Life

  1. orange and pink soft coral
    Life

    Probiotics help lab corals survive deadly heat stress

    In a lab experiment, probiotics prevented the death of corals under heat stress, suggesting beneficial microbes could help save ailing reefs.

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  2. a group of Ayta people in front of huts beside a river
    Genetics

    An Indigenous people in the Philippines have the most Denisovan DNA

    Genetic comparisons crown the Indigenous Ayta Magbukon people as having the most DNA, 5 percent, from the mysterious ancient hominids.

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  3. titmouse bird plucking fur from a fox
    Life

    Scientists have a new word for birds stealing animal hair

    Dozens of YouTube videos show birds stealing hair from dogs, cats, humans, raccoons and even a porcupine — a behavior rarely documented by scientists.

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  4. illustration of nerve cells in the hippocampus
    Health & Medicine

    Ripples in rats’ brains tied to memory may also reduce sugar levels

    Brain signals called sharp-wave ripples have an unexpected job: influencing the body’s sugar levels, a study in rats suggests.

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  5. a fox squirrel in a tree
    Animals

    Squirrels use parkour tricks when leaping from branch to branch

    Squirrels navigate through trees by making rapid calculations to balance trade-offs between branch flexibility and the distance between tree limbs.

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  6. A brown widow spider crawling along a garter snake trapped in its web against a white wall
    Animals

    Snake-eating spiders are surprisingly common

    Spiders from at least 11 families feed on serpents many times their size, employing a host of tactics to turn even venomous snakes into soup.

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  7. image of Mt. Rushmore
    Earth

    A new book reveals stories of ancient life written in North America’s rocks

    In ‘How the Mountains Grew,’ John Dvorak probes the interlinked geology and biology buried within the rocks of North America.

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  8. researcher releasing a great hammerhead shark into the ocean
    Animals

    A hammerhead shark baby boom near Florida hints at a historic nursery

    Finding an endangered shark nursery in a vast ocean is like finding a needle in a haystack. But that’s just what scientists did near Miami.

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  9. picture of a green caterpillar-like creature walking across a leaf
    Animals

    Viruses can kill wasp larvae that grow inside infected caterpillars

    Proteins found in viruses and some moths can protect caterpillars from parasitoid wasps seeking a living nursery for their eggs.

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  10. illustration of a polar bear standing on a cliff as a rock falls toward a walrus standing on a rock below
    Animals

    Polar bears sometimes bludgeon walruses to death with stones or ice

    Inuit reports of polar bears using tools to kill walruses were historically dismissed as stories, but new research suggests the behavior does occur.

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  11. image of the mesh skeleton on a modern bath sponge
    Life

    If confirmed, tubes in 890-million-year-old rock may be the oldest animal fossils

    Newly described wormlike fossils may be ancient sea sponges. If confirmed, the fossils would reveal a remarkably early start to animal life.

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  12. close-up of a tardigrade from above
    Life

    Near-invincible tardigrades may see only in black and white

    A genetic analysis suggests that water bears don’t have light-sensing proteins to detect ultraviolet light or color.

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