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  • polar bear
  • sparrow
  • Blowfly
Your search has returned 142 articles:
  • News

    A peek into polar bears’ lives reveals revved-up metabolisms

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    Female polar bears prowling springtime sea ice have extreme weight swings, some losing more than 10 percent of their body mass in just over a week. And the beginnings of bear video blogging help explain why.

    An ambitious study of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in Alaska has found that their overall metabolic rate is 1.6 times greater than thought, says wildlife...

    02/01/2018 - 15:24 Animals, Physiology, Climate
  • News

    Light pollution can prolong the risk of sparrows passing along West Nile virus

    SAN FRANCISCO — Even moderate light pollution can roughly double the time a house sparrow remains a risk for passing along the worrisome West Nile virus.

    House sparrows, about as widespread across the United States as artificial lighting itself, make a useful test species for a first-of-its-kind study of how night illumination might contribute to disease spread, said Meredith Kernbach,...

    01/19/2018 - 09:00 Physiology, Animals, Conservation
  • News

    Blowflies use drool to keep their cool

    SAN FRANCISCO — Blowflies don’t sweat, but they have raised cooling by drooling to a high art.

    In hot times, sturdy, big-eyed Chrysomya megacephala flies repeatedly release — and then retract — a droplet of saliva, Denis Andrade reported January 4 at the annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. This process isn’t sweating. Blowfly droplets put the cooling...

    01/05/2018 - 18:04 Animals, Physiology
  • It's Alive

    Robot fish shows how the deepest vertebrate in the sea takes the pressure

    It’s like having “an elephant stand on your thumb.”

    That’s how deep-sea physiologist and ecologist Mackenzie Gerringer describes the pressure squeezing down on the deepest known living fish, some 8 kilometers down. What may help these small, pale Mariana snailfish survive elephantine squashing, says Gerringer of the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Labs, is a body bulked up,...

    01/03/2018 - 07:00 Animals, Biophysics, Physiology
  • News

    Specialized protein helps these ground squirrels resist the cold

    The hardy souls who manage to push shorts season into December might feel some kinship with the thirteen-lined ground squirrel.

    The critter hibernates all winter, but even when awake, it’s less sensitive to cold than its nonhibernating relatives, a new study finds. That cold tolerance is linked to changes in a specific cold-sensing protein in the sensory nerve cells of the ground...

    12/19/2017 - 12:07 Animals, Genetics, Physiology
  • News

    Narwhals react to certain dangers in a really strange way

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    When escaping from humans, narwhals don’t just freeze or flee. They do both.

    These deep-diving marine mammals have similar physiological responses to those of an animal frozen in fear: Their heart rate, breathing and metabolism slow, mimicking a “deer in the headlights” reaction. But narwhals (Monodon monoceros) take this freeze response to extremes. The animals...

    12/07/2017 - 14:41 Animals, Oceans, Physiology
  • News

    Rough lessons can lessen the pull of human scent on a mosquito

    DENVER – After unpleasant lessons in the lab, mosquitoes can learn some restraint in their zest for pursuing the scent of human skin.

    The test, a kind of aversion therapy for mosquitoes to see if they can associate smells with bad experiences, was reported at the annual Entomological Society of America meeting.

    “Mosquitoes have this very challenging task of finding food that’s...

    11/27/2017 - 10:00 Animals, Physiology
  • News

    Alzheimer’s protein can travel from blood to build up in the brain

    An Alzheimer’s-related protein can move from the blood to the brain and accumulate there, experiments on mice show for the first time.

    The results, published online October 31 in Molecular Psychiatry, suggest that the protein amyloid-beta outside the brain may contribute to the Alzheimer’s disease inside it, says Mathias Jucker, a neurobiologist at the University of Tübingen in Germany....

    11/06/2017 - 06:00 Neuroscience, Physiology
  • Say What?

    This sea slug makes its prey do half the food catching

    Kleptopredation\klep-toe-preh-day-shun \ n.

    A food-gathering strategy of eating an organism and the meal it just ate.

    A wily sea slug has a way to get two meals in one: It gobbles up smaller predators that have recently gulped in their own prey.

    “Kleptopredation” is the term Trevor Willis of the University of Portsmouth in England and his colleagues propose for this kind of food...

    10/31/2017 - 20:05 Animals, Physiology
  • Feature

    Scary as they are, few vampires have a backbone

    Halloween horror aside, vampires are really pretty spineless.

    Most have no backbone at all. By one count, some 14,000 kinds of arthropods, including ticks and mosquitoes, are blood feeders. Yet very few vertebrates are clear-cut, all-blood specialists: just some fishes and three bats. Why hasn’t evolution produced more vertebrate vampires?

    The question intrigues herpetologist Harry...

    10/30/2017 - 16:00 Animals, Physiology, Evolution