Plants protect themselves from bacterial assault with mystery compounds that interrupt the bacteria’s best laid plans. Now, researchers have finally identified one of those protective compounds.
Rosmarinic acid is a plant’s secret weapon for disarming bacteria, researchers report in the Jan. 5 Science Signaling. Tino...
News in Brief
The suspected discovery of an atomic nucleus with four neutrons but no protons has physicists scratching their heads. If confirmed by further experiments, this “tetraneutron” would be the first example of an uncharged nucleus, something that many theorists say should not exist. “It would be something of a sensation,” says Peter Schuck, a nuclear theorist at the National Center for Scientific...
A new crevice-crawling robot takes after compressible cockroaches.
Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley designed a palm-sized robot inspired by the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana. Thanks to the roach’s sturdy, segmented shell, a roughly 12 millimeter-tall roach can cruise through spaces only four millimeters...
News in Brief
A preliminary report from scientists at the biotech company Amgen Inc. questions a cancer drug’s ability to fight Alzheimer’s disease. In experiments described February 4 in F1000Research, bexarotene, a drug approved by the FDA to treat lymphoma, didn’t...
Winter doesn’t deserve its dour reputation as the season of depression, scientists say.
Rates of major depression, a psychiatric condition marked by intense sadness, hopelessness, insomnia and a general loss of interest or pleasure, don’t markedly change from one season to another among U.S. adults,...
At the 2013 trials of DARPA’s robotics competition in Florida, a high-tech robot named Hubo had just about completed a tricky challenge: climbing up a ladder roughly the height of a small elephant.
Hubo, a 5-foot-tall walking bot, was pitting its skills against a slew of formidable contenders, all in a contest designed to simulate what...
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,...