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E.g., 11/25/2015
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  • Wild Things

    For a python, every meal is like Thanksgiving

    For millions of Americans, Thanksgiving is an excuse to gorge on turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie, despite the warnings that overeating, even for a day, can be incredibly unhealthy. But for a Burmese python,...

    11/25/2015 - 09:14 Animals
  • News

    Gut microbes signal when dinner is done

    Gut bacteria are not polite dinner guests. They fill up fast and tell their host to quit eating, too.

    After only 20 minutes, helpful E. coli populations that live in animal guts produce proteins that can curb how hungry its animal partner is, researchers show November 24 in Cell Metabolism. In mice and rats, the proteins stimulated brain-body responses that led the...

    11/24/2015 - 12:00 Microbes, Health
  • Wild Things

    Five species that show why ‘bird brain’ is a stupid phrase

    Call someone a “bird brain” and they are sure to be offended. After all, it’s just another way of calling someone “stupid.” But it’s probably time to retire the insult because scientists are finding more and more evidence that birds can be pretty smart. Consider these five species:


    We may call pigeons “flying rats” for their penchant for hanging out in cities and grabbing...

    11/23/2015 - 14:00 Animals
  • Science Ticker

    Genetically modified salmon gets approval in U.S.

    Salmon genetically engineered to grow bigger and faster than normal were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the agency announced November 19.

    The fish are the first genetically engineered animals cleared for human consumption anywhere in the world. The FDA determined that the fish are...

    11/19/2015 - 15:33 Science & Society, Genetics, Animals
  • News

    A good diet for you may be bad for me

    A cookie can give one person a sugar rush while barely affecting another person, a new study finds, indicating that a food’s glycemic index is in the eater.

    People’s blood sugar rises or falls differently even when they eat the exact same fruit, bread, deserts, pizza and many other foods, researchers in Israel report November 19...

    11/19/2015 - 12:00 Nutrition, Microbiology, Physiology
  • Wild Things

    Vampire bats share blood to make friends

    As if vampire bats weren’t already freaky enough, they have a habit that is at once sort of sweet and sort of gross: These communal animals will share blood with hungry roost-mates in an action that “looks like they’re French kissing,” bat scientist Gerald Carter told Science News in 2013.

    Carter, now at the...

    11/19/2015 - 08:17 Animals
  • Feature

    Getting creative to cut methane from cows

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    In a pasture outside Edmonton, Canada, you’ll find a few dozen cows doing what cows do: mostly eating. The average animal spends eight-plus hours a day filling its belly, or as is the case with cows, bellies. Along with that enormous appetite, cows are born with the ability to digest almost any plant they can chew, thanks to a multichambered stomach...

    11/18/2015 - 16:36 Animals, Microbes, Climate
  • News

    When selenium is scarce, brain battles testes for it

    Faced with a shortage of the essential nutrient selenium, the brain and the testes duke it out. In selenium-depleted male mice, testes hog the trace element, leaving the brain in the lurch, scientists report in the Nov. 18 Journal of Neuroscience.

    The results are some of the first to show competition between two...

    11/17/2015 - 17:00 Health, Neuroscience
  • Wild Things

    Hungry elephants turn trunks into leaf blowers

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    Food can be a great motivator, whether you’re a journalist with a chocolate addiction or an elephant with a penchant for fresh fruit. And animals often get creative when they’re in the mood for a meal or treat. Crows will fashion sticks...

    11/16/2015 - 16:30 Animals
  • Feature

    Viva vagus: Wandering nerve could lead to range of therapies

    With outposts in nearly every organ and a direct line into the brain stem, the vagus nerve is the nervous system’s superhighway. About 80 percent of its nerve fibers — or four of its five “lanes” — drive information from the body to the brain. Its fifth lane runs in the opposite direction, shuttling signals from the brain throughout the body.

    Doctors have long exploited the nerve’s...

    11/13/2015 - 14:00 Neuroscience, Health