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Your search has returned 18 articles:
  • News

    Underage Spiders: Males show unexpected interest in young mates

    To the surprise of biologists, a male Australian redback spider will mate with a juvenile female before her reproductive tract has an external opening. The male bites through the immature female's outer covering and by doing so, protects his own life.

    This discovery adds a new twist to a textbook example of extreme mating practices. Until now, biologists had focused on these...

    08/23/2006 - 11:47 Animals
  • News

    Fish as Farmers: Reef residents tend an algal crop

    A damselfish cultivates underwater gardens of an algal species that researchers haven't found growing on its own.

    The special alga could be the fishy version of people's domesticated crops, says Hiroki Hata of Kyoto University in Japan. Growth tests of the alga, surveys of its distribution, and genetic analyses support that idea, he and Makoto Kato say in an upcoming Biology...

    08/09/2006 - 12:05 Ecology
  • News

    Easy Answers: Quantum computer gives results without running

    Physicists have long known that quantum computers have the potential to race through calculations trillions of times as fast as ordinary computers do. Now, it seems that those machines may not have to calculate at all to deliver answers.

    That seemingly absurd possibility, which was advanced as a theory several years ago, has now received experimental verification. What's more, although...

    02/22/2006 - 12:18 Physics
  • Feature

    Armor-Plated Puzzle

    A few years after Francis H. Crick and James D. Watson unveiled the structure of DNA in 1953, they rocked the fledgling field of molecular biology again with a bold notion: Viruses are, in part, structured as crystals are. That idea captivated Donald L.D. Caspar and Aaron Klug, who then systematically applied what they knew about crystal geometry to classify and predict the structures that...

    08/29/2005 - 10:49 Numbers
  • Feature

    Empty Nets

    In the 1850s, 43 schooners from a single port, Beverly, Mass., plied the North Atlantic's Scotian shelf, which is prime cod territory in Canadian waters. Over the sides of the ships, crews dropped lines with single hooks and doggedly jigged their bait along the seafloor to entice the big predatory fish. Although the combined fleet used fewer than 1,200 hooks, the ships' logs indicate that...

    05/31/2005 - 18:30 Ecology
  • Feature

    Extreme Impersonations

    Extreme physical conditions have a way of bringing out the strangest behaviors that nature can muster. Just ask physicist John E. Thomas. Two years ago, he and his colleagues at Duke University in Durham, N.C., were working with intense lasers in a high-vacuum chamber at temperatures next to absolute zero. They were manipulating tiny clouds of lithium gas. When the scientists turned off the...

    09/11/2004 - 17:58 Physics
  • News

    Explosive News: Telescopes find signs of gentler gamma-ray bursts

    Some of the most powerful explosions in the universe could be 10 times as abundant as astronomers had assumed. That suggestion comes from two new studies indicating that many gamma-ray bursts—intense flashes of gamma-ray photons—go undetected because they don't pack quite as much punch as do the bursts that astronomers have recorded for years.

    According to a leading theory, gamma...

    08/04/2004 - 10:20 Astronomy
  • Food for Thought

    Seeing Red and Finding Fraudulent Fish

    Peter B. Marko wanted his marine biology graduate students to be able to do DNA fingerprinting of tissues. So, he gave them the assignment of analyzing 22 samples of red snapper meat from fish retailers in eight states. The students extracted DNA from each piece of fish, copied it so there would be enough material to analyze, then matched the DNA in each batch against an archived map of the...

    07/20/2004 - 18:33 Nutrition
  • News

    Farmer ant species may have lost all its males

    From Oaxaca, Mexico, at a meeting of the Animal Behavior Society

    Minuscule gardeners that grow fungus for food may be the first ant species that scientists have discovered to have no power of sexual reproduction. Several lines of evidence suggest that the species Mycocepurus smithii consists only of females that produce daughters from unfertilized eggs, says Anna Himler of the...

    06/29/2004 - 10:14 Animals
  • News

    Green tea takes on poison

    Dioxin, a carcinogenic by-product of many combustion processes, is ubiquitous throughout the environment, including in the food people eat. One way to protect against this contaminant could rely on natural plant compounds that short-circuit dioxin's toxicity. A new study finds that green tea contains several such agents and suggests that other dietary staples might offer protection against...

    06/07/2004 - 21:20 Nutrition