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Friday, August 7, 2020
Soy milk, almond milk, oat milk. Spider milk?

Soy milk, almond milk, oat milk. Spider milk?

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Enlarge / The spider in question, without its young. Milk comes from mammals. It’s kind of a distinctly mammalian thing. Even our government knows that. And yet, Chinese scientists have documented jumping spiders that provide their young with droplets of a nutrient-rich fluid from a furrow on the mother’s body. It is the sole nourishment…
Researchers, ethicists knock choices behind gene-edited twins

Researchers, ethicists knock choices behind gene-edited twins

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Enlarge / Chinese geneticist He Jiankui speaks during the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing at the University of Hong Kong days after the Chinese geneticist claimed to have altered the genes of the embryo of a pair of twin girls before birth, prompting outcry from scientists of the field. As more details regarding…
Who had the most merciful death on Video game of Thrones? Science has a response

Who had the most merciful death on Video game of Thrones?...

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Enlarge / You know nothing, Jon Snow—like, maybe wear a hat when conditions are freezing in the North. Even if it musses up your luscious locks. HBO Warning: This story contains some mild spoilers from the first seven seasons of Game of Thrones. The world of Game of Thrones may be fictional, but that doesn't…
The triumphant rediscovery of the largest bee on Earth

The triumphant rediscovery of the largest bee on Earth

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Enlarge / Wallace's Giant Bee next to a honeybee for scale. Clay Bolt For security reasons, I can’t tell you exactly where Clay Bolt rediscovered Wallace’s giant bee. But I can tell you this. With a wingspan of two and a half inches, the Goliath is four times bigger than a European honeybee. Very much…
Physics suggests a few of Earth’s earliest animals assisted each other feed

Physics suggests a few of Earth’s earliest animals assisted each other...

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Enlarge / The result of a fluid mechanics simulation with multiple Erniettas. Dave Mazierski What drove the evolution of the earliest animal life? In modern animals, it's easy to infer a lot about an organism's lifestyle based on its anatomy. Even back in the Cambrian, with its large collection of bizarre looking creatures, these inferences…
Billion-year-old fossils might be early fungi

Billion-year-old fossils might be early fungi

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When did the first complex multicellular life arise? Most people, being a bit self-centered, would point to the Ediacaran and Cambrian, when the first animal life appeared and then diversified. Yet studies of DNA suggest that fungi may have originated far earlier than animals. When it comes to a fossil record, however, things are rather…
Test efficiency, gender, and temperature level

Test efficiency, gender, and temperature level

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As we move from a season marked by unstoppable heating units and into one dominated by aggressive air conditioning. Figuring out how to optimize the thermostat involves a balancing of individual comfort and energy efficiency. But a new study suggests that there's an additional factor that should feed into decisions: the performance of any employees…
Big hereditary research study discovers very first genes gotten in touch with ADHD

Big hereditary research study discovers very first genes gotten in touch...

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If you have ADHD, chances are higher that your siblings do, too. Estimates differ as to how strong the connection is, but the arrows point in the same direction: genetics helps determine someone's risk for ADHD. Beyond that, we still have myriad questions and not many answers—which genes play a role? And how do those…
It’s the drag that assists the simple hagfish slime predators so rapidly

It’s the drag that assists the simple hagfish slime predators so...

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Courtesy of University of Wisconsin, Madison. The homely hagfish might look like just your average bottom feeder, but it has a secret weapon: it can unleash a full liter of sticky slime in less than one second. That slime can clog the gills of a predatory shark, for instance, suffocating it. Scientists are unsure just…
Some ideas about why male Guinea baboons fondle each other’s genital areas

Some ideas about why male Guinea baboons fondle each other’s genital...

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Enlarge / A baby Guinea baboon in its pre-diddling days goes for a ride. Male Guinea baboons have a curious habit. They will walk—or sometimes run—to another male baboon and say a quick hello in a very enthusiastic way: with a “mutual penis diddle”. Or sometimes it’s a quick mount from behind. Other times, they…

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