Atomic Bonsai KitIt's always nice to have some plant life around the house or to freshen up your drab cubicle, but let's face it -- many a modern urbanite (or suburbanite, for that matter) lacks a green thumb.
Enter the Atomic Bonsai Kit! A hip, clever, and evergreen alternative to wilting foliage, you simply interlock the cardboard bonsai leaves and branches together -- no scissors or glue (or watering or sunshine!) required. Like its real-life counterpart,........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 8/12/2006 3:05:28 PM)
Tiny animals on fingersPlease note: I didn't take any of these photographs. Where possible, I have included credits, or at least a link to where the photo is from. I encourage you to send in anything you think is good!
Hmmm.........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 8/12/2006 2:50:25 PM)
Whiplash the Cowboy monkeyWhiplash the Cowboy monkey is truly a fan favorite, he is an international star and a true cowboy.
He is an 18 yr old Capuchin Monkey and he is one of the biggest little monkeys in the world. Whiplash has been riding since he was two yrs old and has been a part of our family since he was born.........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 8/12/2006 2:06:41 PM)
Drilling Into Fossil Magma Chamber Deep Under the OceanResearchers aboard the research drilling ship JOIDES Resolution have, for the first time, drilled into a fossil magma chamber under intact ocean crust. There, 1.4 kilometers beneath the sea floor, they have recovered samples of gabbro: a hard, black rock that forms when molten magma is trapped beneath Earth's surface and cools slowly.
The scientists, affiliated with the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), published their findings on........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 8/11/2006 9:15:56 PM)
Hyena Mothers Give Dose of HormonesScientists have discovered that a dominant hyena puts her cubs on the road to success before they are born by passing on high levels of certain hormones that make her budding young leaders more aggressive and sexually advanced.
The report, published in the April 27 issue of Nature, is the first study in mammals to demonstrate a relationship between a female's social rank and her ability to influence her offspring's behavior through prenatal........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 8/11/2006 9:10:05 PM)
Microbe In The Depths Of Ocean LifeResearchers from MIT and six other institutions are part of a new center for exploring the microbial inhabitants of the sea.
The Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education (C-MORE) will facilitate collaborations among the previously separate disciplines of oceanography, microbiology, ecology and genomics. These new alliances will enable a deeper understanding of the seas, including their potential response to global........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 8/10/2006 11:49:32 PM)
New Mammal DiscoveredFossils of a new hoofed mammal that resembles a cross between a dog and a hare which once roamed the Andes Mountains in southern Bolivia around 13 million years ago was discovered by Darin A. Croft, assistant professor of anatomy at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and a research associate at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History
With Federico Anaya from Universidad Autónoma........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 8/9/2006 11:47:49 PM)
Genetic Snooze Button Governs Timing Of Spring Flowers In the long, dark days of winter, gardeners are known to count the days until spring. Now, researchers have learned, some plants do exactly the same thing.
Addressing researchers here today (Aug. 9) at a meeting of the American Society of Plant Biologists, University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher Richard Amasino described studies that have begun to peel back some of the mystery of how plants pace the seasons to bloom at the optimal time........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 8/9/2006 10:23:29 PM)
Arctic Coring Expedition Yield New CluesFor the second time in as a number of months, the IODP Arctic Coring Expedition (ACEX) is making news with new analysis of ocean-floor sediments. In the Aug. 10 issue of Nature, an article authored by several of the expedition researchers summarizes their findings: more evidence that the Arctic was extremely warm, uncommonly wet, and ice-free up to the time the last massive amounts of greenhouse gases were released into the Earth's atmosphere -........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 8/9/2006 10:12:29 PM)
Hard Thoughts On Soft InheritanceOrganisms, including humans, all inherit DNA from generation to generation, what biologists call hard inheritance, because the nucleotide sequence of DNA is constant and only changes by rare random mutation as it is passed down the generations.
But there also is evidence, particularly in plants, that non-genetic factors modifying the DNA can also be inherited. The modifications of the genetic material take the form of small chemical........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 8/8/2006 12:24:26 AM)
Storing Man-made Carbon DioxideDeep-sea sediments could provide a virtually unlimited and permanent reservoir for carbon dioxide, the gas that has been a primary driver of global climate change in recent decades, as per a team of researchers that includes a professor from MIT.
