Health Experts Warily Eye XBB.1.5, the Latest Omicron Subvariant

A young version of the coronavirus makes up one-quarter of Covid cases across the United States and over 70 percent of new cases in the Northeast.

#antibodies, #centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #china, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-omicron-variant, #evolution-biology, #gisaid-nonprofit, #northeastern-states-us, #proteins, #united-states, #van-kerkhove-maria, #viruses, #world-health-organization, #your-feed-health, #your-feed-science

These Engineers Want to Build Conscious Robots. Others Say It’s a Bad Idea.

The pursuit of robot consciousness may be humankind’s next moonshot. But it comes with a slurry of difficult questions.

#animal-cognition, #animals, #artificial-intelligence, #cognition-journal, #columbia-university, #computers-and-the-internet, #evolution-biology, #internal-sub-only, #philosophy, #robots-and-robotics, #science-robotics-journal, #your-feed-science

How Genital Stingers Give Male Wasps Some Sexual Equality

A study that involved giving frogs an unpleasant snack has shown that male wasps really can defend themselves with jabs from their genitalia.

#anatomy-and-physiology, #animal-behavior, #current-biology-journal, #evolution-biology, #frogs, #penis, #reproduction-biological, #research, #wasps-insects, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

Time Is Way Weirder Than You Think

The neuroscientist Dean Buonomano talks expansively about time — what it is and all the ways humans perceive its passing.

#audio-neutral-informative, #brain, #evolution-biology, #time

Happy Birthday, Omicron

One year after the variant’s discovery, virologists are still scrambling to keep up with Omicron’s rapid evolution.

#biology-and-biochemistry, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-omicron-variant, #evolution-biology, #immune-system, #your-feed-science

While Other Insects Played, This Species Evolved the Blade

Scientists are studying a fruit fly’s sharp organ that helps it lay eggs and eat, hoping to unlock the secrets of herbivorous insects.

#anatomy-and-physiology, #biology-and-biochemistry, #evolution-biology, #fruit-flies, #genetics-and-heredity, #insects, #proceedings-of-the-royal-society-b-journal, #research, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

It Looks Like a Shell, but an Octopus and 40,000 Eggs Live Inside

Scientists are studying how the argonaut octopus evolved the ability to produce a floating shell-like structure to care for its offspring.

#evolution-biology, #genetics-and-heredity, #octopus, #reproduction-biological, #research, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

How the ‘Black Death’ Left Its Genetic Mark on Future Generations

Scientists have discovered several genetic variants that protect Europeans from the bubonic plague — but also increase the risk of immune disorders.

#bubonic-plague, #deaths-fatalities, #europe, #evolution-biology, #genetics-and-heredity, #immune-system, #research, #your-feed-science

When Sarcastic Fringeheads Open Their Mouths, Watch Out

Scientists found that the fish’s unusual broad-mouthed display is reserved only for fighting with other members of its species.

#animal-behavior, #ecology-journal, #evolution-biology, #fish-and-other-marine-life, #mouth, #research, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

Why Omicron Might Stick Around

Omicron, the 13th named variant of the coronavirus, seems to have a remarkable capacity to evolve new tricks.

#biology-and-biochemistry, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-omicron-variant, #evolution-biology, #research, #viruses, #your-feed-science

How Chewing Shaped Human Evolution

An experiment revealed that chomping on slightly tougher material requires markedly more energy. Spending less time on mastication may go hand in hand with human evolution.

#anatomy-and-physiology, #evolution-biology, #jaw-body-part, #research, #science-advances-journal, #teeth-and-dentistry, #your-feed-science

Sneeze by Sneeze, Sponges Fill the Seas With Their Mucus

You might be tempted to say “gesundheit,” but the sea creature’s snot helps feed other marine organisms.

#animal-behavior, #current-biology-journal, #evolution-biology, #fish-and-other-marine-life, #research, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

Science Is Still in a Race Against the Coronavirus

Human ingenuity must keep up with the coronavirus.

