After the decision in November that deemed genetically engineered salmon safe for eating — the first animal to garner such approval — the Food and Drug Administration is now treading regulatory water. On January 29, the FDA issued an...
For Daily Use
Gas concentrations in the gut can reveal secrets about digestive tract health, and may be skewed in conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome. But sampling gas in breath or stool doesn’t give the most accurate picture of what’s bubbling in the intestines. Australian researchers have designed a swallowable gas-sensing capsule that could someday provide an inside look at the gases in the human...
The white-tailed deer, maybe the best-studied wild animal in North America, turns out to carry a malaria parasite that science has overlooked for decades.
The malaria parasite in deer is a completely different species from the ones that cause disease in humans. A report in 1967 based on one deer in Texas had claimed that the parasite existed and a 1980 paper had named it Plasmodium...
Florida harvester ants “make a nest that is truly beautiful in its architecture,” says Walter Tschinkel. He has poured molten metal or plaster into the underground nests and dug up the hardened casts to reveal their multilevel shapes. Much about these ant nests, however, defies explanation.
For reasons still unknown,...
The brain can bounce back after a single head hit, but multiple hits in quick succession don’t give the brain time to recover, a new study suggests. Although the finding comes from mice, it may help scientists better understand the damage caused by repetitive impacts such as those sustained in football, soccer and other contact sports.
The results, published in the March issue of the...
News in Brief
Male birds’ puzzling off-season singing in winter could be practice for flirting in spring.
Europe’s great reed warblers (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) and some other male long-distance migrants sing extensively when overwintering in sub-Saharan Africa, says Marjorie Sorensen, now at Goethe University in Frankfurt. “Why are they doing this when they’re thousands of kilometers from...
Near the grounds of Folsom Prison in California walks a male tarantula clad entirely in black.
When Chris Hamilton, an arachnologist formerly at Auburn University in Alabama, discovered the spider in data from a big tarantula survey, he noticed it came from the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Country music legend...
Environmentalists hoping that micromanaging Europe’s forests will help curb climate change may be barking up the wrong tree.
Retracing changes in forestry since 1750, researchers report in the Feb. 5 Science that forest management in Europe has made climate change worse, not better. Despite an...
50 Years Ago
Soviet TV lands on moon —The first spacecraft to land on the moon without demolishing itself in the process did so on Feb. 3. The Soviet Union sent it, and it proved its feat by sending back photographs of the lunar surface...
Brown bears have all the luck. They can eat and eat and eat all summer, gain lots of weight and then lose it all by the next year. And they don’t have to worry about type 2 diabetes or other conditions that can plague humans who get too fat.
The big difference (one of them, anyway) between bears and people is that the bears...