The scientists estimate that seafloor sediments within U.S. territory are vast enough to store the nation's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for thousands of years to come.
"The exciting thing........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 8/7/2006 10:00:18 PM)
It's Making Them Even CuterAs the heat wave rolls on, I turn to the local TV news website to find out if there are power outages, whether the subways are running, all that stuff.
But more than anything else, I really want to know one thing: how is the heat affecting cute baby animals?........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 8/6/2006 10:53:53 PM)
Three-clawed CrabA "mutant" crab with three pincers has been picked up off the Cornish coast.
Fisherman Jeff Brown caught the 20cm (7.8in) edible crab three miles off Portreath and realising its rarity, handed it into a Newquay aquarium.
The crab, christened Claudette by the Blue Reef aquarium staff, will be quarantined for several days before going on show.
Manager David Waines said additional fully formed pincers on crabs were "incredibly rare".........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 8/6/2006 9:54:59 PM)
Brazil Publishes Biodiversity Generic Name ListBrazil has published a list of more than 5,000 generic terms from the Portuguese language correlation to Brazilian plant biological diversity to raise awareness and prevent further misuse of trademarks that hinder Brazilian exports.
The Brazilian government has been, and is, involved in many trademark disputes with companies that, for example, take a name of a fruit in Brazilian Portuguese and trademark it to get exclusive rights to........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 8/6/2006 9:24:16 PM)
Searching For A WoodpeckerUnlike its more famous cartoon cousin Woody the Woodpecker, the ivory-billed woodpecker is believed to be extinct, or so most experts have believed for over half a century.
But last month researchers from NASA and the University of Maryland, College Park, Md., launched a project to identify possible areas where the woodpecker might be living. Finding these habitat areas will guide future searches for the bird and help determine if it is........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 8/4/2006 12:17:39 AM)
Bat in the House?With hot, humid weather in full swing, some Bay State homeowners may discover bats residing in their home! Attics are the most common portion of a house in which bats roost and raise their young. After a few hot summer days, an attic becomes too warm for the bats, forcing them into people's living quarters as they search for cooler places to roost. Inexperienced young bats may fall down a chimney, fly in open windows or down attic stairs. The........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/31/2006 7:03:43 AM)
How The Brain Turns On Innate BehaviorUC Riverside scientists have made a major leap forward in understanding how the brain programs innate behavior. The discovery could have future applications in engineering new behaviors in animals and intelligent robots.
Innate or "instinctive" behaviors are inborn and do not require learning or previous experience to be performed. Examples include courtship and sexual behaviors, escape and defensive maneuvers, and aggression.
Using the........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/30/2006 12:39:22 AM)
Cell-shaped Building In MakingAn innovative cell-shaped building will house a new biomedical research institute in Chengdu, China, thanks to an unusual crossdisciplinary collaboration between Shuguang Zhang, a world-renowned bioengineer and scientist at MIT, and his former student, architecture major Sloan Kulper.
Kulper (S.B. 2003) designed the cell-shaped building for the Institute for Nanobiomedical Technology and Membrane Biology in Chengdu, China, the regional........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/28/2006 9:40:01 PM)
Coexistence Among Desert RodentsThe warm deserts of North America are hopping with multiple species of kangaroo rats and pocket mice despite limited seed resources. Why doesn't one species win out in the rat race? Ecologist Mary Price (University of California, Riverside and University of Arizona) and theoretical biologist John Mittler (University of Washington) teamed up to explore their hunch that coexistence might follow from the propensity of these rodents to store........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/26/2006 5:39:04 PM)
Invasive Plants Prefer DisturbanceOne of the most invasive exotics in the western United States, the yellow starthistle, is successful both at "invasion" in non-native areas and "colonization" in native ones. However, new research from an international team of scientists finds that a disturbance such as fire or grazing actually increased the success of yellow starthistle far more in non-native than in its home regions. Furthermore, yellow starthistle was able to establish........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 7/26/2006 5:33:17 PM)
Fish Eating FishTwo fish for the price of one!