#biology-and-biochemistry, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-omicron-variant, #evolution-biology, #vaccination-and-immunization, #viruses

The Mysterious Dance of the Cricket Embryos

A team of biologists and mathematicians studied hours of video to learn how insects take shape in the egg. The secret is geometry.

#anatomy-and-physiology, #biology-and-biochemistry, #crickets, #di-talia-stefano, #donoughe-seth, #evolution-biology, #extavour-cassandra, #hoffmann-jordan-mathematician, #internal-sub-only, #laboratories-and-scientific-equipment, #mathematics, #microbiology, #nakamura-taro, #rycroft-christopher, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

Giraffes May Be Long-Necked for Fights, Not Just Food

Evolutionary theories said giraffes developed their height to get to better eats, but ancestors may have gained the advantage through head-butting battles.

#evolution-biology, #fossils, #giraffes, #head-body-part, #neck, #paleontology, #research, #science-journal, #skull-body-part, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

Courage Seemed to be Dead. Then Came Zelensky.

Can economics make sense of heroism?

#capitalism-theory-and-philosophy, #economics-theory-and-philosophy, #evolution-biology, #internal-sub-only-nl, #philosophy, #zelensky-volodymyr

Started Out as a Fish. How Did It End Up Like This?

A meme about the transitional fossil Tiktaalik argues that although we did emerge from the sea, we aren’t doing just fine.

#canada, #evolution-biology, #fish-and-other-marine-life, #fossils, #nunavut-canada, #paleontology, #shubin-neil-h, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

Life’s Preference for Symmetry Is Like ‘A New Law of Nature’

Techniques from computer science may help explain the tendency in biology for structures to repeat themselves.

#biology-and-biochemistry, #evolution-biology, #genetics-and-heredity, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #proteins, #research, #rna-ribonucleic-acid, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

Cannibalistic Toads Reveal ‘Evolution in Fast Motion,’ Study Finds

The toxin that makes cane toads so poisonous is causing them to eat their young, but only in Australia, where they became an out-of-control pest.

#amphibians, #australia, #cannibalism, #central-america, #ecology-and-evolution-journal, #evolution-biology, #frogs, #invasive-species, #poisoning-and-poisons, #research, #your-feed-science

Fossil Reveals Secrets of One of Nature’s Most Mysterious Reptiles

The specimen shows that modern tuataras found in New Zealand are little changed from ancestors that lived 190 million years.

#communications-biology-journal, #evolution-biology, #fossils, #paleontology, #reptiles, #research, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

Act of ‘Heresy’ Adds Horseshoe Crabs to Arachnid Family Tree

A team of researchers say that rather than occupying their own branch in the history of life on Earth, horseshoe crabs are in the same group as spiders and scorpions.

#evolution-biology, #fish-and-other-marine-life, #fossils, #genetics-and-heredity, #molecular-biology-and-evolution-journal, #paleontology, #research, #spiders, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

Body Odor May Have Smelled Much Worse to Your Ancient Ancestors

Researchers worked out which receptors in your nose detect particular scent molecules, and found evidence of evolutionary change in some of these genes.

#china, #evolution-biology, #genetics-and-heredity, #plos-genetics-journal, #research, #smell-olfaction, #smells-and-odors, #your-feed-science

How Omicron’s Mutations Allow It To Thrive

Thirteen of Omicron’s mutations should have hurt the variant’s chances of survival. Instead, they worked together to make it thrive.

#antibodies, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-omicron-variant, #evolution-biology, #genetics-and-heredity, #research, #viruses, #your-feed-science

E.O. Wilson, a Pioneer of Evolutionary Biology, Dies at 92

A Harvard professor for 46 years, he was an expert on insects and explored how natural selection and other forces could influence animal behavior. He then applied his research to humans.

#animal-behavior, #ants, #deaths-obituaries, #evolution-biology, #harvard-university, #wilson-edward-o

Prints Long Thought to Be Bear Tracks May Have Been Made by Human Ancestor

New research published in the journal Nature suggests that the prints, discovered in Tanzania in 1976, were left by an unidentified hominin, or early human ancestor, more than 3.6 million years ago.

