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  • Science Ticker

    Superfast evolution observed in soil bacteria

    You can take the flagella out of the bacteria, but you can’t take the flagella out of the bacteria’s genetic arsenal.By deleting a gene that controls flagella growth, Tiffany Taylor of the University of Reading in England and colleagues engineered the soil bacteria Pseudomonas fluorescens so they lacked their tiny tails. Bacteria that can move around and find food are more likely to...
    02/27/2015 - 09:00 Evolution, Microbiology
  • News in Brief

    Coastal Los Angeles losing fog to urban sprawl

    Morning fog along parts of coastal Southern California is disappearing due to nearby urbanization, new research suggests.Since 1948, fog frequency has plummeted 63 percent in the Los Angeles area, bioclimatologist A. Park Williams of Columbia University and colleagues report in a paper to be published in ...
    02/27/2015 - 08:00 Climate
  • Science Ticker

    CDC panel gives thumbs up to vaccine against nine HPV types

    A federal vaccine advisory committee voted February 26 to recommend use of an expanded version of the human papillomavirus shot marketed as Gardasil.The move, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, clears the way for the broader-coverage vaccine, called Gardasil 9, to be used in the clinic. Current vaccines offer protection against up to...
    02/26/2015 - 18:44 Health, Science & Society
  • Growth Curve

    A little tablet time probably won’t fry a toddler’s brain

    Laura Sanders is away on maternity leave.Give a toddler an iPhone and 10 minutes, and she’ll take at least 50 selfies and buy a car on eBay. Give her an iPad, and she’ll stumble upon decidedly non-kid-friendly episodes of Breaking Bad.With smartphones and tablets, children are exposed to an unprecedented amount of screen...
    02/26/2015 - 16:00 Human Development, Neuroscience
  • Science Ticker

    Mysterious bright spot on Ceres has a partner

    An enigmatic bright patch on the dwarf planet Ceres, the largest body between Mars and Jupiter, has a dimmer companion in the same basin. The duo, seen in an image from the Dawn spacecraft when it was about 46,000 kilometers from Ceres, could be a sign of...
    02/26/2015 - 14:45 Planetary Science
  • News in Brief

    Wheat reached England before farming

    Hunter-gatherers living on England’s southern coast imported wheat 2,000 years before agriculture sprouted in the British Isles, a new study suggests.This trading among hunter-gatherers and farmers laid the groundwork for agriculture’s spread across Northwest Europe, propose archaeogeneticist Oliver Smith of the University...
    02/26/2015 - 14:00 Anthropology, Genetics
  • News

    Sexual conflict in mosquitoes may have worsened spread of malaria

    The relentless spread of malaria may be largely a side effect of a long, slow battle of the sexes among mosquitoes.Certain reproductive quirks of male and female Anopheles mosquitoes look as if they evolved in some back-and-forth scenario, researchers report in the Feb. 27 Science. In four of 16 species...
    02/26/2015 - 14:00 Evolution, Animals, Biomedicine
  • News

    Genetic tweaks built humans’ bigger brains

    Human brains ballooned to about triple the size of their ancestors’ thanks to just a few genetic tweaks, new research suggests.When scientists inject a gene found only in humans into the brains of mouse embryos, the normally smooth mouse brain develops the crinkles and folds reminiscent of wrinkly human brains, scientists ...
    02/26/2015 - 14:00 Human Evolution, Molecular Evolution, Neuroscience
  • News in Brief

    Beetle RNA makes crops a noxious meal

    To keep pests at bay, try giving them a taste of their own genes. Hungry beetles spurn crops bearing the insects’ genetic material, scientists report in the Feb. 27 Science. When pests munch the engineered plants, beetle RNA in the leaves switches off key genes in the bugs.The Colorado potato beetle is a voracious...
    02/26/2015 - 14:00 Plants, Animals, Agriculture
  • News

    Bees may merge their flower memories

    Humans may not be the only ones to mix up old memories. Bumblebees seem to do it, too.Using fake flowers, researchers in London have shown that bumblebees sometimes prefer to visit a flower that combines the colors and patterns of flowers the bees previously visited – even if they’ve never seen the combo flower before. Preferring the novel flowers suggests that the bees are merging memories of...
    02/26/2015 - 12:00 Neuroscience, Animals