Tag: biology

"I never forget a…"

Wasps have a good memory for a face Chimps never forget a bum Since I’m more closely related to chimps than to wasps, perhaps the difficulty I have in remembering people’s names simply boils down to looking at the wrong spot.

Why flies are so hard to swat

Michael Dickinson is a genius. At least, in 2001 the University of California, Berkeley, professor received one of the $500,000 “genius” grants given annually by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to creative individuals “who provide the imagination and fresh ideas that can improve people’s lives and bring about movement on important issues.” …

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Willett of the Day: Christopher S. Willett, biologist

Today’s Willett of the Day is Christopher S. Willett, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor in te Department of Biology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. I’ll let him explain his research: My research addresses the nature of genetic variation that underlies speciation and adaptation. Specifically, I attempt to unravel how genetic changes at the …

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Biggest bug ever!

I’m a bit late with this, but just for record, “Ick!”: A giant fossilized claw discovered in Germany belonged to an ancient sea scorpion that was much bigger than the average man, an international team of geologists and archaeologists reported Tuesday.

I, for one, welcome our new robot masters…

…or apparently I would if I were a cockroach: Cockroaches will often choose shelter unwisely when under the influence of robots, a new study shows. Usually when the creepy crawlers are let loose in a brightly lit area, they gather under the darkest shade they can find. ***But when the bugs were joined by tiny …

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What’s it like in Level 4?

Download the audio version.Get my science column weekly as a podcast. *** It’s a staple of movies and TV shows: the Level 4 lab, where scientists in “space suits” race against the clock to find a cure for a mysterious ailment. But what’s it like to work in a Level 4 laboratory in real life? …

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One step closer to the return of the woolly mammoth?

Maybe. That’s the focus of today’s post at Futurismic; and thanks to Janet at The Walrus Said for the tip!

Genetic modification of large animals just got easier

Efforts to genetically modify large animals have been hindered by the fact that the two methods currently used to effect it, somatic cell nuclear transfer or pronuclear injection, are costly, inefficient, difficult, and carry a risk of producing abnormal offspring. Now researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine have successfully produced genetically …

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If this were a science fiction thriller…

…this would be bad news: An 8-million-year-old bacterium that was extracted from the oldest known ice on Earth is now growing in a laboratory, claim researchers. If confirmed, this means ancient bacteria and viruses will come back to life as ice melts due to global warming. This is nothing to worry about, say experts, because …

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Photo of the Day: Colourful Caterpillar

More photos here.

Why am I confident the universe is teeming with life?

Because we keep finding it on Earth in even the most apparently inhospitable places…like the Rancho La Brea tar pits.

Looking for something to read?

Better get started on The Encyclopedia of Life now, because it’s going to take a while: In a whale-sized project, the world’s scientists plan to compile everything they know about all of Earth’s 1.8 million known species and put it all on one Web site, open to everyone. The effort, called the Encyclopedia of Life, …

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