- Earth's most abundant mineral finally has a name
- New insights into origins of agriculture could help shape future of food
- Reasons for malaria's drug resistance discovered
- Why tool-wielding crows are left- or right-beaked
- 'Non-echolocating' fruit bats actually do echolocate, with wing clicks
- Electric eels deliver taser-like shocks
- New revelations on dark matter and relic neutrinos
Posted: 12 Dec 2014 12:01 PM PST
Posted: 11 Dec 2014 01:24 PM PST
Agricultural decisions made by our ancestors more than 10,000 years ago could hold the key to food security in the future, according to new research. Scientists, looking at why the first arable farmers chose to domesticate some cereal crops and not others, studied those that originated in the Fertile Crescent, an arc of land in western Asia from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf.
Posted: 11 Dec 2014 11:20 AM PST
Scientists have discovered, in a breakthrough study, exactly how the malaria parasite is developing resistance towards the most important front-line drugs used to treat the disease. Malaria is a mosquito-borne parasite which affects over 60 million people worldwide and in serious cases, can be fatal. There is currently no viable vaccine for malaria while antimalarial drugs and prophylaxis are losing its efficacy with increasing drug resistance.
Posted: 04 Dec 2014 11:07 AM PST
New Caledonian crows show preferences when it comes to holding their tools on the left or the right sides of their beaks, in much the same way that people are left- or right-handed. Now researchers suggest that those bill preferences allow each bird to keep the tip of its tool in view of the eye on the opposite side of its head. Crows aren't so much left- or right-beaked as they are left- or right-eyed.
Posted: 04 Dec 2014 11:07 AM PST
In a discovery that overturns conventional wisdom about bats, researchers have found that Old World fruit bats -- long classified as 'non-echolocating' -- actually do use a rudimentary form of echolocation. Perhaps most surprisingly, the clicks they emit to produce the echoes that guide them through the darkness aren't vocalizations at all. They are instead produced by the bats' wings, although scientists don't yet know exactly how the bats do it.
Posted: 04 Dec 2014 11:06 AM PST
The electric eel -- the scaleless Amazonian fish that can deliver an electrical jolt strong enough to knock down a full-grown horse -- possesses an electroshock system uncannily similar to a Taser. That is the conclusion of a nine-month study of the way in which the electric eel uses high-voltage electrical discharges to locate and incapacitate its prey.
Posted: 04 Dec 2014 09:13 AM PST
Satellite have been studying relic radiation (the most ancient light in the Universe). This light has been measured precisely across the entire sky for the first time, in both intensity and polarization, thereby producing the oldest image of the Universe. This primordial light lets us "see" some of the most elusive particles in the Universe: dark matter and relic neutrinos. Between 2009 and 2013, the Planck satellite observed relic radiation, sometimes called cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation. Today, with a full analysis of the data, the quality of the map is now such that the imprints left by dark matter and relic neutrinos are clearly visible.
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