By tweaking just one or two genes, Cornell University researchers have altered the patterns on a butterfly’s wings. It’s not just a new art form, but a major clue to understanding how the butterflies have evolved, and perhaps to how color patterns – and other patterns and shapes – have evolved in other species.
New insights into the reproductive secrets of one of the world’s tiniest and most destructive parasites – the Varroa mite – has scientists edging closer to regulating them. read more
Columbia Engineering Professor Steven K. Feiner and Ajoy Fernandes MS’16 have developed a method of combating virtual reality (VR) sickness that can be applied to consumer head-worn VR displays, such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Sony PlayStation VR, and Google Cardboard.
A virus that infects major freshwater bacteria appears to use stolen bits of immune system DNA to highjack their hosts’ immune response. read more
A new study into pythons and boas has for the first time found the two groups of snakes evolved independently to share similar traits, shedding new light on how the reptiles evolved.
A UNSW Australia-led team of researchers has identified genes that allow some algae living in corals to tolerate higher ocean temperatures than others. The genes could act as markers to understand the risk of coral bleaching in different areas of tropical reefs including the Great Barrier Reef.
A new and inexpensive technique for mass-producing the main ingredient in the most effective treatment for malaria, artemisinin, could help meet global demands for the drug, according to a study to be published in the journal eLife . read more
Northwestern University researchers have developed a quantitative tool that might help bring back coral from the brink of extinction. The novel algorithm could help assess and predict the future of coral bleaching events by better understanding the coral’s symbiotic partner: algae. read more
Washington State University researchers have developed a portable biosensor that makes it easier to detect harmful bacteria. read more
Bioengineers at the University of California, San Diego have developed an electrical graphene chip capable of detecting mutations in DNA. Researchers say the technology could one day be used in various medical applications such as blood-based tests for early cancer screening, monitoring disease biomarkers and real-time detection of viral and microbial sequences.
Perovskite materials have shown great promise for use in next-generation solar cells, light-emitting devices (LEDs), sensors, and other applications, but their instability remains a critical limitation.
CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, FL — Less than three weeks after their last launch and landing attempt involving a Thai payload, SpaceX is set to continue the firms rapid fire pace of satellite deliveries to orbit with a new mission involving a stacked pair of all-electric propulsion commercial comsats that are due to liftoff tomorrow, Wednesday morning. Working off a hefty back log of lucrative launch contracts SpaceX is targeting Wednesday, June 15 for the launch of the Boeing-built EUTELSAT 117 West B and ABS-2A satellites for Latin American and Asian customers from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on an upgraded Falcon 9 rocket
Plant pollens vary in quality as food sources for bees, and pollen from the sunflower family (the family that includes dandelions, daisies, and thistles) is known to have some unpleasant qualities. Bees fed exclusively sunflower pollen often develop poorly, slowly, or not at all.
An ancient basin hidden beneath the Greenland ice sheet, discovered by researchers at the University of Bristol, may help explain the location, size and velocity of Jakobshavn Isbræ, Greenland’s fastest flowing outlet glacier. read more
Like a pair of human hands, certain organic molecules have mirror-image versions of themselves, a chemical property known as chirality. These so-called “handed” molecules are essential for biology and have intriguingly been found in meteorites on Earth and comets in our Solar System. None, however, has been detected in the vast reaches of interstellar space, until now.
Chiral molecules–compounds that come in otherwise identical mirror image variations, like a pair of human hands–are crucial to life as we know it. Living things are selective about which “handedness” of a molecule they use or produce. For example, all living things exclusively use the right-handed form of the sugar ribose (the backbone of DNA), and grapes exclusively synthesize the left-handed form of the molecule tartaric acid.
What an age we live in. This summer marks the very first opposition of Pluto since New Horizons’ historic flyby of the distant world in July 2015 . If you were like us, you sat transfixed during the crucial flyby phase, the climax of a decade long mission.
Cats understand the principle of cause and effect as well as some elements of physics. Combining these abilities with their keen sense of hearing, they can predict where possible prey hides
For plants and animals fleeing rising temperatures, varying precipitation patterns and other effects of climate change, the eastern United States will need improved “climate connectivity” for these species to have a better shot at survival.
In the lead up to the World Barista Championships, University of Bath scientists say brewing more flavoursome coffee could be as simple as chilling the beans before grinding. read more