Life

  1. Two musk oxen stand in the snow, about to butt heads.
    Neuroscience

    Headbutts hurt the brain, even for a musk ox

    Though musk oxen are built to bash, a study of the headbutters turned up signs of brain damage. But that may not be catastrophic for the bovids.

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  2. image of the ground around succulent plants in South Africa showing lichens and cyanobacteria
    Ecosystems

    Biocrusts reduce global dust emissions by 60 percent

    Lichens and other microbes construct biological soil crusts that concentrate nutrients and slash global dust emissions.

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  3. A wandering salamander crawling on wood
    Animals

    ‘Wandering’ salamanders glide like skydivers from the world’s tallest trees

    Using their legs and tail, these amphibians have impressive control over their daring dives from coast redwood canopies.

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  4. a row of vials, three filled with moon dirt, including one with a thale cress seedling
    Plants

    These are the first plants grown in moon dirt

    The first attempt to grow plants in Apollo samples from the moon shows the promise and potential struggles of farming in lunar soil.

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  5. A caribou head appears behind a bush.
    Life

    Caribou gut parasites indirectly create a greener tundra

    Caribou merely sickened by parasites eat less vegetation, allowing plants to flourish.

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  6. underwater image of an Indo-Pacific bottlenosed dolphin rubbing on coral on the seafloor
    Animals

    These dolphins may turn to corals for skin care

    For Indo-Pacific bottlenosed dolphins, rubbing against corals and sea sponges that contain antibacterial compounds could help keep skin healthy.

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  7. image of three flags at half mask in front of the U.S. capitol building
    Science & Society

    COVID-19 has killed a million Americans. Our minds can’t comprehend that number

    We intuitively compare large, approximate quantities but cannot grasp such a big, abstract number as a million U.S. COVID-19 deaths.

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  8. Two monkeys standing on a tree branch; a juvenile monkey is being groomed by a female silvered-leaf monkey
    Animals

    A ‘mystery monkey’ in Borneo may be a rare hybrid. That has scientists worried

    Severe habitat fragmentation caused by expanding palm oil plantations may have driven two primate species to mate that wouldn’t have otherwise.

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  9. a bird nest between skinny tree branches
    Physics

    Experiments hint at why bird nests are so sturdy

    A bird’s nest is a special version of a granular material. Lab experiments and computer simulations explain its quirky behavior.

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  10. Marmoset carrying two babies on its back
    Animals

    Baby marmosets may practice their first distinctive cries in the womb

    Ultrasounds tracking fetal mouth movements in baby marmosets pinpoint the early development of the motor skills needed for vocalization.

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  11. Myotis myotis bat hanging from the ceiling of a cave
    Life

    These bats buzz like wasps and bees. The sound may deter hungry owls

    Researchers have identified what may be the first known case of a mammal mimicking an insect.

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  12. a photo of several bottle of plant milks on a table
    Agriculture

    Oat and soy milks are planet friendly, but not as nutritious as cow milk

    Plant-based milks are better for the environment, but nutrition-wise they fall behind cow milk.

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