#archaeology-and-anthropology, #australopithecines, #evolution-biology, #nature-journal, #paleontology, #research

How Covid Raised the Stakes of the War Between Faith and Science

The debate isn’t just about creationism and stem cells anymore.

#christians-and-christianity, #copernicus-nicolaus, #creationism-and-intelligent-design, #darwin-charles-robert, #euthanasia-and-assisted-suicide, #evolution-biology, #internal-sub-only-nl, #republican-party, #science-and-technology, #vaccination-and-immunization

Why Strawberries Turn a Ghostly Shade of White

Researchers unlocked some of the genetic secrets that helped the colorful fruit evolve into so many varieties around the world.

#china, #evolution-biology, #genetics-and-heredity, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #research, #strawberries, #your-feed-science

How Did Elephants and Walruses Get Their Tusks? It’s a Long Story.

A new study reveals how some mammals evolved nature’s most impressive chompers (which are not always used for chomping).

#animals, #elephants, #endangered-and-extinct-species, #evolution-biology, #mammals, #paleontology, #pangaea, #proceedings-of-the-royal-society-b-journal, #teeth-and-dentistry

These Singing Lemurs Have Rhythm

For the first time, researchers have found a nonhuman animal that seems to have a sense of the beat.

#animal-behavior, #animal-cognition, #current-biology-journal, #evolution-biology, #lemurs, #madagascar, #max-planck-institute-for-psycholinguistics, #music, #ravignani-andrea, #research, #your-feed-science

Tuskless Elephants Escape Poachers, but May Evolve New Problems

Scientists identified the genes that played a role in many female elephants of Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park being born without tusks.

#elephants, #evolution-biology, #genetics-and-heredity, #gorongosa-national-park-mozambique, #ivory, #mozambique, #research, #science-journal, #teeth-and-dentistry, #wildlife-trade-and-poaching, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

What the Future May Hold for the Coronavirus and Us

Viral evolution is a long game. Here’s where scientists think we could be headed.

#antibodies, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-delta-variant, #coronavirus-risks-and-safety-concerns, #evolution-biology, #garry-robert, #genetics-and-heredity, #gounder-celine, #immune-system, #influenza, #sars-severe-acute-respiratory-syndrome, #vaccination-and-immunization, #wuhan-china, #your-feed-health, #your-feed-science

Looks Like Bird Poop. But It’s Really a Predatory Spider.

Many creatures use mimicry to hide from predators. This one also uses it to lure in prey.

#camouflage, #current-zoology-journal, #evolution-biology, #research, #southeast-asia, #spiders, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

This Rattlesnake Dares You to Call Its Bluff

Scientists designed a virtual reality experiment to understand just how tricky rattlesnakes can be.

#audio-recordings-downloads-and-streaming, #current-biology-journal, #evolution-biology, #research, #snakes, #virtual-reality-computers, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

This Flower Hides a Secret: It’s Actually a Carnivore

That this perennial wildflower digests trapped insects suggests that other plants’ appetites for animals may be overlooked.

#canada, #evolution-biology, #flowers-and-plants, #insects, #pacific-northwestern-states-us, #proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-sciences, #research, #university-of-british-columbia, #your-feed-science

Australia’s Trash Parrots Invent New Skill in Suburbs

Sydney’s clever and adaptable sulfur-crested cockatoos learn how to pry open garbage bins by watching one another.

#animal-behavior, #animal-cognition, #birds, #evolution-biology, #parrots, #research, #science-journal, #sydney-australia, #waste-materials-and-disposal, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

Discovery of ‘Dragon Man’ Skull in China May Add Species to Human Family Tree

A laborer discovered the fossil and hid it in a well for 85 years. Scientists say it could help sort out the human family tree and how our species emerged.

#china, #denisova-hominid, #endangered-and-extinct-species, #evolution-biology, #fossils, #harbin-china, #neanderthal-man, #paleontology, #research, #skull-body-part, #the-innovation

David Wake, Expert on Salamanders and Evolution, Dies at 84

While on a college field trip to collect beetles, he found salamanders. He became an authority and later grew alarmed by the disappearance of many amphibians.

