Bees don’t have the mouthpart sensitivity to taste — and thus can’t avoid — nectar tainted with neonicotinoid pesticides, new lab tests indicate. And the charm of nicotine may even seduce bees into favoring pesticide-spiked nectar.
Outdoor tests also show that neonicotinoid exposure for some wild bees can be worrisome, a second paper reports. Together, the studies renew questions about...
Some 90 percent of the world’s trade spends at least part of its journey at sea. Ships carry everything from oil to...
This guest post is from Science News chemistry and environment writer Beth Mole.
The news and Internet are lush with worrisome reports about synthetic turf: Your child’s playground might be teeming with toxic chemicals. The city park could expose her to noxious dust. And if her soccer team plays on the fake fields, she could get cancer.
Largely absent from...
News in Brief
Sweet potatoes farmed worldwide picked up a bit of genetic engineering — without human help.
Samples collected from 291 cultivated sweet potatoes carry at least one stretch of DNA from Agrobacterium, says plant molecular biologist Godelieve Gheysen of Ghent University in Belgium. The Agrobacterium genus includes the main bacterial species that makes intentionally...
A dose of dirt could defend rice plants from the damaging effects of toxic nanoparticles.
Acids naturally found in the organic matter of soil, collectively called humic acid, can protect rice seedlings from the cell damage and stunted root growth caused by copper oxide nanoparticles, researchers report April 13 in...
Plants turn out to be secondhand smokers, taking in nicotine from humankind’s tobacco and fumes. And lab tests suggest that slipping a cigarette butt into a plant’s pot sends a temporary surge of nicotine into its leaves.
Researchers sprinkled 100 milligrams of American Spirit tobacco — about an eighth to a tenth of a cigarette — onto the soil of potted peppermint plants. Nine days later...
Mysterious radio signals detected by the Parkes telescope appear to come from an advanced civilization in the Milky Way. Unfortunately, it’s the one civilization we already know about.
Microwave ovens opened before they’re done cooking have been muddling the hunt for far more distant radio signals, researchers report online April 9 at arXiv....
In 2011, a group of scientists “turned mice gay.” The only issue is, of course, they didn’t.
Rather, Yi Rao and colleagues at Peking University in Beijing, China, showed that male mice will cheerfully mount both male and female mice, as long as their brains are deficient in one chemical...
The Cretaceous period was a tyrannosaur-eat-tyrannosaur world. Bite marks from before and after death scar the skull of an ancient tyrannosaur called Daspletosaurus, researchers report April 9 in PeerJ.
Paleontologists identified a fossilized skull and jaw as that of a teenage Daspletosaurus, a cousin to ...
Fruit flies’ brains may be wired to count calories.
Several genes in the brain appear to help the flies learn to distinguish between normal-calorie and high-calorie foods — and to remember to choose the healthier option later. Feeding the flies a constant diet of high-calorie foods disrupts their ability to make these metabolic memories, researchers...