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Mosquitoes evolved to fly away with a belly full of your blood—without you ever noticing
Mosquitoes are weird fliers. Your typical aeronaut—a sparrow or a fruit fly, for instance—takes flight by jumping into the air. Only once aloft do they begin to flap their wings. Mosquitoes have the perplexing distinction of doing basically do the opposite. They begin their flight pattern by flapping their... Read more
Scientists solve a magnesium mystery in rechargeable battery performance
IMAGE: This is a photo illustration showing rechargeable batteries in the shape of an automobile. view more  Credit: iStockphoto Rechargeable batteries based on magnesium, rather than lithium, have the potential to extend electric vehicle range by packing more energy into smaller batteries. But unforeseen chemical roadblocks have slowed scientific progress.... Read more
Ice stream retreats under a cold climate
IMAGE: A fast-flowing ice stream at Upernavik, Northwest Greenland, terminating in Baffin Bay. The ice stream is recognizable by its heavily crevassed ice next to the smoother, slower-moving ice. Photo credit:… view more  Credit: Niels J. Korsgaard Why did the Jakobshavn Isbræ ice stream in West Greenland retreat under a... Read more
Even small amounts of oil made birds near Deepwater Horizon sick, researchers say
IMAGE: Doctoral student Jesse Fallon spent countless hours in the laboratory analyzing blood samples as they were shipped to Blacksburg from the Gulf of Mexico. view more  Credit: Nicole Newman Photos from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on April 20, 2010 show heartbreaking images of deceased or soon-to-be-deceased sea life–birds,... Read more
Neutron star collisions may have created most of the gold in the universe
Two city-sized orbs dance through their galaxy. Their dense mass, each equivalent to a star, spins the partners as they get closer and closer together, grazing the outer limits of their other half’s being. For 100 breathless seconds, their pas de deux of anticipation sends gravitational shivers through the... Read more
More than 75 percent decrease in total flying insect biomass over 27 years
IMAGE: This is a malaise trap in a nature protection area in Germany. view more  Credit: Hallmann et al (2017) The total flying insect biomass decreased by more than 75 percent over 27 years in protected areas, according to a study published October 18, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS... Read more
Three-quarters of the total insect population lost in protected nature reserves
IMAGE: This is a malaise trap in one of the research nature reserves, bordered by farmland. (Picture: Entomologischer Verein Krefeld) view more  Credit: Radboud University Since 1989, in 63 nature reserves in Germany the total biomass of flying insects has decreased by more than 75 percent. This decrease has long... Read more
Dolphin diets suggest extreme changes in the ocean may shorten food chains
IMAGE: Two Delphinus delphis swimming slowly on a calm day in the Southern California Bight. view more  Credit: Alisa Schulman-Janiger Dolphin Diets Suggest Extreme Changes in the Ocean May Shorten Food Chains: Extreme marine conditions like El Niño are associated with shorter food chain length in the California Current ecosystem,... Read more
What Star Wars taught scientists about sperm
When Charles Reilly and Donald Inger set out to make their short film—In the Beginning, an homage of sorts to Star Wars that (spoilers) tells the tale of a single sperm’s triumph in a literal life or death race to fertilize an egg—they had just one goal. Inger, the... Read more
DuPont Pioneer and Donald Danforth Plant Science Center collaborate
IMAGE: Adapting it to cassava and other food security crops such as teff, sorghum and millets provides exciting new possibilities for enhancing food security, nutrition and economic stability for smallholder farmers… view more  Credit: Donald Danforth Plant Science Center JOHNSTON, Iowa, and ST. LOUIS, Missouri, Oct. 17, 2017 – DuPont... Read more