Popular Science articles about Biology & Nature

Monarch butterflies are catching the sun on an oyamel tree in a Mexican overwintering site.

Dog waste contaminates our waterways: A new test could reveal how big the problem is

Americans love their dogs, but they don't always love to pick up after them. And that's a problem. Dog feces left on the ground wash into waterways, sometimes carrying bacteria...

Nature collides with James Bond: Newly discovered ant species hides in plain sight

Researchers plan and plot every considerable aspect of their work, but sometimes it's something unexpected and seemingly insignificant that leads to the real discovery. That was the case for Scott...

Study shows how chimpanzees share skills

This is individual KB of the Sonso chimpanzee community of the Budongo Forest in Uganda, using a moss-sponge in November 2011, a behavior she learned by observing her mother.Evidence of new behaviour being adopted and transmitted socially from one individual to another within a wild chimpanzee community is publishing on September 30 in the open access journal PLOS...

Geneticists solve 40-year-old dilemma to explain why duplicate genes remain in the genome

This is an informational graphic of the process of gene duplication, showing how sister genes can confer mutational robustness by allowing organisms to adapt to novel environments.Geneticists at Trinity College Dublin have made a major breakthrough with important implications for understanding the evolution of genomes in a variety of organisms.

Gene doubling shapes the world: Instant speciation, biodiversity, and the root of our existence

What do seedless watermelon, salmon, and strawberries all have in common? Unlike most eukaryotic multicellular organisms that have two sets of chromosomes and are diploid, these organisms are all polyploid,...

Plants prepackage beneficial microbes in their seeds

Plants have a symbiotic relationship with certain bacteria. These 'commensal' bacteria help the pants extract nutrients and defend against invaders -- an important step in preventing pathogens from contaminating fruits...

Investigating the 'underground' habitat of Listeria bacteria

The collected soil and water samples were analyzed for their bacterial content.The literature describes Listeria as ubiquitous bacteria with widespread occurrence. Yet they only become a problem for humans and animals when they contaminate food processing facilities, multiply, and enter the...

Human genome was shaped by an evolutionary arms race with itself

An evolutionary arms race has shaped the genomes of primates, including humans.New findings by scientists at the University of California, Santa Cruz, suggest that an evolutionary arms race between rival elements within the genomes of primates drove the evolution of complex...

Preference for built-up habitats could explain rapid spread of the tree bumblebee in UK

The strikingly rapid spread of the Tree Bumblebee in Britain could be occurring because the bees readily live alongside humans in towns and villages -- according to research from the...

Brazilian zoologists discovered the first obligate cave-dwelling flatworm in South America

The type locality of the new cave-dwelling species in northeastern Brazil is shown.Typical cave-dwelling organisms, unpigmented and eyeless, were discovered in a karst area located in northeastern Brazil. The organisms were assigned to a new genus and species of freshwater flatworm and...

Spiders: Survival of the fittest group

Tiny <i>Anelosimus</i> spiders may have a huge story to tell about evolution. University of Vermont biologist Charles Goodnight helped University of Pittsburgh scientist Jonathan Pruitt unravel the tale. And from these spiders' tangled webs, the researchers have uncovered the first-ever field-based evidence for a biological mechanism called 'group selection' contributing to local adaptation in natural populations. Evolutionary theorists have been debating the existence and power of group selection for decades. Now Pruitt and Goodnight have observed it in the wild -- as they report in the journal <i>Nature</i>.Along rivers in Tennessee and Georgia, scientists have been studying brownish-orange spiders, called Anelosimus studiosus, that make cobwebby nests "anywhere from the size of a golf ball to the size...

Semen secrets: How a previous sexual partner can influence another male's offspring

Neriid flies are depicted. Scientists at UNSW Australia have studied the flies and discovered a new form of non-genetic inheritance, showing for the first time that offspring can resemble a mother's previous sexual partner.Scientists have discovered a new form of non-genetic inheritance, showing for the first time that offspring can resemble a mother's previous sexual partner -- in flies at least.

Smithsonian scientists discover coral's best defender against an army of sea stars

Coral reefs face a suite of perilous threats in today's ocean. From overfishing and pollution to coastal development and climate change, fragile coral ecosystems are disappearing at unprecedented rates around...

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Laser-guided sea monkeys show how zooplankton migrations may affect global ocean currents

A time lapse of migrating sea monkeys (white) and particles suspended in the water (yellow) reveals large, swirling currents created by the swimming animals that mix the surrounding water.Sea monkeys have captured the popular attention of both children and aquarium hobbyists because of their easily observable life cycle -- sold as dehydrated eggs, these tiny brine shrimp readily...

Bacteria may have ability to reduce impact of diazepam on UK river environments

The natural photo degradation of diazepam (valium) and similar medicines -- followed by bacterial breakdown -- may reduce their potentially harmful impact on the UK's freshwater environment, a team of...

A heartbeat away? Hybrid 'patch' could replace transplants

Because heart cells cannot multiply and cardiac muscles contain few stem cells, heart tissue is unable to repair itself after a heart attack. Now Tel Aviv University researchers are literally...

MaxBin: Automated sorting through metagenomes

MaxBin, an automated software program for binning the genomes of individual microbial species from metagenomic sequences is available online through JBEI.Microbes -- the single-celled organisms that dominate every ecosystem on Earth -- have an amazing ability to feed on plant biomass and convert it into other chemical products. Tapping into...

Climate change appears a mixed bag for a common frog

After warm winters, wood frogs in the wild breed earlier and produce fewer eggs.Scientists have found amphibians worldwide are breeding earlier due to climate change, but how that affects species is just now being answered.

Scientists discover new poison dart frog species in Donoso, Panama

The hololotype specimen, which scientists used as the basis to describe a new species of poison dart frog: <i>Andinobates geminisae</i>.A bright orange poison dart frog with a unique call was discovered in Donoso, Panama, and described by researchers from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the Universidad Autónoma de...

Eyeless Mexican cavefish eliminate circadian rhythm to save energy

Eyeless Mexican cavefish show no metabolic circadian rhythm in either light and dark or constant dark conditions, according to a study published September 24, 2014 in the open-access journal PLOS...

Researchers engineer 'Cas9' animal models to study disease and inform drug discovery

Researchers from the Broad Institute and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a new mouse model to simplify application of the CRISPR-Cas9 system for in vivo genome editing experiments. The...

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