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Seeding oceans with iron may not impact climate change

Phytoplankton (stock image). Credit: © tonaquatic / Adobe Stock Historically, the oceans have done much of the planet's heavy lifting when it comes to sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Microscopic organisms known collectively as phytoplankton, which grow throughout the sunlit surface oceans and absorb carbon dioxide through photosynthesis, are a key player. To help…

Researchers Were Not Right About Left Brains, Study Suggests

Left and right sides of brain illustration (stock image). Credit: © nerthuz / Adobe Stock The left and right side of the brain are involved in different tasks. This functional lateralization and associated brain asymmetry are well documented in humans, but little is known about brain asymmetry in our closest living relatives, the great apes.…

Discovery at ‘flower burial’ site could unravel mystery of Neanderthal death rites

Illustration of primitive man in cave (stock image). Credit: © Kovalenko I / Adobe Stock The first articulated Neanderthal skeleton to come out of the ground for over 20 years has been unearthed at one of the most important sites of mid-20th century archaeology: Shanidar Cave, in the foothills of Iraqi Kurdistan. Researchers say the…

Disappearing snakes and the biodiversity crisis

Tropical snake (eyelash viper) (stock image). Credit: © ondrejprosicky / Adobe Stock A Michigan State University- and University of Maryland-led study should sound alarm bells regarding the "biodiversity crisis" or the loss of wildlife around the world. The loss of any species is devastating. However, the decline or extinction of one species can trigger an…

Scientists find ally in fight against brain tumors: Ebola

Brain scan (stock image). Credit: © sudok1 / Adobe Stock Glioblastomas are relentless, hard-to-treat, and often lethal brain tumors. Yale scientists have enlisted a most unlikely ally in efforts to treat this form of cancer -- elements of the Ebola virus. "The irony is that one of the world's deadliest viruses may be useful in…

Huge bacteria-eating viruses close gap between life and non-life

Illustration of bacteriophages infecting bacterial cell (stock image). Credit: © evve79 / Adobe Stock Scientists have discovered hundreds of unusually large, bacteria-killing viruses with capabilities normally associated with living organisms, blurring the line between living microbes and viral machines. These phages -- short for bacteriophages, so-called because they "eat" bacteria -- are of a size…

Mars: Simulations of early impacts produce a mixed Mars mantle

Mars (stock image; elements furnished by NASA). Credit: © grejak / Adobe Stock The early solar system was a chaotic place, with evidence indicating that Mars was likely struck by planetesimals, small protoplanets up to 1,200 miles in diameter, early in its history. Southwest Research Institute scientists modeled the mixing of materials associated with these…

Antibiotics discovered that kill bacteria in a new way

Lab technician holding a Petri dish (stock image). Credit: © angellodeco / Adobe Stock A new group of antibiotics with a unique approach to attacking bacteria has been discovered, making it a promising clinical candidate in the fight against antimicrobial resistance. The newly-found corbomycin and the lesser-known complestatin have a never-before-seen way to kill bacteria,…

New study shows Deepwater Horizon oil spill larger than previously thought

Oil spill (stock image). Credit: © sakhorn38 / Adobe Stock Toxic and invisible oil spread well beyond the known satellite footprint of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, according to a new study led by scientists at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel school of Marine and Atmospheric Science. These new findings have important implications for…

New Horizons team uncovers a critical piece of the planetary formation puzzle

Illustration of planets forming in early solar system (stock image). Credit: © Mopic / Adobe Stock Data from NASA's New Horizons mission are providing new insights into how planets and planetesimals -- the building blocks of the planets -- were formed. The New Horizons spacecraft flew past the ancient Kuiper Belt object Arrokoth (2014 MU69)…

Babies mimic songs, study finds

Baby with microphone (stock image). Credit: © Africa Studio / Adobe Stock Researchers -- and parents -- have long known that babies learn to speak by mimicking the words they hear. But a new study shows that babies also might try to imitate the singing they hear in songs. As part of the study, scientists…

Algae team rosters could help ID ‘super corals’

Coral reef (stock image). Credit: © ver0nicka / Adobe Stock U.S. and Australian researchers have found a potential tool for identifying "super corals" that can tolerate a limited amount of climate change. "We may be able to use algae team characteristics to identify coral colonies to focus on for conservation or restoration,'" said veteran reef…

Pollinating opossums confirm decades-long theory

Opossum (stock image). Credit: © Riverwalker / Adobe Stock In Brazil there is a plant so strange that researchers predicted -- and 27 years later, proved -- that opossums are key to its pollination. The findings are published in the Ecological Society of America's journal Ecology. The plant Scybalium fungiforme, a little-known fungus-like species of…

Using sound and light to generate ultra-fast data transfer

High-speed data concept (stock image). Credit: © Sergii / Adobe Stock Researchers have made a breakthrough in the control of terahertz quantum cascade lasers, which could lead to the transmission of data at the rate of 100 gigabits per second -- around one thousand times quicker than a fast Ethernet operating at 100 megabits a…

Scientists reverse reproductive clock in mice

Lab mouse (stock image). Credit: © filin174 / Adobe Stock Researchers have lifted fertility rates in older female mice with small doses of a metabolic compound that reverses the aging process in eggs, offering hope for some women struggling to conceive. The University of Queensland study found a non-invasive treatment could maintain or restore the…

Researchers stimulate areas vital to consciousness in monkeys’ brains — and it wakes them...

Brain illustration (stock image). Credit: © PIC4U / Adobe Stock One of the central questions in neuroscience is clarifying where in the brain consciousness, which is the ability to experience internal and external sensations, arises. On February 12 in the journal Neuron, researchers report that a specific area in the brain, the central lateral thalamus,…

New ‘universal’ target for antiviral treatment

Illustration of viruses (stock image). Credit: © Axel Kock / Adobe Stock As the coronavirus outbreak shows, viruses are a constant threat to humanity. Vaccines are regularly developed and deployed against specific viruses, but that process takes a lot of time, doesn't help everyone who needs protection, and still leaves people exposed to new outbreaks…

Orb-weaver spiders’ yellow and black pattern helps them lure prey

Giant golden orb weaver on web (stock image). Credit: © David Carillet / Adobe Stock Researchers from Australia, Singapore, Taiwan and the UK placed cardboard cut-out models of the golden orb-weaver, Nephila pilipes, onto real webs in the field. Testing different combinations of colours and patterns they discovered that both the yellow colour and the…

Apps could take up less space on your phone, thanks to new ‘streaming’ software

Woman using mobile phone (stock image). Credit: © Jacob Lund / Adobe Stock If you resort to deleting apps when your phone's storage space is full, researchers have a solution. New software "streams" data and code resources to an app from a cloud server when necessary, allowing the app to use only the space it…

‘Rule breaking’ plants may be climate change survivors

Plantago lanceolate (stock image). Credit: © Tetiana / Adobe Stock Plants that break some of the 'rules' of ecology by adapting in unconventional ways may have a higher chance of surviving climate change, according to researchers from the University of Queensland and Trinity College Dublin. Dr Annabel Smith, from UQ's School of Agriculture and Food…

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