Mammals are unique in many ways. We’re warm-blooded and agile in comparison with our reptilian relatives. But a new study, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and led by Harvard University researchers Stephanie Pierce and Katrina Jones, suggests we’re unique in one more way — the makeup of our spines. The researchers describe their

A couple of sugars, a dash of enzymes, a pinch of salt, a splash of polyethylene glycol, carefully arranged in watery baths. And researchers had made a synthetic organelle, which they used in a new study to explore some odd cellular biochemistry. The researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology made the chemical medley in

The oldest known aquatic reptiles, the mesosaurs, probably spent part of their life on land, reveals a new study published in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. The fossilized bones of adult Mesosaurus share similarities with land-dwelling animals, which—coupled with the relative scarcity of land-weathered fossilized remains of large specimens—suggests that older mesosaurs were semi-aquatic, whereas

In relatively cool temperatures, Anelosimus studiosus spiders lay their eggs and spin their webs and share their prey in cooperative colonies from Massachusetts to Argentina. Temperatures may vary, but the colonies continue to work together. That is, until 31 degrees C; then the spiders start to attack each other. Like many dynamic, complex systems, these

Harvard researchers have developed a computational model that can mimic, with only a few, simple parameters, the complex wing patterns of a large group of distantly-related insects, shedding light on how these patterns form. One of the biggest mysteries in nature is how complex patterns—such as leopard spots or zebrafish stripes—form. This research lays out

Fishing pressure on threatened shark populations has increased dramatically in recent years and it is urgent that consumers reject shark fin products altogether — a study in Marine Policy by researchers from the Swire Institute of Marine Science (SWIMS), School of Biological Sciences, University of Hong Kong (HKU), the Sea Around Us initiative at the

Twenty years ago, researchers made the accidental discovery that the now infamous plastics ingredient known as bisphenol A or BPA had inadvertently leached out of plastic cages used to house female mice in the lab, causing a sudden increase in chromosomally abnormal eggs in the animals. Now, the same team is back to report in

A novel insect-inspired flying robot, developed by TU Delft researchers from the Micro Air Vehicle Laboratory (MAVLab), is presented in Science (14 September 2018). Experiments with this first autonomous, free-flying and agile flapping-wing robot — carried out in collaboration with Wageningen University & Research — improved our understanding of how fruit flies control aggressive escape

Approximately 61 percent of the world’s 356 turtle species are threatened or already extinct, and the decline could have ecological consequences. These findings are according to a paper in the journal BioScience synthesizing the global status of turtles and their ecological roles by scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey, Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute, University of

A team of scientists at the University of Wyoming has provided the first empirical evidence that ungulates (hooved mammals) must learn where and when to migrate, and that they maintain their seasonal migrations by passing cultural knowledge across generations. The results were reported today in Science. Biologists have long suspected that, unlike many bird, fish

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