#amphibians, #deaths-obituaries, #evolution-biology, #global-warming, #salamanders, #university-of-california-berkeley, #wake-david-1936-2021, #wildlife-die-offs

Some Male Birds Fly Under False Colors to Attract Mates, Study Suggests

Elaborate feather microstructures allow male tanagers to enhance their colors, making them seem as if they are higher quality mates.

#animal-behavior, #birds, #color, #evolution-biology, #feathers, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

This Endangered Bird Lost Its Song in Australia

New generations of a critically endangered species of songbird are failing to learn the tunes they need for courtship. It could lead to extinction.

#australia, #biodiversity, #birds, #evolution-biology

When the Aliens Arrive, What Will They Look Like? A Zoologist Has Answers

In “A Zoologist’s Guide to the Galaxy,” Arik Kershenbaum uses his knowledge of the various species here on Earth to speculate about what might exist out there.

#books-and-literature, #evolution-biology, #extraterrestrial-life, #kershenbaum-arik, #planets, #space-and-astronomy, #stars-and-galaxies, #the-zoologists-guide-to-the-galaxy-what-animals-on-earth-reveal-about-aliens-and-ourselves-book

The Power of Playing Dead

A study shows that pretending to be immobile — sometimes for an hour or more — helps larvae of insects called antlions outlast hungry predators.

#animal-behavior, #biology-and-biochemistry, #biology-letters-journal, #evolution-biology, #insects, #research, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

How Do Blind Worms See the Color Blue?

Eyeless roundworms may have hacked other cellular warning systems to give themselves a form of color vision.

#bacteria, #color, #evolution-biology, #eyes-and-eyesight, #genetics-and-heredity, #hazardous-and-toxic-substances, #light, #research, #science-journal, #senses-and-sensation, #worms, #your-feed-science

7 Virus Variants Found in U.S. Carrying the Same Mutation

Scientists don’t know yet whether the mutation makes the variants more contagious, but they are concerned that it might.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #evolution-biology, #viruses, #your-feed-healthcare, #your-feed-science

Tiny Blobs of Brain Cells Could Reveal How Your Mind Differs From a Neanderthal’s

Researchers grew clusters of brain cells in the lab with a gene carried by our ancient ancestors.

#brain, #evolution-biology, #genetic-engineering, #genetics-and-heredity, #monkeys-and-apes, #neanderthal-man, #research, #your-feed-science

Running Is a Total Body Affair

We can thank our heads and shoulders — and not just our knees and toes — that we evolved to run as well as we do.

#american-journal-of-physical-anthropology, #content-type-service, #evolution-biology, #exercise, #harvard-university, #head-body-part, #muscles, #running

The Coronavirus Is a Master of Mixing Its Genome, Worrying Scientists

New studies underscore how coronaviruses frequently mix their genetic components — which could contribute to the rise of dangerous variants.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #evolution-biology, #genetics-and-heredity, #research, #rna-ribonucleic-acid, #your-feed-healthcare

Darwin’s Dim View of the Second Sex

The father of evolutionary theory held women to be intellectually inferior to men, with one notable exception. Michael Sims explains.

#books-and-literature, #content-type-personal-profile, #darwin-charles-robert, #evolution-biology, #martineau-harriet-1802-76, #women-and-girls

These Lizards Have a Hot Trick to Escape Hungry Snakes

On some Japanese islands where lizards live, the ones that fear predators have higher body temperatures that help them run faster.

#anatomy-and-physiology, #ecology-letters-journal, #evolution-biology, #izu-islands-japan, #japan, #lizards, #miyake-island-japan, #research, #snakes, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

A Question Hidden in the Platypus Genome: Are We the Weird Ones?

Researchers have produced the most comprehensive platypus genome yet, as well as that of another monotreme, an echidna.

#australia, #evolution-biology, #genetics-and-heredity, #mammals, #platypus, #research, #your-feed-science

How Did Mistletoe Get Into the Treetops?

Before someone hung it up in your home, some animal had to get it into the canopies where it thrives to this day.

#american-naturalist-the-journal, #christmas, #evolution-biology, #mammals, #mistletoe, #research, #trees-and-shrubs, #your-feed-science