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  • News

    No-fishing scheme in Great Barrier Reef succeeds with valuable fishes

    An ambitious, hotly debated system of no-take reserves inside the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park has boosted the population of its most commercially valuable fishes, says the first 10-year progress report.

    Coral trout (Plectropomus species) are now more common and bigger in protected spots than in comparable places still being fished,...

    03/26/2015 - 12:15 Conservation, Animals, Science & Society
  • News in Brief

    Manganese turns honeybees into bumbling foragers

    A heavy metal pollutant muddles honeybee behavior. Just a small dose of manganese boosts certain brain chemicals and makes bees inept foragers, researchers report online March 25 in Biology Letters.

    Scientists knew that the metal is toxic in high amounts. The results show that even low levels...

    03/24/2015 - 20:15 Pollution, Neuroscience, Animals
  • News

    Neandertal of ant farmers grows modern food

    A living relict of an ancient species of farmer ants has startled biologists by cultivating a fancy, modern food crop that didn’t arise until more than 30 million years after the ants themselves. The surprising discovery is providing a new look at how symbiotic species evolve.

    “It’s like a lost tribe of Neandertals growing a GMO crop,” says Ted Schultz of the Smithsonian Institution in...

    03/24/2015 - 14:15 Animals, Fungi, Evolution
  • It's Alive

    Piggyback rides and other crocodile fun

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    “There is a lady who has a few pet crocodiles and they play tug-of-war,” says Vladimir Dinets of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. This is bath time merriment, with crocs pulling on towels.

    That’s just some of the fun Dinets has heard about since he published “Play...

    03/23/2015 - 13:00 Animals, Evolution
  • News

    Turning the gut microbiome into a chat room

    Altering how bacteria talk to each other can change the balance of microbes in the body, a new study suggests.

    By butting in to bacterial conversations, friendly microbes may better resist the ravages of antibiotics, researchers report online March 19 in Cell Reports. Treating mice with antibiotics depleted the number...

    03/19/2015 - 12:00 Microbiology
  • Science Ticker

    Mudskippers use watery tongue to slurp up snacks on land

    When a mudskipper moves from water to land, it brings a mouthful of water that it uses as a tongue to move food to the back of its throat and into its belly, researchers report March 17 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. It is the first time scientists...

    03/17/2015 - 20:05 Animals, Evolution
  • Context

    P value ban: small step for a journal, giant leap for science

    Imagine, if you dare, a world without P values.

    Perhaps you’re already among the lucky participants in the human race who don’t know what a P value is. Trust me, you don’t want to. P stands for pernicious, and P values are at the root of all (well, most) scientific evil.

    Of course, I don’t mean evil in the sense of James Bond’s villains. It’s an unintentional evil, but nevertheless...

    03/17/2015 - 15:18 Numbers
  • The –est

    People moved into rainforests much earlier than thought

    In at least one part of the world, humans had adapted to living in rainforests by 20,000 years ago, about 10,000 years earlier than previously thought, a new study finds.

    Archaeologist Patrick Roberts of the University of Oxford and his colleagues analyzed chemical signatures of teeth from 26 individuals that lived in Sri Lanka from 20,000 to 3,000 years ago. That evidence reflects year-...

    03/12/2015 - 14:00 Anthropology, Chemistry
  • News

    For healthy eating, timing matters

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    When you eat may determine how long and strong your heart beats.

    Fruit flies that limited eating to 12-hour stints had steadier heartbeats in old age than flies that ate whenever they wanted, researchers report in the March 13 Science. The study adds to a growing...

    03/12/2015 - 14:00 Physiology, Nutrition
  • Wild Things

    Flowers make the menu for nearly all Galapagos birds

    Charles Darwin made the Galapagos Islands’ finches famous. In On the Origin of Species, he posited that the birds’ various beak shapes had developed in response to the different conditions and diet that their ancestors had been...

    03/11/2015 - 12:38 Animals, Ecology