Life

  1. illustration of Vampyronassa rhodanica in pink with a blue background
    Paleontology

    Vampire squid are gentle blobs. But this ancestor was a fierce hunter

    New fossil analyses of 164-million-year-old ancestors of today’s vampire squid show the ancient cephalopods had muscular bodies and powerful suckers.

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  2. a cat chewing a catnip plant
    Chemistry

    Cats chewing on catnip boosts the plant’s insect-repelling powers

    When cats tear up catnip, it increases the amount of insect-repelling chemicals released by the plants.

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  3. someone holds a Kangaroo Island dunnart on a piece of cloth
    Animals

    These tiny marsupials survived wildfires only to face extinction from feral cats

    The Kangaroo Island dunnart was one species seen to reemerge after 2019–2020 Australian bushfires but is now closer than ever to extinction.

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  4. A polar bear stands atop glacial mélange — a floating mishmash of icebergs, sea ice fragments and snow that exists year-round
    Ecosystems

    Some polar bears in Greenland survive on surprisingly little sea ice

    “Glacial mélange” could provide a last refuge for some bears as the Earth warms, but climate action is needed to preserve the species, researchers say.

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  5. An orange Brachycephalus or pumpkin toadlet frog photographed from the front, showing his large black eyes.
    Animals

    Here’s why pumpkin toadlets are such clumsy jumpers

    Tiny Brachycephalus frogs from southern Brazil can leap into the air but have trouble landing.

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  6. yellow and black sail swallowtail butterfly on a pink flower
    Animals

    Butterflies may lose their ‘tails’ like lizards

    Fragile, tail-like projections on some butterflies' wings may be a lifesaver.

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  7. two female ring-tailed lemurs with their young
    Life

    Lucy Cooke’s new book ‘Bitch’ busts myths about female animals

    Female animals get their due in Lucy Cooke’s exploration of the roles of the sexes in biology and evolution.

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  8. Dozens of mosquitoes in a pooter, a clear tube-shaped device
    Animals

    Mosquitoes prefer dozing over dining when they are sleep-deprived

    Mosquitoes repeatedly shaken to prevent slumber lag behind well-rested ones when offered a researcher’s leg to feed on, new experiments show.

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  9. Illustration of the ancient beaverlike mammal Kimbetopsalis simmonsae
    Paleontology

    How mammals took over the world

    In the book The Rise and Reign of the Mammals, paleontologist Steve Brusatte tracks the evolutionary innovations that made mammals so successful.

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  10. An outdoor view of an apparatus that removes chemicals from the public water supply. Two men in hardhats look on.
    Ecosystems

    Just 3 ingredients can quickly destroy widely used PFAS ‘forever chemicals’

    Ultraviolet light, sulfite and iodide break down enduring PFAS molecules faster and more thoroughly than other UV-based methods.

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  11. a scientist in front of cages full of mosquitos at a lab in Terni, Italy
    Genetics

    Who decides whether to use gene drives against malaria-carrying mosquitoes?

    As CRISPR-based gene drives to eliminate malaria-carrying mosquitoes pass new tests, the African public will weigh in on whether to unleash them.

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  12. Glia cell in mouse spleen
    Neuroscience

    Glial cells may take on big jobs in unexpected parts of the body

    Scientists are finding mysterious glia in the heart, spleen and lungs and wonder what they’re doing there.

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