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  • chemicals within a primordial soup
  •  amyloid-like clumps made by bacteria
  • Birgus latro
Your search has returned 115 articles:
  • News in Brief

    Life on Earth may have begun as dividing droplets

    NEW ORLEANS — In a primordial soup on ancient Earth, droplets of chemicals may have paved the way for the first cells. Shape-shifting droplets split, grow and split again in new computer simulations. The result indicates that simple chemical blobs can exhibit replication, one of the most basic properties of life, physicist Rabea Seyboldt of the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex...

    03/21/2017 - 07:00 Biophysics, Chemistry
  • Letters to the Editor

    Readers dispute starfishes' water-swirling abilities

    Doomsday preppers

    Dinosaurs and other creatures were largely wiped out 66 million years ago from an asteroid impact, volcanic eruptions or maybe a mix of the two, Thomas Sumner reported in “Devastation detectives” (SN: 2/4/17, p. 16), in the Science News special report “Dino Doomsday.”

    Online reader Mike van Horn wondered if the timing of the v­olcanic eruptions, which happened for h­...

    03/08/2017 - 12:22 Animals, Evolution, Biophysics
  • News

    Bacteria’s amyloids display surprising structure

    Clusters of a toxic bacterial protein have a surprising structure, differing from similar clumps associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s in humans, scientists report in the Feb. 24 Science.

    These clusters, called amyloids, are defined in part by their structure: straight regions of protein chains called beta strands, folded accordion-style into flat beta sheets, which then stack up...

    02/23/2017 - 14:00 Biophysics
  • It's Alive

    Coconut crab pinches like a lion, eats like a dumpster diver

    A big coconut crab snaps its outsized left claw as hard as a lion can bite, new measurements suggest. So what does a land crab the size of a small house cat do with all that pinch power?

    For starters, it protests having its claw-force measured, says Shin-ichiro Oka of the Okinawa Churashima Foundation in Motobu, Japan. “The coconut crab is very shy,” he says. It doesn’t attack people...

    02/21/2017 - 07:00 Animals, Ecology, Biophysics
  • News in Brief

    New imaging technique catches DNA ‘blinking’ on

    BOSTON — A new imaging technique takes advantage of DNA’s natural ability to “blink” in response to stimulating light.  The new approach will allow unprecedented views of genetic material and other cellular players. It’s the first method to resolve features smaller than 10 nanometers in unmodified, live cells, biomedical engineer Vadim Backman said February 17 at the annual meeting of the...

    02/19/2017 - 10:39 Cells, Chemistry, Biophysics
  • Science Ticker

    How hydras know where to regrow their heads

    View the video

    Hydras, petite pond polyps known for their seemingly eternal youth, exemplify the art of bouncing back. The animals’ cellular scaffolding, or cytoskeleton, can regrow from a slice of tissue that’s just 5 percent of its full body size. Researchers thought that molecular signals told cells where and how to rebuild, but new evidence suggests there are other forces at play....

    02/09/2017 - 10:00 Animals, Biophysics, Cells
  • News in Brief

    How hydras know where to regrow their heads

    View the video

    Hydras, petite pond polyps known for their seemingly eternal youth, exemplify the art of bouncing back (SN: 7/23/16, p. 26). The animals’ cellular scaffolding, or cytoskeleton, can regrow from a slice of tissue that’s just 2 percent of the original hydra’s full body size. Researchers thought that molecular signals told cells where and how to rebuild, but new evidence...

    02/09/2017 - 10:00 Animals, Biophysics, Cells
  • Mystery Solved

    Dragonfish opens wide with flex neck joint

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    Dragonfish are the stuff of nightmares with their oversized jaws and rows of fanglike teeth. The deep sea creatures may be only several centimeters long, but they can trap and swallow sizable prey. How these tiny terrors manage to open their mouths so wide has puzzled scientists, until now.

    In most fish, the skull is fused to the backbone, limiting their gape. But a...

    02/01/2017 - 14:34 Animals, Biophysics
  • News

    What gives frog tongues the gift of grab

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    Frogs’ remarkable power to tongue-grab prey — some as big as mice or as oddly shaped as tarantulas — stems from a combo of peculiar saliva and a supersquishy tongue.

    The first detailed analysis of the stickiness of frog saliva shows that the fluid can shift rather abruptly from gooey to runny, says mechanical engineer Alexis Noel of Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Those...

    01/31/2017 - 19:05 Animals, Biophysics
  • News in Brief

    Here's how earwax might clean ears

    NEW ORLEANS — The self-cleaning marvel known as earwax may turn the dust particles it traps into agents of their own disposal.

    Earwax, secreted in the ear canal, protects ears from building up dunes of debris from particles wafting through the air. The wax creates a sticky particle-trapper inside the canal, explained Zac Zachow January 7 at the annual meeting of the Society for ...

    01/13/2017 - 16:29 Biophysics, Physiology, Animals