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Codifying the universal language of honey bees

The researchers analyzed the dances of 85 marked bees from three hives. Credit: Virginia Tech For Virginia Tech researchers Margaret Couvillon and Roger Schürch, the Tower of Babel origin myth -- intended to explain the genesis of the world's many languages -- holds great meaning. The two assistant professors and their teams have decoded the…

In mice, single population of stem cells contributes to lifelong hippocampal neurogenesis

This image shows the mouse hippocampus with adult neural stem cells (labeled green). Credit: Berg et al./Cell Scientists once thought that mammals entered adulthood with all of the neurons they would ever have, but studies from the 60s found that new neurons are generated in certain parts of the adult brain and pioneering studies from…

New approach could boost energy capacity of lithium batteries

Molecular diagram shows the structure of molybdenum sulfide, one of the materials used to create the new kind of cathode for lithium-sulfur batteries. Credit: Image courtesy of the researchers Researchers around the globe have been on a quest for batteries that pack a punch but are smaller and lighter than today's versions, potentially enabling electric…

Historical trade of tortoiseshell reveals origins of modern wildlife trafficking networks

A new study from Monterey Bay Aquarium researchers studied the historical trade of tortoiseshell made from the carapaces of hawksbill turtles like the one pictured, which was photographed during a necropsy in Hawaii. Credit: Kyle Van Houtan/NOAA New research from the Monterey Bay Aquarium finds that historical tortoiseshell trade routes may have established the groundwork…

A bad bout of flu triggers ‘taste bud cells’ to grow in the lungs

The discovery of tuft cells (in green) in mice lungs after flu gives researchers insights into how a bad respiratory infection may set the stage for certain inflammatory conditions, such as asthma. The cells, similar to those in taste buds, are named for the elongated microvilli which project from their surface. Credit: Andrew Vaughan/University of…

The salt-craving neurons

Pass the potato chips, please! New research discovers neural circuits that regulate craving and satiation for salty tastes. Credit: Caltech Potato chips, French fries, popcorn -- whichever your preference, we all know that salt is a key component of many tasty foods. But eating too much salt has potential health risks and can lead to…

How light from street lamps and trees influence the activity of urban bats

A study conducted by a team led by the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) sheds new light on how exactly ultraviolet (UV) emitting and non-UV emitting street lamps influence the activity of bats in the Berlin metropolitan area and whether tree cover might mitigate any effect of light pollution. Credit: Christian Giese…

Data flows from NASA’s TESS Mission, leads to discovery of Saturn-sized planet

A "hot Saturn" passes in front of its host star in this illustration. Astronomers who study stars used "starquakes" to characterize the star, which provided critical information about the planet. Credit: Illustration by Gabriel Perez Diaz, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias Astronomers who study stars are providing a valuable assist to the planet-hunting astronomers pursuing…

New cryptic bird species discovered

Scientists recently discovered a new species of bird on Borneo - the Cream-eyed Bulbul. Credit: Subir Shakya, LSU In the lush, lowland rainforests on the island of Borneo lives a rather common, drab brown bird called the Cream-vented Bulbul, or Pycnonotus simplex. This bird is found from southern Thailand to Sumatra, Java and Borneo. In…

Are no-fun fungi keeping fertilizer from plants?

Different fungal species isolated from native and disturbed soils within Florida International University's Miami campus and Everglades National Park. Credit: Photo credit Mary Tiedeman Crops just can't do without phosphorus. Globally, more than 45 million tons of phosphorus fertilizer are expected to be used in 2019. But only a fraction of the added phosphorus will…

Retinal prion disease study redefines role for brain cells

Microglia have been shown to be beneficial in slowing prion disease progression in the brain, and now in retina. Here, microglial cells (green) are engulfing and eliminating prion-damaged photoreceptors (red), which appears to slow retinal degeneration. Credit: James. F. Striebel/NIAID National Institutes of Health scientists studying the progression of inherited and infectious eye diseases that…

CRISPR-chip enables digital detection of DNA without amplification

Kiana Aran's novel system immobilizes the CRISPR complexes on the surface of graphene-based transistors. These complexes search a genome to find their target sequence and, if the search is successful, bind to its DNA. This binding changes the conductivity of the graphene material in the transistor, which detects the change using a handheld reader. Credit:…

GRAVITY instrument breaks new ground in exoplanet imaging

The GRAVITY instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) has made the first direct observation of an exoplanet using optical interferometry. This method revealed a complex exoplanetary atmosphere with clouds of iron and silicates swirling in a planet-wide storm. The technique presents unique possibilities for characterizing many of the exoplanets known today. Credit: ESO/L.…

Crop damage: Researchers advance effort to manage parasitic roundworms

A PDE inhibitor bound to PDE4. Credit: UNH Roundworms that feed on plants cause approximately $100 billion in annual global crop damage. Now researchers at the University of New Hampshire have made a patent-pending discovery that certain enzymes in roundworms, called nematodes, behave differently than the same enzymes in humans, with amino acids potentially playing…

Bacteria may travel thousands of miles through the air globally

Bacteria were collected from this hot spring in the El Tatio region in northern Chile. Credit: Yaroslav Ispolatov Bacteria may travel thousands of miles through the air worldwide instead of hitching rides with people and animals, according to Rutgers and other scientists. Their "air bridge" hypothesis could shed light on how harmful bacteria share antibiotic…

Rivers raged on Mars late into its history

A photo of a preserved river channel on Mars, taken by an orbiting satellite, with color overlaid to show different elevations (blue is low, yellow is high). Credit: NASA/JPL/Univ. Arizona/UChicago Long ago on Mars, water carved deep riverbeds into the planet's surface -- but we still don't know what kind of weather fed them. Scientists…

Glowing tumors show scientists where cancer drugs are working

Radiolabeled protein lights up tumor implanted in the arm of a mouse under a PET scan. The researchers hope to use scans like this one to to calculate in real time how much of an immunotherapy drug reaches a tumor and what parts of a cancer remain unaffected. Credit: Sridhar Nimmagadda Experimenting with mice, Johns…

Tracing the process of nitrous oxide formation in the ocean

View on the Eastern South Pacific during the expedition M91 with research vessel METEOR. Researchers from GEOMAR were able to determine dissolved hydroxylamine in water samples from numerous stations. These measurements provide indications where nitrification occurs. Credit: Kerstin Nachtigall/GEOMAR Just like oxygen, nitrogen is of fundamental importance for life on Earth. Depending on the forms…

Lying, sitting or standing: Resting postures determined by animals’ size

Hippos lie on their side, but also on their chest. Credit: Christian Schiffmann Why do we never see cows lying on their sides in fields? In ruminants such as cows, sheep, antelopes, deer and giraffes, the bits of food in the stomach that need to be chewed again are sorted using gravity. In order for…

Spintronics: Ultra-short spin waves in an astoundingly simple material

An ultrashort spin wave (red) running through a nickel iron layer. Towards the center of the layer, the magnetic direction (blue arrows) swings only up and down in a sort of knot, while the motion in the other parts remains circular -- with opposing sense of magnetic rotation. Credit: HZDR / Juniks Due to its…

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