Bats have an uncanny ability to track and eat insects on the fly with incredible accuracy. But some moths make these agile mammals miss their mark. Tiger moths (left), for example, emit ultrasonic clicks that jam bat radar. Now, scientists have shown that hawk moths (right) and other species have also evolved this behavior. The nocturnal insects - which are toxic to bats - issue an ultrasonic "warning" whenever a bat is near. After a few nibbles, the bat learns to avoid the noxious species altogether. Interestingly, the sound-producing apparatus is typically located at the tip of the moth's genitals. [ ... ]
Take a good look at this if your stomach didn't already turn: this photo is a mother centipede protecting her young.
The creatures appears to be an Amazonian giant centipede (Scolopendra gigantean), which is the largest existing species of centipede in the world, reaching over 30 cm (12 in) in length. It is known to eat lizards, frogs, birds, mice, and even bats, catching them in midflight, as well as rodents and spiders.
Sorry, in advance, if it gives you nightmares [ ... ]
That's a pickup line sure to get one's attention if he/she knew that all snowflakes are, in fact, one of a kind!
All snowflakes start off looking basically the same, but they are individually shaped by their environments as they form and fall. First, water vapor condenses and freezes on a dust mote. The snowflake starts as a six-sided prism - six sides because of the way water molecules arrange themselves into ice crystals. As it grows, its edges expand and create branches of ice that shoot out from its corners. Differences in temperature and wind conditions turn the branches into one-of-a-kind works of art: Some are long and thin, some are short and fat, and some are covered in dozens of tiny sub-branches.
Unlike conventional plants, the Venus flytrap copes with poor soil by eating bugs! But the cost of insect hunting is high. Catching prey requires Dionaea muscipula to snap down quickly and then carry out the energy-intensive process of digestion. To balance the costs and benefits of eating meat, the plants have developed a counting system to identify real prey from false alarms, according to a new study.
To understand how the flytrap distinguishes a potential food source from a false alarm like a raindrop, researchers observed the electrical and chemical response of the plant to touch stimulation. In order to mimic insect prey, the scientists stimulated the hairlike sensors located on the plant’s trap. Touching the sensors two times quick [ ... ]
You've probably heard the saying 'don't eat yellow snow', for obvious reasons. Unfortunately, according to a new study published in the journal Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, you shouldn’t eat any snow. Snow has been found to act as a rather effective sink for tiny particles that are found primarily in car exhaust fumes, so any consumption of it is effectively like eating a pollution-flavored Popsicle.
Researchers of this study found that from just one hour of exposure, the levels of pollutants within the snow increased dramatically, with toxic particles becoming trapped within the small ice particles or dissolved within pockets of meltwater. This means that snow is a particularly effective “sink” for car exhaust pollution.
Dog owners often say they "know" that their dog understands what they’re feeling. Now, scientists have the evidence to back this up. Researchers tested 17 adult dogs of various breeds to see whether they could recognize emotional expressions in the faces and voices of humans and other dogs - an ability that’s considered a higher cognitive talent because two different senses are involved. Each dog took part in two test sessions with 10 trials. One by one, they stood facing two screens on which the researchers projected photos of unfamiliar but happy/playful human or dog faces versus the same faces with angry/aggressive expressions (as in the photo above). At the same time, the scientists played a single vocalization - either a dog bark, [ ... ]
Proteins are subatomic biomolecules. They're produced by cells, so it's logical to assume that they are much tinier than cells, and of course, much tinier than the organelles that produce them. In a remarkable achievement, scientists have now obtained the first-ever photographs of single proteins. Using a "holography electron microscope," researchers tested on a range of protein samples, all just a few nanometers in size. Hemoglobin, the protein that transports oxygen in red blood cells, and cytochrome c, the protein that transfers electrons within the body, were just two examples.
As cigarette smoking rates fall, more people are smoking tobacco from hookahs: communal pipes that enable users to draw tobacco smoke through water. A new meta-analysis shows that hookah smokers are inhaling a large load of toxicants. According to the study, compared with a single cigarette, one hookah session delivers approximately 125 times the smoke, 25 times the tar, 2.5 times the nicotine and 10 times the carbon monoxide (CO). The latter stat accounts for the light-headedness and high that smokers experience when inhaling the smoke, since CO reduces the amount oxygen capable of binding to circulating red blood cells.
In addition to these estimates, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that, for the first time [ ... ]
Titi monkeys are monogamous animals (having only one mating partner), mating for life. They are found in South America and live in family groups which consist of parents and their offspring (usually 3 to 7 members), and sit with their tails entwined. After a gestation period of about 5 months, the female bears a single young monkey. The bond between the male and the infant is very strong and the father cares for the young, carrying it and bringing it to the mother only for nursing.
The periodic table has been given four new elements, changing one of science’s most fundamental pieces of knowledge. Elements 113, 115, 117 and 118 will now be added to the table’s seventh row and make it complete, after they were verified by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry on December 30th. The new elements were discovered by team from Japan, Russia and the USA, who will all get to name their own new elements.
All of the four new admissions are man-made. The super-heavy elements are created by shoving lighter nuclei into each other and are found in the radioactive decay - which only exists for a tiny fraction of a second before they decay into other elements.
The elements have been worked on since at least 2004, when st [ ... ]