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E.g., 11/25/2015
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  • News

    Gut microbes signal when dinner is done

    Gut bacteria are not polite dinner guests. They fill up fast and tell their host to quit eating, too.

    After only 20 minutes, helpful E. coli populations that live in animal guts produce proteins that can curb how hungry its animal partner is, researchers show November 24 in Cell Metabolism. In mice and rats, the proteins stimulated brain-body responses that led the...

    11/24/2015 - 12:00 Microbes, Health
  • Science Ticker

    Conifer ancestors had a double dose of DNA

    Conifers grew giant genomes thanks to double doses of genetic material.

    Ancient ancestors of today’s pine, cypress and yew trees had extra copies of their entire genome — the set of genetic instructions for an organism, researchers report November 20 in Science Advances.  

    Whole genome duplications are...

    11/24/2015 - 06:30 Plants, Molecular Evolution
  • Wild Things

    Five species that show why ‘bird brain’ is a stupid phrase

    Call someone a “bird brain” and they are sure to be offended. After all, it’s just another way of calling someone “stupid.” But it’s probably time to retire the insult because scientists are finding more and more evidence that birds can be pretty smart. Consider these five species:


    We may call pigeons “flying rats” for their penchant for hanging out in cities and grabbing...

    11/23/2015 - 14:00 Animals
  • Science Ticker

    Roses rigged with electrical circuitry

    Garden-variety roses just got an electrical upgrade.

    Playing off the thirst of plant vascular systems, a team of Swedish researchers cut garden roses (Rosa floribunda) and set them in water containing specially designed organic molecules that can conduct and process electricity. The molecules linked up to form “wires” in the xylem, which pumps water and nutrients up from plant...

    11/20/2015 - 16:22 Plants, Technology
  • Science Stats

    Many Amazon trees endangered

    Between 36 and 57 percent of all tree species in the Amazon probably meet International Union for Conservation of Nature standards for being a threatened species, new findings show.

    Under current deforestation trends where 40 percent of the...

    11/20/2015 - 14:50 Conservation, Plants
  • Science Ticker

    Genetically modified salmon gets approval in U.S.

    Salmon genetically engineered to grow bigger and faster than normal were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the agency announced November 19.

    The fish are the first genetically engineered animals cleared for human consumption anywhere in the world. The FDA determined that the fish are...

    11/19/2015 - 15:33 Science & Society, Genetics, Animals
  • News

    How to see with eyes made of rock

    Certain species of the crawling lumps of mollusk called chitons polka-dot their armor-plated backs with hundreds of tiny black eyes. But mixing protection and vision can come at a price.

    The lenses are rocky nuggets formed mostly of aragonite, the same mineral that pearls and abalone shells are made of. New analyses of these eyes support previous evidence that they form rough images...

    11/19/2015 - 14:37 Animals, Biophysics, Evolution
  • Science Ticker

    Adorable birds tap dance their way into the heart of a mate

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    Blue-capped cordon-bleu songbirds (Uraeginthus cyanocephalus) know how to bust a move like Fred Astaire. The birds belt out some dulcet tones, stick some nesting material in their beak, bob up and down — and rhythmically tap their feet.

    Researchers summarize the first evidence of...

    11/19/2015 - 12:55 Animals
  • Wild Things

    Vampire bats share blood to make friends

    As if vampire bats weren’t already freaky enough, they have a habit that is at once sort of sweet and sort of gross: These communal animals will share blood with hungry roost-mates in an action that “looks like they’re French kissing,” bat scientist Gerald Carter told Science News in 2013.

    Carter, now at the...

    11/19/2015 - 08:17 Animals
  • Feature

    Getting creative to cut methane from cows

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    In a pasture outside Edmonton, Canada, you’ll find a few dozen cows doing what cows do: mostly eating. The average animal spends eight-plus hours a day filling its belly, or as is the case with cows, bellies. Along with that enormous appetite, cows are born with the ability to digest almost any plant they can chew, thanks to a multichambered stomach...

    11/18/2015 - 16:36 Animals, Microbes, Climate