Spiders spend their time spinning perfect, intricate webs that are stronger than steel and more elastic than a rubber band. But this feat requires very little brainpower. A new study indicates that a spider’s legs act without oversight from its brain, constructing webs with the same autonomy as a human heart beat.
[…] The U.S. National Science Foundation-funded research, published in Science Advances by Arizona State University co-authors Kelin Whipple, Arjun Heimsath and Kip Hodges, not only improves the understanding of how mountain ranges evolve over millions of years, but paves the way for understanding natural hazards associated with climate-driven erosion and, in turn, human life. […]
Continue reading “Loss of cultural song diversity and the convergence of songs in a declining Hawaiian forest bird community | Royal Society Open Science”
The effects of population decline on culturally transmitted behaviours in animals have rarely been described, but may have major implications to population viability. Learned vocal signals in birds are of critical importance to behaviours associated with reproduction, intrasexual interactions and group cohesion, and the complexity of vocal signals such as song can serve as an honest signal of an individual’s quality as well as the viability of a population. In this study, we examined how rapid population declines recently experienced by Hawaiian honeycreepers on the island of Kaua‘i (USA) may have influenced the diversity, complexity and similarity of learned honeycreeper songs.
The humble tomato is about to get a makeover. Plant physiologists in Brazil and Ireland are researching how to use the gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 to create the world’s first spicy tomato.
Continue reading “Gene engineers make super-size plants that are 40% larger – MIT Technology Review”
Researchers hope to create a new “green revolution” by improving photosynthesis.
Genetic engineers in Illinois have designed tobacco plants that grow as much as 40% larger than usual. If similar changes can be made to soybeans or potatoes, it could increase food supplies—though you won’t see the new plants in fields for many years.
Continue reading “Injecting wastewater underground can cause earthquakes up to 10 kilometers away”
New research shows that injecting wastewater deep underground can cause earthquakes far from the injection site. It also raises questions about which rock layers are the safest injection targets.
Continue reading “Drakolimni – Greece – Atlas Obscura”
Though Greece is known for its beautiful beaches and Mediterranean climate, these lakes look like they popped out of a northern fairytale. Their name—which translates to “Dragon Lake”— and the legends attached to them enhance the sense of magic and mystery.
Continue reading “Feed the Dingo: An Ecosystem Game | Science | Interactive | PBS LearningMedia”
Players strive to create a balanced desert ecosystem in which each animal has enough food to survive over a period of 12 days, in this interactive game from PLUM LANDING. Players see how the different species of plants and animals in a desert depend on one another. They also experiment with how changing the amount of one resource affects the whole ecosystem.