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  • Science Ticker

    White House unveils strategy against antibiotic resistance

    The Obama Administration has launched a long-term plan to curb antibiotic resistance, unveiling incentives and requirements designed to boost surveillance and diagnosis of resistant microbes, speed new drug development and require that hospitals and clinics adopt antimicrobial...

    03/27/2015 - 17:09 Science & Society, Microbes, Health
  • Science Ticker

    Panda stalking reveals panda hangouts

    Giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) may not be quite the lone rangers they’re reputed to be, researchers report March 27 in the Journal of Mammology.

    A research team strapped GPS collars to five wild pandas — one male and four females — that live...

    03/27/2015 - 14:00 Animals, Conservation
  • Science Ticker

    Bright bird plumage resulted from natural, sexual selection

    Charles Darwin observed birds such as the peacock and thought the bright colors of the male’s tail attracted females — an example of sexual selection. Alfred Russel Wallace suggested that duller female birds were the result of natural selection — bright colors stood out to predators as the birds protected their nests, so the birds that blended in to their surroundings survived.

    Who was...

    03/27/2015 - 14:00 Evolution, Animals
  • Science Ticker

    For bats, simple traffic patterns limit collisions

    Humans aren’t the only ones who follow traffic rules. Bats do it too, researchers report March 26 in PLOS Computational Biology.

    Scientists eavesdropped on echolocating Daubenton’s bats (Myotis daubentonii) as the animals cruised for dinner. Once a bat locks on to a peer’s  sonar...

    03/26/2015 - 18:34 Animals
  • News

    No-fishing scheme in Great Barrier Reef succeeds with valuable fishes

    An ambitious, hotly debated system of no-take reserves inside the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park has boosted the population of its most commercially valuable fishes, says the first 10-year progress report.

    Coral trout (Plectropomus species) are now more common and bigger in protected spots than in comparable places still being fished,...

    03/26/2015 - 12:15 Conservation, Animals, Science & Society
  • News

    Iceland lays bare its genomes

    By pinpointing a suite of dysfunctional genes, a detailed genetic portrait of the Icelandic population has helped scientists identify rare gene variants associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other medical problems.

    An international team of researchers working with deCODE, a genetics company based in Reykjavík, Iceland, determined...

    03/25/2015 - 14:51 Genetics, Evolution, Biomedicine
  • Wild Things

    ‘If you build it they will come’ fails for turtle crossings

    It’s really too bad that turtles can’t read.

    If they did, it would make saving them so much easier. When people create an ecopassage so the reptiles can safely cross a road by going underneath or over it, they could let the animals know with little signs saying “Don’t become roadkill! Safe crossing, left 20 meters.”

    Instead, we have to rely...

    03/25/2015 - 14:00 Animals, Conservation
  • News in Brief

    Manganese turns honeybees into bumbling foragers

    A heavy metal pollutant muddles honeybee behavior. Just a small dose of manganese boosts certain brain chemicals and makes bees inept foragers, researchers report online March 25 in Biology Letters.

    Scientists knew that the metal is toxic in high amounts. The results show that even low levels...

    03/24/2015 - 20:15 Pollution, Neuroscience, Animals
  • News

    Neandertal of ant farmers grows modern food

    A living relict of an ancient species of farmer ants has startled biologists by cultivating a fancy, modern food crop that didn’t arise until more than 30 million years after the ants themselves. The surprising discovery is providing a new look at how symbiotic species evolve.

    “It’s like a lost tribe of Neandertals growing a GMO crop,” says Ted Schultz of the Smithsonian Institution in...

    03/24/2015 - 14:15 Animals, Fungi, Evolution
  • News in Brief

    Fossil of monstrous fish-eating amphibian unearthed

    Fossils of a new species of a giant salamander-like predator date from a time when amphibians were big and scary.

    The fossils, estimated to be over 220 million years old, came from an ancient lake bed in Portugal, says Steve Brusatte of the University of Edinburgh. Brusatte and his colleagues suggest that the bones belong to a new species — Metoposaurus algarvensis — of what are...

    03/23/2015 - 20:16 Paleontology, Animals, Evolution