Some lucky one can have both.........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 8/12/2006 3:09:52 PM)
Blooming Of Amorphophallus TitanumThe titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum) is one of the world's most remarkable plants. Native to tropical forests in Sumatra, it produces a monstrous four- to nine-foot-tall flower head, which releases a monstrous stench of putrefaction at peak bloom (another name for the plant is the corpse flower!). The species rarely flowers in cultivation-the last time one bloomed in New York was 1939. However, Brooklyn Botanic Garden's ten-year-old specimen........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 8/12/2006 2:27:41 PM)
What Keeps Lizards' Blue Genes from Fading?Researchers have reported the first direct evidence that cooperative behavior in side-blotched male lizards arises from their genes. The findings, reported in the May 9 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by University of California--Santa Cruz's Barry Sinervo and his colleagues, represent some 20 years of research into the altruistic or "self-sacrificing" behavior.
Side-blotched lizards, it turns out, come in three different........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 8/11/2006 9:36:28 PM)
Fossils Links from Ape-menA team of scientists working in an eastern Ethiopian desert has discovered fossil bones and teeth from individuals they believe link the genus Australopithecus--precursors of humans--to a decidedly more ape-like animal of the genus Ardipithicus. Because the fossils were found in areas known to contain evidence of both older and younger specimens, the scientists say evidence of when the three hominid types existed will provide valuable........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 8/11/2006 9:32:01 PM)
Fat Regulating Hormone Found in AmphibianFor the first time, scientists have identified an amphibian version of the human hormone leptin. While the hormone's impact on human development is unclear, the new study suggests leptin plays an important role in tadpole growth and development.
"Leptin likely sets the stage for growth and development, both signaling to the brain that there are sufficient energy stores and directly promoting tissue growth and development," said University of........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 8/11/2006 7:10:31 AM)
Amphibian DeclinesThe National Science Foundation (NSF) funds ecology research in a number of areas, ranging from ecological ethics to tracking diseases responsible for amphibian declines, from human-landscape interactions to the ecological effects of Gulf Coast hurricanes, and biodiversity's importance to human and ecosystem health.
Researchers are presenting results of this research at the annual Ecological Society of America (ESA) meeting in Memphis, Tenn,........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 8/11/2006 7:04:52 AM)
Invasive Species Alter HabitatWhen researchers study habitats that alien species have invaded, they commonly find predictable patterns. The diversity of native species declines, and changes occur in natural processes such as nutrient cycling, wildfire frequency and the movement of water through the system.
But simply observing such changes doesn't prove that the invaders are responsible.
University of Michigan scientists Emily Farrer and Deborah Goldberg, however,........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 8/9/2006 11:54:28 PM)
Antioxidants against tick-borne illnessFor hikers, campers and others who enjoy the outdoors, summer can bring concerns about tick bites and related illnesses such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Scientists are investigating the role that antioxidants -- alpha-lipoic acid and potentially others like green tea and vitamins C and E, for example might play in preventing or treating the deadly rickettsia bacteria.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, part of........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 8/9/2006 10:17:56 PM)
West Coast Crustacean Found In Atlantic WatersMIT scientists have confirmed the first sighting of a Dungeness crab in the Atlantic Ocean. The male, whose species is common on North America's West Coast, was caught off Thatcher Island, Massachusetts, on July 19 by Lou Williams, captain of the fishing vessel Orin C.
The origin of the crab is not known. One possibility is that it may have been purchased from a live seafood market and released. The size of the crab (18 cm) and its gender........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 8/9/2006 10:03:08 PM)
Landscapes and human behaviorOn Arizona State University's (ASU) Polytechnic campus, graduate student families in the cluster of six houses abutting lush lawns and ornamental bushes spend time together talking while their kids play outside. Meanwhile, the families in a nearby cluster of six homes barely know each other. But that may be in part because their homes sit on native Sonoran desert, not nearly as conducive to recreation as the lush microclimate researchers........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 8/9/2006 7:16:03 AM)
Coral Microbial EcologyMost people are familiar with tropical coral reefs, located in warm, shallow waters. However, corals also exist hundreds and even thousands of meters below the ocean's surface where it is cold and completely dark. In the last few decades, researchers have discovered and photographed incredible gardens of deep-sea corals off the coasts of North America, Great Britain, Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, and New Zealand. These corals survive without........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 8/7/2006 10:06:05 PM)
Kayaks Adapted To Test Marine RoboticsMIT scientists are working toward the day when a team of robots could be put into action like a team of Navy SEALs -- doing such dangerous work as searching for survivors after devastating hurricanes or sweeping harbors for mines.
