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  • Screentime

    Find your inner fish with PBS series on human evolution

    One question fascinates people like no other: Where did we come from? In a new PBS series, Your Inner Fish, paleobiologist Neil Shubin hosts a journey through time that answers the question in evolutionary terms. The six-hour, three-part documentary shows how the human body came to be the way it is today, starting with the first fish...
    04/15/2014 - 17:24 Evolution
  • News in Brief

    Triclosan aids nasal invasions by staph

    Sneezing out antimicrobial snot may sound like a superpower, but it actually could be a handicap.Triclosan, an omnipresent antimicrobial compound found in products ranging from soaps and toothpaste to medical equipment, is already known to show up in people’s urine, serum and breast milk. It seeps in through ingestion or skin exposure. Now, researchers have found that it gets into snot, too. And...
    04/15/2014 - 14:46 Health, Microbes, Toxicology
  • News

    Reef fish act drunk in carbon dioxide–rich ocean waters

    Carbon dioxide can really mess with fishes’ heads. Dissolved in ocean water, the acidic chemical turns timid young reef fish into tipsy little daredevils, researchers report April 13 in Nature Climate Change.The findings are the first to show that carbon dioxide makes fish in the wild act just as crazy as fish dosed with the greenhouse...
    04/14/2014 - 16:17 Climate, Oceans, Animals
  • Wild Things

    The surprising life of a piece of sunken wood

    The ocean is full of unique communities. Hydrothermal vents along deep ocean ridges feed chemosynthetic bacteria, specialized tubeworms and bacteria-farming shrimp. Sharks, worms, mollusks and more feed off dead whales as the carcasses fall to the...
    04/14/2014 - 15:45 Oceans, Animals, Ecology
  • News

    Ocean bacteria may have shut off ancient global warming

    Ocean-dwelling bacteria may have vacuumed up carbon and halted a period of extreme warmth some 56 million years ago, according to a study published April 13 in Nature Geoscience.The finding suggests how Earth might once have rapidly reversed a runaway greenhouse effect. However, rapidity is relative: The bacteria would be far too...
    04/14/2014 - 13:48 Climate, Oceans, Microbes
  • Wild Things

    Lionfish grow wary after culling

    The beauty of the lionfish, with its striking stripes and decorative fins, has made the members of the genus Pterois popular for aquariums. That popularity may have led to two species of the fish (P. volitans and P. miles) to make their way into the Atlantic, where they’ve become troublesome invasive...
    04/11/2014 - 11:30 Animals, Conservation
  • News

    In a crisis, fruit flies do stunt turns

    View the videoWith a brain the size of a salt grain, a fruit fly can do Top Gun maneuvers in just one-fiftieth of the time it takes to blink a human eye.That a fruit fly manages to do fighter-jet banked turns in midair contradicts some earlier ideas about how tiny insects maneuver, says Michael Dickinson of the University of Washington in Seattle. Other researchers...
    04/10/2014 - 15:42 Biophysics, Animals
  • News in Brief

    La Brea Tar Pits yield exquisite Ice Age bees

    It’s not all mammoths and saber-toothed tigers. The first leafcutter bees from the Pleistocene epoch have turned up in the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles.Exquisitely preserved as pupae undergoing their transformation to adulthood, a male and a female are still wrapped in their leafy nest. Micro-CT scans and other clues let researchers identify the bees...
    04/09/2014 - 17:30 Paleontology
  • Science Ticker

    Amoebas’ munching may cause diarrheal disease

    Amoebas biting and swallowing pieces of human cells may be what causes amebic dysentery, a potentially fatal diarrheal disease in the developing world.Scientists thought Entamoeba histolytica killed intestinal tissue before ingesting it. But new microscope images and video show that amoebas have to bite and engulf bits of healthy cells to kill them, a process that lets the microbe invade...
    04/09/2014 - 17:20 Microbiology, Microbes
  • Wild Things

    Small sperm whale species share a diet

    Herman Melville may have made the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) famous with Moby Dick, but there are other good reasons why you may not be familiar with the huge predator’s smaller cousins, the pygmy and dwarf sperm whales (...
    04/09/2014 - 12:30 Animals