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Thursday, January 23, 2020
Clustering pattern of Azteca ant colonies may be due to a Turing mechanism

Clustering pattern of Azteca ant colonies may be due to a...

Enlarge / A recent study by University of Michigan researchers found evidence of Turing patterns in the movement of Azteca ant colonies on coffee farms in Mexico. Azteca ants build their nests in shade trees, and it's relatively common to find other nests in trees nearby. But these clusters of ant nests are often separated…
DNA analysis revealed the identity of 19th century “Connecticut vampire”

DNA analysis revealed the identity of 19th century “Connecticut vampire”

Enlarge / The 19th century grave of "JB55" in Griswold, Connecticut, showing the remains arranged in a manner to prevent the "vampire" from rising and "feeding" off the community. The man is likely local laborer John Barber.Connecticut Office of State Archaeology Back in 1990, children playing near a gravel pit in Griswold, Connecticut, stumbled across…
Injecting the flu vaccine into a tumor gets the immune system to attack it

Injecting the flu vaccine into a tumor gets the immune system...

picture alliance/Getty Images A number of years back, there was a great deal of excitement about using viruses to target cancer. A number of viruses explode the cells that they've infected in order to spread to new ones. Engineering those viruses so that they could only grow in cancer cells would seem to provide a…
DNA points to humans as killers of the northern version of the penguin

DNA points to humans as killers of the northern version of...

The North Atlantic was once home to a bird that bore a remarkable similarity to penguins. The great auk, also known as “the original penguin,” was a large, flightless, black and white bird, that is said to have existed in the millions. Despite its appearance, the great auk is actually a relative of razorbills and…

This timeless piece of “body art” of people having sex in...

Video courtesy of Improbable Research Christmas just wouldn't be the same for lovers of science without the annual Christmas issue of the British Medical Journal (BMJ). The tradition began in 1982, originally as a one-off attempt to bring a bit of levity to the journal for the holidays. While the papers selected for inclusion evinced…
Why killer whales—and humans—evolved menopause

Why killer whales—and humans—evolved menopause

Enlarge / Southern Resident killer whales, an endangered population that recently lost the oldest known grandma orca to date. There's a rare human trait that doesn't often make it into debates about what makes our species unique: menopause. Humans are among just a handful of species where females stop reproducing decades before the end of…
The physics behind how fire ants band together into robust floating “rafts”

The physics behind how fire ants band together into robust floating...

Enlarge / A spinning fire ant raft in David Hu's biolocomotion lab at Georgia Tech is an example of collective behavior.Hungtang Ko Fire ants can survive floods by linking their bodies together to form large floating rafts. Now researchers at Georgia Tech have demonstrated that fire ants can actively sense changes in forces acting upon…
Google attempts to protect users from sketchy stem cell clinics

Google attempts to protect users from sketchy stem cell clinics

Enlarge / Google logo seen during Google Developer Days (GDD) in Shanghai, China, September 2019. Transplanted stem cells can be as lifesaving as donated organs, but the Food and Drug Administration in September warned consumers that some stem cell clinics only pretend to be in the business of miraculous recoveries. Now, Google is attempting to…
New antibiotic discovered in germs inside a worm inside an insect egg

New antibiotic discovered in germs inside a worm inside an insect...

BSIP/Universal Images Group The last antibiotics generated against Gram-negative bacteria—which tend to be the more dangerous type—were developed in the 1960s. Thanks to the rise of antibiotic resistance, we need more. But rather than going through the trouble of trying to make our own, scientists have looked to other species that might need to kill…
As the Arctic warms up, what remains in shop for its food webs?

As the Arctic warms up, what remains in shop for its...

Enlarge / Arctic sea ice is declining as waters heat up. The view from Kongsfjorden, Svalbard, is endless snow-covered mountains and glassy, frigid water. You need to travel roughly 400 miles west from the remote Norwegian archipelago to reach the northeast coast of Greenland. Kongsfjorden, home to one of the few human settlements on Svalbard,…

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