Working in labs that resemble machine shops, these engineers are taking small steps toward the holy grail of robotics -- cooperative autonomy -- making machines work together seamlessly to complete tasks with a........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 8/7/2006 9:55:17 PM)
Electronic Capacitors from seaweedNew materials for advanced electronics are commonly expensive, high-tech substances. But a team of scientists in France has shown that energy-storage components called supercapacitors can be made from a remarkably cheap and humble material: baked seaweed.
Francois Beguin of the CNRS Research Centre on Divided Matter in Orleans, France, and his co-workers say that seaweed, when burned to a charcoal-like form, is just the right stuff for........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 8/6/2006 10:08:55 PM)
Focus On Synthetic BiologyFive MIT scientists are among the pioneers behind a new research center in synthetic biology, a precocious field whose primary long-term goal is to make it easier to design and build useful organisms.
Current work includes refining pieces of DNA into standard biological parts that scientists could then mix and match to produce novel biological systems -- such as bacteria that synthesize rare cancer drugs -- and also fostering the responsible........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 8/4/2006 6:59:57 AM)
Brownfields May Turn GreenGrowing crops for biofuels summons images of fuel alternatives springing from the rural heartland. But a Michigan State University partnership with DaimlerChrysler is looking at turning industrial brownfields green.
Kurt Thelen, MSU professor of crop and soil sciences, is leading the investigation to examine the possibility that some oilseed crops like soybeans, sunflower and canola, and other crops such as corn and switchgrass, can be grown........Go to the Plant-science-blog (Added on 8/3/2006 11:54:44 PM)
Species unique to tidal marshes face extinctionTidal marshes occur in mid to high latitudes, along coasts that are protected within estuaries or behind barrier islands. They are most common in North America and China. Some tidal marsh species are protected from high salinity by relatively impermeable skin, and others have kidneys that can concentrate salts from large volumes of water or specialized glands that exude salt. Many are gray or black in color, which is believed to be an advantage........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 8/1/2006 7:13:17 AM)
Pigeons provide cluesThrough studying pigeons with genetic heart disease, researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine have discovered a clue about why some patients' heart vessels are prone to close back up after angioplasty.
"We identified a regulator of genes that controls the growth of artery smooth muscle cells," said William Wagner, Ph.D., senior researcher. "Learning to modulate the uncontrolled growth of these cells could potentially solve........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/28/2006 10:37:11 PM)
From Farm Waste To Bio-oilSamy Sadaka reached into a garbage bag, picked up a mixture of cow manure and corn stalks, let it run through his fingers and invited a visitor to do the same.
It wasn't that bad.
That mix of manure and corn stalks had spent 27 days breaking down in a special drying process. The end result looked like brown yard mulch with lots of thin fibers. There wasn't much smell. And it was dry to the touch.
"That's about 20 percent moisture,"........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/28/2006 10:10:46 PM)
Cougar Teh Mountain LionThe cougar or mountain lion is a large and potentially dangerous animal that is a natural and rather common - but not often observed - inhabitant of Mount Rainier National Park. The scientific name of the cougar, Felis concolor, means "cat of one color." The animal is identified by its large size, cat-like appearance, uniformly gray to reddish-tan body color, and long tail - nearly three feet (1 m) long and a third of its total length. The........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/26/2006 9:02:54 PM)
Male praying mantidsFemale praying mantids are notorious for sexual cannibalism that is, for eating their male partner during mating. However, the possibility that males may also have something to gain from this violent act has never been resolved experimentally. In a paper in the recent issue of The American Naturalist, Jonathan Lelito and William Brown (SUNY-Fredonia), study male risk-taking behavior in a praying mantis by altering the risk of cannibalism and........Go to the Animal-science-blog (Added on 7/26/2006 5:36:04 PM)