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  • News in Brief

    Where salamanders should be very afraid

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    A salamander-killing fungus hitchhiking via the international live-animal trade may prove especially disastrous if it invades three regions of North America.  

    Biologists haven’t reported the deadly fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, or Bsal, loose on the continent yet,...

    07/30/2015 - 14:27 Animals, Conservation, Fungi
  • News

    New results from Philae lander offer first close-up of a comet

    During its brief time awake on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the Philae lander documented a diverse world. New analyses of lander data reveal the comet as uniform on the inside, but full of variety on the outside. Pebbles, boulders, cliffs and pits blanket the forbidding landscape. Complex organic molecules float above a surface that is as soft as sand in some places and as hard as rock in...

    07/30/2015 - 14:06 Planetary Science
  • News in Brief

    Robot springs off water

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    New robotic insects can hop on water. Researchers from Harvard University and Seoul National University in South Korea studied live water striders, which can skate and leap on water, to design the robots. The bots weigh just 68 milligrams and have bodies that are 2 centimeters long and legs 5 centimeters long.

    Like real water striders, the robots...

    07/30/2015 - 14:00 Robotics, Technology
  • News

    Caterpillar treats and tricks ants by oozing spiked juice

    Beware the caterpillar offering a juicy treat. Sips tweak ant brain chemistry, lulling the insects into neglecting their own colony in favor of hanging around the source of the marvelous droplets.

    Effects on the brain help Narathura japonica caterpillars recruit a corps of ant bodyguards, says chemical ecologist Masaru K. Hojo of Kobe University in Japan. In lab tests, ants...

    07/30/2015 - 12:07 Animals, Neuroscience, Ecology
  • The Name Game

    Wolves in jackals’ clothing

    Some canids in Africa could bristle at being called jackals. Using DNA evidence, scientists have built a case that African golden jackals deserve a name change.

    Canids known as golden jackals (Canis aureus) roam Eurasia and Africa. The African and Eurasian animals closely resemble each other, but their looks are deceiving. The two are actually separate species, Klaus-Peter...

    07/30/2015 - 12:07 Genetics, Animals, Evolution
  • News

    New view of mouse brain provides up-close look at nerve cells’ habitat

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    A tiny speck of mouse brain hosts a microscopic wonderland, a new study reveals. By characterizing the dense, complex habitat of brain cells down to nanometers, scientists have uncovered clues about how the brain wires itself. Among the early revelations: Nearby brain cells don’t always form connections.


    07/30/2015 - 12:00 Neuroscience
  • Science Ticker

    Experimental MERS vaccine battles virus in mice and monkeys

    New experimental vaccines use viral DNA and proteins to help animals’ immune systems fight the virus that causes Middle East respiratory syndrome. The vaccines stimulate the production of antibody proteins that latch onto and disable the MERS virus, researchers report July 28 in Nature Communications....

    07/30/2015 - 06:30 Immune Science
  • August 8, 2015

    07/29/2015 - 15:29
  • Editor's Note

    Encountering an unexpected Pluto and life's complexity

    By her own estimate, Susan Milius has considered writing about the downfall of biological kingdoms for some 10 years. That long contemplation made it somewhat difficult to pare all the material down to a...

    07/29/2015 - 15:27 Evolution, Planetary Science
  • Letters to the Editor

    Global warming unpaused, how space affects the brain and more reader feedback

    Space travel vs. the brain

    Getting to Mars may leave a mark on astronauts’ minds. In “Trip to Mars could damage brain cells” (SN...

    07/29/2015 - 15:27 Neuroscience, Climate, Cells