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Gadzooks! The world's largest aquatic insect has reportedly been found in China. This cute/terrifying little creature, which is definitely worth writing home about, was found in the the mountains of Chengdu in Sichuan province, Scientific American reports. It boasts a wingspan of 8.3 inches. That breaks the previous record held by a species of South American helicopter damselfly, with a wingspan of 7.5 inches.
A virus that lives in the human gut has just been discovered, and to the surprise of scientists, it can be found in about half the world's population, according to a new study.
Doing things such as travelling to another country or contracting a disease could change the makeup of the bacteria community living in the gut. But how much of a person's life story could be told by tracking such bacterial changes?
For the first time, researchers have detected an unknown interaction between microorganisms and salt. When Escherichia coli cells are introduced into a droplet of salt water that is left to dry, bacteria manipulate the sodium chloride crystallization to create biomineralogical biosaline 3-D morphologically complex formations, where they hibernate.
A probiotic that prevents obesity could be on the horizon. Bacteria that produce a therapeutic compound in the gut inhibit weight gain, insulin resistance and other adverse effects of a high-fat diet in mice, investigators have discovered. Regulatory issues must be addressed before moving to human studies, but the findings suggest that it may be possible to manipulate the bacterial residents of the gut to treat obesity and other chronic diseases.
Leaf-mining insects disappeared from the western United States after the late-Cretaceous asteroid impact that also triggered the extinction of dinosaurs.
Blood-sucking insects may have been around for a lot longer than we thought. Newly discovered fossils show that bugs have been feeding on blood since the height of the dinosaur era. One of the fossilised bugs found seems to have died just after feasting on blood.
All dinosaurs were covered with feathers or had the potential to grow feathers, a study suggests.
Related: Siberian Discovery Suggests Almost All Dinosaurs Were Feathered
Excavations at an archaeological site at Kathu in the Northern Cape province of South Africa have produced tens of thousands of Earlier Stone Age artifacts, including hand axes and other tools. These discoveries were made by archaeologists from the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa and the University of Toronto (U of T), in collaboration with the McGregor Museum in Kimberley, South Africa.
The date of 23 July 2012 could have been the day the lights went out, along with suddenly not-so-smart phones, computers, satellite transmissions, GPS navigation systems, televisions, radio broadcasts, hospital equipment, electric pumps and water supplies.
Space debris is a serious problem, particularly in the heavily used Low Earth Orbits (LEO). As of 2013, NASA estimated a population of 500,000 pieces of space debris (between 1 and 10 cm in diameter); some 21,000 pieces of which are larger than 10 cm. Unfortunately, NASA estimates that there are more than 100 million pieces of debris smaller than 1 cm that cannot be seen.
A paper published last year in Icarus, the prestigious journal of planetary science, asked if it was possible that terrestrial life on Earth had been 'seeded' from beyond the Earth - and if so, does the building block of that life, DNA, contain any sort of message from our alien creators. Using mathematics, the authors of the paper - "The "Wow! signal" of the terrestrial genetic code" - looked for evidence of a statistically strong 'informational' signal in the genetic code, with surprising results.
More than 90% of human DNA is doing nothing very useful, and large stretches may be no more than biological baggage that has built up over years of evolution, Oxford researchers claim.
The new Luc Besson movie Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson, opens in theatres countrywide tomorrow. It’s based on the immortal myth that we use only 10 percent of our brains. Johansson’s character is injected with drugs that allow her to access 100 percent of her brain capacity. She subsequently gains the ability to learn Chinese in an instant, beat up bad guys, and throw cars with her mind (among other new talents). Morgan Freeman plays neuroscientist Professor Norman, who’s built his career around the 10 percent claim.
In Aesop's fable about the crow and the pitcher, a thirsty bird happens upon a vessel of water, but when he tries to drink from it, he finds the water level out of his reach. Not strong enough to knock over the pitcher, the bird drops pebbles into it -- one at a time -- until the water level rises enough for him to drink his fill. New research demonstrates the birds' intellectual prowess may be more fact than fiction.
The samango monkeys of South Africa usually have a good reason not to stray too far from the forest. Although they spend much of their time loping through the trees they know to keep within a certain range: climb too high and they're targets for eagles, too low and they could be a big cat's lunch.
To legions of dog-owners, the finding will come as no surprise: it does not take much to make a dog feel jealous.
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