Life

  1. preserved nerve cells
    Anthropology

    These human nerve cell tendrils turned to glass nearly 2,000 years ago

    Part of a young man’s brain was preserved in A.D. 79 by hot ash from Mount Vesuvius’ eruption.

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  2. Ogre-faced spider
    Life

    Ogre-faced spiders catch insects out of the air using sound instead of sight

    A new study finds that ogre-faced spiders can hear a surprisingly wide range of sounds.

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  3. octopus in a coffee mug
    Animals

    How octopuses ‘taste’ things by touching

    Octopus arms are dotted with cells that can "taste" by touch, which might enable arms to explore the seafloor without input from the brain.

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  4. Plasmodium falciparum
    Microbes

    How malaria parasites hide from the human immune system

    By turning genes on or off, the parasite keeps blood levels low but persistent, so infection doesn’t set off alarm bells for the immune system.

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  5. Ice Age woman carrying a toddler illustration
    Humans

    The longest trail of fossilized human footprints hints at a risky Ice Age trek

    Researchers have discovered the world's longest trail of fossilized human footprints at White Sands National Park, New Mexico.

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  6. Indiana bats
    Animals

    Why bat scientists are socially distancing from their subjects

    Scientists are calling for a “hands-off” approach to research to decrease the chances of spreading the coronavirus to bats in North America.

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  7. Ambopteryx longibrachium
    Paleontology

    Bat-winged dinosaurs were clumsy fliers

    The two known species of bat-winged dinosaurs were a dead end when it comes to the evolution of bird flight, a new study finds.

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  8. diabolical ironclad beetle
    Animals

    The diabolical ironclad beetle can survive getting run over by a car. Here’s how

    The diabolical ironclad beetle is an incredibly tough little creature. A peek inside its exoskeleton reveals what makes it virtually uncrushable.

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  9. Naked mole-rats in a pile
    Animals

    Naked mole-rats invade neighboring colonies and steal babies

    Naked mole-rats invade neighboring colonies, steal pups and evict any others left behind. The show of force may be central to their underground lifestyle.

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  10. fire ants building syphons
    Animals

    Fire ants build little syphons out of sand to feed without drowning

    To escape a watery death, some fire ants use build sand structures that draw the insects’ sugary, liquid food out of containers and to a safer place.

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  11. Hainan gibbon on a rope bridge
    Animals

    A rope bridge restored a highway through the trees for endangered gibbons

    When critically endangered Hainan gibbons started making dangerous leaps across a new gully, researchers came up with an alternative route.

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  12. Venus flytrap plant
    Plants

    How Venus flytraps store short-term ‘memories’ of prey

    Glowing Venus flytraps reveal how calcium buildup in the cells of leaves acts as a short-term “memory” that helps the plants identify prey.

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