Life

  1. an illustration of viruses attacking a rod-shaped bacterium
    Microbes

    A bacteria-virus arms race could lead to a new way to treat shigellosis

    As bacteria that cause shigellosis evolve to escape a virus, the microbes may become less deadly, a hopeful sign for “phage therapy.”

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  2. Brood X cicadas on a leaf
    Animals

    Cicada science heats up when Brood X emerges. 2021 was no exception

    Mating mobs of big, hapless, 17-year-old cicadas made for a memorable spring in the Eastern United States

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  3. a photo showing a fossilized aprtial jaw and braincase
    Anthropology

    2021 research reinforced that mating across groups drove human evolution

    Fossils and DNA point to mixing and mingling among Homo groups across vast areas.

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  4. a young tropical forest growing on abandoned pastureland, with the sun rising or setting in the background
    Life

    Cleared tropical forests can regain ground surprisingly fast

    Tropical forests can re-establish themselves on abandoned agricultural lands faster than expected, scientists say.

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  5. image of vulture bees on a piece of chicken
    Animals

    Gut bacteria let vulture bees eat rotting flesh without getting sick

    Acid-producing bacteria in the gut of vulture bees let these “weirdos of the bee world” safely snack on animal carcasses.

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  6. image of a flock of white and black sanderling birds
    Life

    Light-colored feathers may help migrating birds stay cool on long flights

    Analysis of over 20,000 illustrations of birds reveals that migrating birds generally tend to have lighter-colored feathers than birds that stay put.

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  7. Cheatgrass
    Plants

    Invasive grasses are taking over the American West’s sea of sagebrush

    Cheatgrass and other invasive plants are expanding rapidly in the western United States, putting more places at risk for wildfires.

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  8. illustration of a new species of ankylosaur with a sunset in the background
    Paleontology

    This dinosaur had a weapon shaped like an Aztec war club on its tail

    The flat and spiky tail club of a newly discovered ankylosaur was unique, even for this often weirdly armored group of dinosaurs.

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  9. image of a cannabis flower
    Chemistry

    Here’s the chemistry behind marijuana’s skunky scent

    Newly ID’d sulfur compounds in cannabis flowers give the plant its telltale odor. One, prenylthiol, is what also gives “skunked beer” its funky flavor.

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  10. image of hands holding a pile of soil
    Life

    Fungi may be crucial to storing carbon in soil as the Earth warms

    Fungi help soil-making bacteria churn out carbon compounds that are resilient to heat, keeping those compounds in the ground, a study suggests.

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  11. a small lizard sitting on a leaf
    Animals

    A new book shows how animals are already coping with climate change

    ‘Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid’ takes a clear-eyed look at future of animal life.

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  12. image of Tyson Bottenus holding the helm of a boat with a spin effect
    Microbes

    A sailor’s story captures the impact of rising serious fungal infections

    Fungal infections are hard to diagnose, hard to treat and are on the rise. A young sailor is staying positive to navigate the challenges.

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