Some plants crave a long bird bill. One tropical plant can even recognize which kind of hummingbird is slurping its nectar by the shape of its bill, scientists report online March 2 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.In Heliconia tortuosa, long-billed hummingbirds can reach in and guzzle more...
03/02/2015 - 15:00
Plants, Animals, Ecology
A subtle attraction between metallic strips could reveal the theorized but never detected particles that impart gravity.An experiment proposed in a Feb. 27 Physical Review Letters paper would explore whether fleeting waves of gravity in a vacuum perceptibly nudge two lead plates together. Detecting this attractive force,...
03/02/2015 - 14:45
Quantum Physics, Cosmology
News in Brief
HOUSTON — Children born to mothers who were exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke during pregnancy face an elevated risk of eczema and other skin problems in childhood.Elementary school children exposed to smoke in the womb were 50 percent more likely to have any history of atopic dermatitis than unexposed kids, scientists in South Korea found using blood tests and questionnaires about prenatal...
03/01/2015 - 08:00
Health, Immune Science, Human Development
News in Brief
Using wee balls of iron, scientists can catch radioactive fuel — hook, line and sinker.In liquid, iron nanoparticles quickly lure and encase uranium, which researchers can then reel in with a simple magnet. The method, reported online February 17 in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, could be used to sop up radioactive spills...
02/27/2015 - 16:07
News in Brief
HOUSTON — Early breast-feeding accompanies a lower risk of pet allergy, possibly because of the way breast milk steers the composition of an infant’s gut microbe mix.Scientists find that formula-fed newborns have a kind of gut bacterium at levels typically not seen until later in babyhood. These kids also had more signs of pet allergy years later than did breast-fed children, researchers...
02/27/2015 - 15:26
Human Development, Health, Immune Science
Like a miniature martial artist, the Loxosceles gaucho recluse spider can sneak up on a heavily armored harvestman (a type of arachnid), identify its weak spots and quickly disable its meal, a new study reveals.This species of recluse spider lives in and around Sao...
02/27/2015 - 15:05
Sibling rivalries among planets can turn deadly. Families of worlds huddled close to their stars might destroy one another, leaving behind just one or two planets after the carnage. These family feuds probably erupt in planetary systems that form much differently than our own, though it’s possible our solar system suffered similar growing pains.Many multiplanet systems discovered by the Kepler...
02/27/2015 - 12:39
You can take the flagella out of the bacteria, but you can’t take the flagella out of the bacteria’s genetic arsenal.By deleting a gene that controls flagella growth, Tiffany Taylor of the University of Reading in England and colleagues engineered the soil bacteria Pseudomonas fluorescens so they lacked their tiny tails. Bacteria that can move around and find food are more likely to...
02/27/2015 - 09:00
News in Brief
Morning fog along parts of coastal Southern California is disappearing due to nearby urbanization, new research suggests.Since 1948, fog frequency has plummeted 63 percent in the Los Angeles area, bioclimatologist A. Park Williams of Columbia University and colleagues report in a paper to be published in ...
02/27/2015 - 08:00
A federal vaccine advisory committee voted February 26 to recommend use of an expanded version of the human papillomavirus shot marketed as Gardasil.The move, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, clears the way for the broader-coverage vaccine, called Gardasil 9, to be used in the clinic. Current vaccines offer protection against up to...
02/26/2015 - 18:44
Health, Science & Society