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E.g., 07/06/2015
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  • How Bizarre

    Plastic shell lets roach-bot squeeze through gaps

    View the video

    Cluttered terrain won’t block this cockroach-bot. A sleek, rounded shell lets the six-legged robot scurry through tight spaces, researchers from the University of California, Berkeley report online June 22 in Bioinspiration & Biomimetics.

    The robo-roach is short and squat...

    07/06/2015 - 07:00 Robotics, Technology
  • Wild Things

    Seabirds may navigate by scent

    Seabirds called shearwaters manage to navigate across long stretches of open water to islands where the birds breed. It’s not been clear how the birds do this, but there have been some clues. When scientists magnetically disturbed Cory’s shearwaters, the birds still managed to find their way. But when deprived of their...

    07/03/2015 - 07:44 Animals
  • Science Ticker

    Why seahorses have square tails

    Hammering and squishing 3-D printed seahorse tail segments reveals what’s so great about being square.

    Angled bones hitched together in a flexible string of squares create protective cages that are four times stronger than rounded ones, researchers report July 3 in Science. That’s the conclusion from...

    07/02/2015 - 14:34 Animals, Biophysics, Evolution
  • News

    Wrinkled brain mimics crumpled paper

    Cramming a big brain into a skull may be as easy as just wadding it up. The same physical rules that dictate how a paper ball crumples also describe how brains get their wrinkles, scientists suggest July 3 in Science.

    That insight, arrived at in part by balling up sheets of standard-sized A4 office paper...

    07/02/2015 - 14:00 Neuroscience
  • News

    Missing enzyme to blame for scentless roses

    Stopping to smell the roses might be a letdown — and now researchers know why.

    The sweet-smelling flowers craft their scent using a surprising enzyme, previously thought to help prune genetic errors, researchers report July 3 in Science. That enzyme — and potent aroma — is missing in many roses bred for...

    07/02/2015 - 14:00 Chemistry, Plants
  • Science Ticker

    Pluto may have spots the size of Missouri

    A chain of enigmatic dark spots mark the surface of Pluto in recent New Horizons images, taken when the spacecraft was about 22 million kilometers from the dwarf planet. Each splotch is about 500 kilometers across and covers roughly the same area as the state of Missouri.

    The...

    07/02/2015 - 12:10 Planetary Science
  • Science Ticker

    Genetic tweak hints at why mammoths loved the cold

    A single genetic change may have made woolly mammoths fat, hairy and cold-loving.

    Researchers deciphered the genomes of two woolly mammoths that died about 20,000 and 60,000 years ago. When comparing the mammoths’ DNA to that from three Asian elephants, researchers noted that mammoths had different forms of some proteins involved in sensing temperature.

    The team produced one of the...

    07/02/2015 - 12:00 Molecular Evolution, Animals
  • News

    Smell test may detect autism

    A 10-minute test could help doctors sniff out autism, a new study contends.

    Whether smelling roses or sour milk, children with autism inhale about the same amount of air, researchers report July 2 in Current Biology. In contrast, kids without the disorder breathe in pleasant scents more deeply than stinky ones.

    The...

    07/02/2015 - 12:00 Health, Mental Health, Neuroscience
  • Context

    Science is heroic, with a tragic (statistical) flaw

    First of two parts

    Science is heroic. It fuels the economy, it feeds the world, it fights disease. Sure, it enables some unsavory stuff as well — knowledge confers power for bad as well as good — but on the whole, science deserves credit for providing the foundation underlying modern civilization’s comforts and conveniences.

    But for all its heroic accomplishments, science...

    07/02/2015 - 11:29 Numbers, Science & Society
  • Introducing

    Centipede discovered in caves 1,000 meters belowground

    A newly discovered centipede species takes extreme living to new depths.

    Scientists discovered Geophilus hadesi more than 1,000 meters underground in damp, nearly freezing caves in central Croatia. The centipede is just under 3 centimeters long and has 33 pairs of legs, plus unusually long antennae. Researchers...

    07/02/2015 - 10:44 Animals