Popular Science articles about Biology & Nature

This is entomologist Christian Krupke at the Purdue Bee Laboratory with pollen collected by Indiana honeybees.

The mysterious sexual life of the most primitive dragonfly

<i>Hemiphlebia mirabilis</i> is a rare species in every sense: it is the most primitive dragonfly known to man, it has unique reproductive behaviors and was believed to be extinct in the '70s.The dragonfly considered the most primitive in the world lives in Australia and Tasmania, and was believed to be extinct four decades ago. But it is far from being so....

When it comes to claws, right-handed attracts the girls

Right-clawed amphipod is more gregarious in behavior.A tiny marine crustacean with a great big claw has shown that not only does size matter, but left or right-handedness (or in this case, left or right-clawedness) is important...

Weed stems ripe for biofuel

A weedy plant found on the roadside in northern Australia has stems ripe for biofuel production.

Fungi -- a promising source of chemical diversity

Breadseed poppies <i>Papaver somniferum</i> as well as many other poppy and barberry plants produce many Isochinoline alkaloids.The fungus Aspergillus fumigatus produces a group of previously unknown natural products. With reference to plant isoquinoline alkaloids, these substances have been named fumisoquins. Researchers from Jena (Germany) discovered the...

'Phage' fishing yields new weapon against antibiotic resistance

Yale researchers were fishing for a new weapon against antibiotic resistance and found one floating in a Connecticut pond, they report May 26, 2016 in the journal Scientific Reports.

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Cuing environmental responses in fungi

Fungi can sense environmental signals and react accordingly, changing their development, direction of growth, and metabolism. Sensory perception lies at the heart of adaptation to changing conditions, and helps fungi...

Scientists illuminate a hidden regulator in gene transcription

MIT scientists developed a super-resolution imaging technique, using a combination of multi-colored lasers and mirrors, to visualize very tiny, transient phenomena, such as enzyme clustering on genes.Gene transcription is the process by which DNA is copied and synthesized as messenger RNA (mRNA) -- which delivers its genetic blueprints to the cell's protein-making machinery.

Trouble with parasites? Just migrate!

Why do animals migrate? Explanations behind the evolution of such a costly, yet common behavior are varied. However, rarely do parasites and pathogens figure into the story. Researchers from the...

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Saving Nemo: Bleaching threatens clownfish

Clownfish, the star of Disney's "Finding Nemo" and the upcoming sequel, are at risk because of the increase bleaching of their homes, sea anemones. The uptick is due to a rise in ocean temperatures.Clownfish became a household name over a decade ago when Disney released the movie "Finding Nemo."

Tiny wasp sniffs out, picks up 'good vibrations' to battle ash borer

Spathius galinae has been approved for release to help control the emerald ash borer, an invasive beetle that has devastated ash tree populations across the US.With the emerald ash borer beetle devastating ash tree populations throughout the United States -- from locations as far north as Massachusetts and as far south as Louisiana -- solutions...

Fiddler crabs' 'Morse code' attracts Mrs. Right

This is the male fiddler crab <em>Uca lactea</em>.The vibrations and pulses that male fiddler crabs produce when they are trying to lure females into their burrows to mate are surprisingly informative. These signals serve as a type...

Stick insects produce bacterial enzymes themselves

Vietnamese stick insect <I>Ramulus artemis</I>: the insect belongs to one of six stick insect species in which the researchers isolated pectinase genes.Many animals depend on their microbiome to digest their food. Symbiotic microorganisms produce enzymes their hosts cannot, and these work alone or together with the animals' own enzymes to break...

Dancing hairs alert bees to floral electric fields

This is a a bumblebee covered in body hairs.Tiny, vibrating hairs may explain how bumblebees sense and interpret the signals transmitted by flowers, according to a study by researchers at the University of Bristol.

Organism responsible for paralytic shellfish poisoning may affect fisheries

Copepod <i>Calanus finmarchicus</i>.The toxic dinoflagellate, Alexandrium fundyense, is a photosynthetic plankton--a microscopic organism floating in the ocean, unable to swim against a current. New research by scientists at the University of Hawai'i...

Slithery new species

The team encountered the first individual, a beautiful meter-long silvery female, climbing in a Silver Palm tree near the water's edge on a remote island in the southern Bahamas. As...

Targeting metals to fight pathogenic bacteria

Felipe Cava, associate professor, at The Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS), Ume&aring; University in Sweden.Researchers at the Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS) at Umeå University in Sweden participated in the discovery of a unique system of acquisition of essential metals in the...

Researchers identify critical factors that determine drought vulnerability of wheat, maize

Researchers led by Lixin Wang, assistant professor of earth sciences in the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, have identified critical information about the environmental variables and agronomic...

New malaria drugs kill by promoting premature parasite division

Massive morphological changes resembling premature onset of parasite division in malaria parasites after two-hour exposure to new antimalarial drugs.Several new malaria drugs under development share a common feature: they promote an influx of sodium ions into Plasmodium parasites that have invaded red blood cells and multiply there. A...

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Why fruit fly sperm are giant

These are mating <i>Drosophila</i> fruit flies.In the animal kingdom, sperm usually are considerably smaller than eggs, which means that males can produce far more of them. Large numbers of tiny sperm can increase the probability...

Oldest well-documented Blanding's turtle recaptured at U-M reserve at age 83

A female Blanding's turtle believed to be at least 83 years old was captured at a University of Michigan forest reserve this week. Researchers say it is the oldest well-documented...

A 100-million-year partnership on the brink of extinction

This is a light microscope image of the five tentacle temnocephalan <i>Temnosewellia c.f rouxi</i> from cultured redclaw crayfish.A relationship that has lasted for 100 million years is at serious risk of ending, due to the effects of environmental and climate change. A species of spiny crayfish native...

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