health check: Combination blood, tissue test reveals whale shark diets
    on January 16, 2019 at 2:06 pm

    Whale sharks, the world's largest fish, likely endure periods of starvation and may eat more plants than previously thought, according to the first results of a new health check. Ocean scientists now have a powerful, simple tool to discover the diets, migrations, and conservation needs of this endangered species. […]

  • Unraveling threads of bizarre hagfish's explosive slime
    on January 16, 2019 at 1:00 am

    Biologists have modeled the hagfish's gag-inducing defense mechanism mathematically. […]

  • A microbial hot spring in your basement
    on January 15, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    Microbes that thrive in some of the most extreme places on Earth have discovered another cozy place to live -- inside homes across the United States. […]

  • The algae's third eye
    on January 11, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    Scientists have discovered an unusual new light sensor in green algae. The sensor triggers a reaction that is similar to one in the human eye. […]

  • Mother fruit flies use sex pheromones to veil eggs, preventing cannibalism
    on January 10, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    Researchers report how fruit flies, which lay eggs communally, use chemical deception to protect their eggs from being cannibalized by their own larvae. […]

  • Bacteria help discover human cancer-causing proteins
    on January 10, 2019 at 7:18 pm

    Researchers applied an unconventional approach that used bacteria to discover human proteins that can lead to DNA damage and promote cancer. […]

  • Leafcutter ants emit as much nitrous oxide as wastewater treatment tanks
    on January 9, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    Tropical forests are one of the largest natural sources of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O), and a tiny insect may play a big role in how those emissions are spread out across the landscape. […]

  • Finding an elusive mutation that turns altruism into selfish behavior among honeybees
    on January 8, 2019 at 11:13 pm

    For the first time, researchers have finally found the root cause responsible for thelytoky syndrome -- which dramatically turns bees from altruistic helpers to selfish mercenaries. […]

  • Space microbes aren't so alien after all
    on January 8, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    A new study has found that -- despite its seemingly harsh conditions -- the ISS is not causing bacteria to mutate into dangerous, antibiotic-resistant superbugs. The bacteria are instead simply responding, and perhaps evolving, to survive in a stressful environment. […]

  • Female penguins are getting stranded along the South American coast
    on January 7, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    Every year, thousands of Magellanic penguins are stranded along the South American coast -- from northern Argentina to southern Brazil -- 1,000 kilometers away from their breeding ground in northern Patagonia. Now researchers have new evidence to explain the observation that the stranded birds are most often female: female penguins venture farther north than males do, where they are apparently more likely to run into trouble. […]

  • In fimo, we trust: Finally a name for the experimental examination of excrement
    on January 3, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    To study gut bacteria, scientists focus much of their attention on excrement, which is teeming with bacteria that used to live in the gastrointestinal tract; for the sake of scientific accuracy, this experimental poop has needed a name, and now it has one. […]

  • Feisty hummingbirds prioritize fencing over feeding
    on January 2, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    Hummingbirds are fierce fighters, but also efficient feeders with tongues and bills well adapted to extracting every bit of nectar from a flower. Why, then, do the males of some tropical species have bizarre hooks, serrations and hard tips that defeat efficient nectar extraction? Using high-speed video, researchers have documented how these males use their weaponized bills to fight rivals for food and mates, and the trade-offs in choosing fighting prowess over feeding. […]

  • Female penises evolved twice in bark lice
    on December 21, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    In a group of bark lice, a penis has evolved twice -- in the females. In their nutrient-scarce environment, 'seminal gifts' are an incentive for females to force mating, leading to the co-evolution of female penises and male vaginas. […]

  • Bees can count with small number of nerve cells in their brains, research suggests
    on December 21, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    Bees can solve seemingly clever counting tasks with very small numbers of nerve cells in their brains, according to researchers. […]

  • Newborn insects trapped in amber show first evidence of how to crack an egg
    on December 20, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    Fossilised newborns, egg shells, and egg bursters preserved together in amber provide the first direct evidence of how insects hatched in deep time, according to a new article. […]

  • Huge armored dinosaurs battled overheating with nasal air-conditioning
    on December 19, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    Researchers show that the heavily armored, club-tailed ankylosaurs had a built-in air conditioner in their snouts. […]

  • 450 fossilized millipedes found in 100-million-year-old amber
    on December 19, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    Over 450 millipedes, fossilized in 100-million-year-old Burmese amber, were recently discovered by a research team. Using micro-CT technology, the scientists identified 13 out of the 16 main groups of modern millipedes amongst them. For half of these groups, the findings also represent the oldest known fossils. […]

  • New houseplant can clean your home's air
    on December 19, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    Researchers have genetically modified a common houseplant to remove chloroform and benzene from the air around it. […]

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