stephanie doria

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This gene stops nerve fibers from decaying

Scientists have identified a gene that protects against spontaneous nerve degeneration, a discovery that could have implications for treating a range …

Neuroscience

Evolution's Clock Ticked Faster at the Dawn of Modern Animals

Five hundred thirty million years ago, the number and diversity of life forms on Earth mushroomed. This so-called Cambrian explosion kept Charles …

Transplanted fat may treat rare metabolic diseases

Transplanting fat may help the body process essential amino acids, which patients with some inherited metabolic diseases can’t do on their …

Penn State

A Most Delightful Map

Think about this: You wake up in New York City, decide to go for a stroll, head east after breakfast, and a short time later, <i>still on foot,</i> you find yourself in Morocco. Three hundred million years ago, you could have done that! There was no civilization back then, no cities, no countries, no …

Huge Molasses Spill Off Hawaii: A Diver's Report

What's it like to dive into molasses-clogged Honolulu Harbor?<p><b>Hawaii's Honolulu Harbor has been inundated this week with 230,000 gallons—1,400 tons—of thick, sticky molasses from a pipeline spill. It may sound like a sweet problem, but the molasses is killing fragile coral reefs, endangered marine</b> …

Judge Rules 'Ikea Monkey' To Remain In Animal Sanctuary

Darwin the 'Ikea monkey' will no longer be hitting the superstores with a Canadian woman who calls him her son after a judge in Ontario ruled that the primate is not a pet and should remain at an animal sanctuary.<p>As we wrote in December, Darwin, a Japanese macaque dressed in a heavy shearling coat, …

Molasses spill in Honolulu Harbor poses calamity for marine life

Fish began dying en masse in the waters around Honolulu after hundreds of thousands of gallons of molasses spilled into Honolulu Harbor early this week, and there's nothing officials can do to clean it up.<p>Thousands of fish have died from the sugary sludge. Crabs lay dead along the harbor bottom …

Strange Movement Observed in Microscopic Horsetail Spores

Scientists at the University Grenoble in France, led by Philippe Marmottant, have observed that microscopic horsetail spores (<i>Equisetum</i> spores) are …

Federal officials recommend $453-million L.A. River restoration plan

Tentative L.A. River plan selected by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would restore 11-mile stretch but leave much of its banks hard to reach.<p>September 14, 2013|By Tony Barboza<p>An egret lands amid the vegetation in the Glendale Narrows area of the Los… (Luis Sinco, Los Angeles…)<p>After seven years of …

Researchers find gears in nature – on planthopper insects

Gears may seem like a purely human invention. And yet the basic interlocking mechanismfound inside grandfather clocks and car steering systems has now turned up in the remarkably powerful legs of young planthopper insects.<p>The discovery, published in Friday's edition of the journal Science, provides …

Florida is Home to Over 1,000 Rhesus Monkeys Infected With Herpes

A <i>New York Post</i> story has the headline, "Herpes-infected monkeys terrorize Florida." The article says over a thousand wild Rhesus monkeys, some …

Scientists Find Life Buried Under An Antarctic Lake

Scientists at the British Antarctic Survey have announced that they’ve confirmed the presence of life in samples of mud from the bottom of a subglacial lake in Antarctica. The team’s findings have been published in the journal <i>Diversity</i>.<p>The research team conducted their work at Lake Hodgson, on the …

How Common Are Sadists?

People who enjoy being cruel are scarily prevalent, new research says.<p>There may be more sadists lurking in our midst than we'd like to think, according to a new study from the University of British Columbia and the University of Texas at El Paso. After offering a group of college students the …

Latest from the tech labs: insects with gears and electric spider silk

<b>Top gear for bugs</b><p>Engineers taking their ideas from nature is nothing new – from early attempts at flight, to adhesives based on mussels and communications networks that act like hives – but sometimes scientists are surprised to find humans have created concepts, when nature got there first.<p>The …

Mers - will it start the next global pandemic?

Since April 2012, 108 cases of a new virus have been reported in humans, resulting in 50 deaths. Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) is in the same family as Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and the common cold (coronaviruses), but is more closely related to viruses found in bats. The …

How the diminutive zebrafish is having a big impact on medical research

It begins with sex on the beach. Pairs of zebrafish separate from the rest of their shoal and move into shallower and shallower water, continuing to cavort around each other in rapid, darting movements. When the female reaches ground that is only a couple of centimetres below the waterline, a …

Remote Antarctic Trek Reveals A Glacier Melting From Below

Scientists watching Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier from space have noticed with some alarm that it has been surging toward the sea.<p>If it were to melt entirely, global sea levels would rise by several feet.<p>The glacier is really, really remote. It's 1,800 miles from McMurdo, the U.S. base station …

Creating Renewable Plastics That Don’t Cost the Earth

Imagine a future where packaging is made entirely from waste material and biodegrades to harmless by-products. Or where your home’s cavity wall …

The Crazy-Specific Colors Biologists Use To Describe Animals

Is this lizard opaline green? Perhaps more pistachio?<p>In field biology, describing a lizard as "green" just won't do when the exact shade could be the key to identifying a species. You need to be specific: There's pale green, grass green, citrine, and 48 other greens to choose from in the new <i>Color</i> …

World's First 'Invisible' Skyscraper Is Not Made Of Metamaterials, Sadly

Still really weird and cool, though<p>We've long been interested in the progression of invisibility, which, for us, usually relies on crazy foundations like metamaterials. So when we heard that U.S.-based GDS Architects was working on an <i>invisible skyscraper</i> in South Korea, our ears perked up. Turns …

Find A Blue Chicken Egg? Congrats, Your Chicken Has A Virus

Not necessarily harmful! But just so you know.<p>Here in the U.S., our eggs mostly come in two colors: white and brown. But there are two breeds, one in Chile and one in China, that are known to lay <i>blue</i> eggs. Yeah, weird, right? And a new study has figured out why that happens.<p>The Araucana chicken …

Scientist Finds 360 Million Year Old Scorpion Fossil

Dr Robert Gess (pictured above), from the Evolutionary Studies Institute at Wits, discovered the 360 million year old fossilized scorpion from rocks …

Orangutans Announce Their Travel Plans A Day In Advance

In the wild, male apes can plan ahead where they'll be going, and they keep their female friends apprised.<p>We often think of the ability to plan for the future as a uniquely human attribute. Recent studies have suggested that our primate cousins might be able to plan for certain occasions, as well …

Comet collisions increase chance of life across solar system, research suggests

Violent impacts from comets and other hurtling bodies can pepper planets and their moons with the molecular building blocks of life, new research suggests.<p>The high-speed collisions unleash intense shock waves that can turn simple organic compounds found in comets and on icy worlds into amino acids, …

Health from above: a drone to deliver defibrillators to heart attack victims

German non-profit group Definetz wants to make defibrillators readily available across its country so that any time someone has a heart attack, the life saving devices are within arms reach. And it's looking to drones to help it bring its vision to fruition. On Friday, the group announced the …

A bigger fish for palaeontogists to fry…

An international team of scientists has uncovered the remains of the world's largest fish. The 50ft <i>Leedsichthys problematicus</i> swam the oceans of the Jurassic era more than 160m years ago, sweeping up shoals of plankton through giant, mesh-covered gills. <i>Leedsichthys</i> was eventually wiped out by the …