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  • Australian scientists discover 500-meter-tall coral reef in the Great Barrier Reef
    on October 27, 2020 at 8:17 pm

    Scientists have discovered a massive detached coral reef in the Great Barrier Reef, measuring more than 500 meters high -- taller than the Empire State Building, the Sydney Tower and the Petronas Twin Towers.

  • Antarctica yields oldest fossils of giant birds with 21-foot wingspans
    on October 27, 2020 at 5:37 pm

    Some of the largest birds in history, called pelagornithids, arose a few million years after the mass extinction that killed off the dinosaurs and patrolled the oceans with giant wingspans for some 60 million years. A team of paleontologists has found two fossils -- each from individual pelagornithids with wingspans of 20 feet or more -- that show this gigantism arose at least 50 million years ago and lasted at least 10 million years.

  • For vampire bats, social distancing while sick comes naturally
    on October 27, 2020 at 2:54 pm

    New research shows that when vampire bats feel sick, they socially distance themselves from groupmates in their roost -- no public health guidance required.

  • Geologists simulate soil conditions to help grow plants on Mars
    on October 27, 2020 at 2:54 pm

    Humankind's next giant step may be onto Mars. But before those missions can begin, scientists need to make scores of breakthrough advances, including learning how to grow crops on the red planet.

  • Robots help to answer age-old question of why fish school
    on October 26, 2020 at 12:14 pm

    A new study using biomimetic fish-like robots shows that swimming closely together offers fish hydrodynamic benefits.

  • Not all cats are grey in the dark!
    on October 23, 2020 at 4:31 pm

    Using two mode-locked femtosecond lasers and a single photon counting detector, scientists have recorded broad spectra with close to one hundred thousand colors in almost complete darkness.

  • DNA in fringe-lipped bat feces reveals unexpected eating habits
    on October 22, 2020 at 9:02 pm

    By examining the guano of the fringe-lipped bat (Trachops cirrhosus), biologists encountered surprising results about its eating habits and foraging abilities.

  • These two bird-sized dinosaurs evolved the ability to glide, but weren't great at it
    on October 22, 2020 at 3:26 pm

    Despite having bat-like wings, two small dinosaurs, Yi and Ambopteryx, struggled to fly, only managing to glide clumsily between the trees where they lived, researchers report. Unable to compete with other tree-dwelling dinosaurs and early birds, they went extinct after just a few million years. The findings support that dinosaurs evolved flight in several different ways before modern birds evolved.

  • A flexible color-changing film inspired by chameleon skin
    on October 21, 2020 at 5:01 pm

    Chameleons can famously change their colors to camouflage themselves, communicate and regulate their temperature. Scientists have tried to replicate these color-changing properties for stealth technologies, anti-counterfeiting measures and electronic displays, but the materials have limitations. Now, researchers have developed a flexible film that changes color in response to stretching, pressure or humidity.

  • How do snakes 'see' in the dark? Researchers have an answer
    on October 21, 2020 at 5:01 pm

    Certain species of snake -- think pit vipers, boa constrictors and pythons, among others -- are able to find and capture prey with uncanny accuracy, even in total darkness. Now scientists have discovered how these creatures are able to convert the heat from organisms that are warmer than their ambient surroundings into electrical signals, allowing them to 'see' in the dark.

  • This beetle can survive getting run over by a car; Engineers are figuring out how
    on October 21, 2020 at 3:23 pm

    Getting run over by a car is not a near-death experience for the diabolical ironclad beetle. How the beetle survives could inspire the development of new materials with the same herculean toughness, engineers show.

  • What cold lizards in Miami can tell us about climate change resilience
    on October 21, 2020 at 12:51 pm

    When temperatures go below a critical limit, sleeping lizards lose their grip and fall out of trees. But when researchers collected the scaled survivors of a record cold snap, they discovered that a Miami lizard community responded in an unexpected way: all of them could now tolerate cold temperatures down to about 42 degrees Fahrenheit, regardless of their species' previous ability to withstand cold.

  • Microbial diversity below seafloor is as rich as on Earth's surface
    on October 20, 2020 at 5:13 pm

    For the first time, researchers have mapped the biological diversity of marine sediment, one of Earth's largest global biomes. The research team discovered that microbial diversity in the dark, energy-limited world beneath the seafloor is as diverse as in Earth's surface biomes.

  • Odors as navigational cues for pigeons
    on October 19, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    Volatile organic compounds identified that can be used for olfactory navigation by homing pigeons.

  • Those funky cheese smells allow microbes to 'talk' to and feed each other
    on October 16, 2020 at 8:43 pm

    Researchers found that bacteria essential to ripening cheese can sense and respond to compounds produced by fungi in the rind and released into the air, enhancing the growth of some species of bacteria over others. The make-up of the cheese microbiome is critical to flavor and quality of the cheese.

  • Octopus-inspired sucker transfers thin, delicate tissue grafts and biosensors
    on October 16, 2020 at 8:43 pm

    Thin tissue grafts and flexible electronics have a host of applications for wound healing, regenerative medicine and biosensing. A new device inspired by an octopus's sucker rapidly transfers delicate tissue or electronic sheets to the patient, overcoming a key barrier to clinical application.

  • World first study shows that some microorganisms can bend the rules of evolution
    on October 14, 2020 at 3:46 pm

    The dominant thinking in evolution focuses on inheritance between parent and offspring - or 'vertical gene transfer (VGT)'. But now scientists are paying more attention to 'horizontal gene transfer (HGT)': the transmission of DNA other than from parent to offspring, as this transfer can tell us about the evolution of a number of other organisms such as bacteria. It can also help us to better understand antibiotic resistance.

  • Scientists engineer bacteria-killing molecules from wasp venom
    on October 12, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    Scientists have engineered powerful new antimicrobial molecules from toxic proteins found in wasp venom. The team hopes to develop the molecules into new bacteria-killing drugs, an important advancement considering increasing numbers of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

  • Primates aren't quite frogs
    on October 12, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    Researchers have demonstrated the 'spinal motor module hypothesis' in the primate arm, opening a new pathway for recovery after disease or injury.

  • Moles: Intersexual and genetically doped
    on October 8, 2020 at 6:21 pm

    Female moles not only have ovarian, but also testicular tissue that produces male sex hormones - which lets them diverge from the categorization into two sexes. A team describes which genetic modifications contribute to this singular development.

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