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Essential Compound to Life Birthed in a Lab
Essential Compound
to Life Birthed in a Lab

Essential Compound to Life Birthed in a Lab

No extreme heat or complex molecules required, meaning life may be more common than thought

(Newser) - "Why do we have life?" It's a massive question scientists have inched closer to answering in creating an essential compound for life in a lab, using simple molecules likely around during Earth's early days. All organisms are made from primary metabolites, directly involved in cell growth and...

Cyclops Mountains Expedition Makes Amazing Finds

Team captured first images of a platypus relative long feared extinct

(Newser) - The Cyclops Mountains in a remote part of Indonesia are not an easy place to explore—but braving the rugged terrain—and leeches that drop from trees—was worth it, expedition members say. An expedition led by Oxford University researchers found dozen of creatures new to science and one that...

Newly Discovered Millipede Is First With More Than 1K legs

Eumillipedes persephone is the leggiest creature ever found

(Newser) - For the first time, scientists have discovered a millipede that lives up to the name, with more than 1,000 legs. Researchers say Eumillipes persephone, a creature discovered deep in a mining borehole in Western Australia, has more legs than any other creature known to science, the New York Times...

We've Got Cadaver Dogs. Next Up: Cadaver Plants?
In Search for Human
Bodies, Plants May Be Key

In Search for Human Bodies, Plants May Be Key

Chemicals from decomposing remains may trigger visible changes in vegetation

(Newser) - Researchers are toying with a new idea that could transform grueling and expensive body-recovery missions, and it involves what you might call cadaver plants. Yes, plants. Neal Stewart, a biologist at the University of Tennessee, has long been interested in the ways plants sense and respond to stresses. Now, he...

Caster Semenya: They Used Me Like a 'Guinea Pig'

Comments come in response to release of 163-page document

(Newser) - Caster Semenya had strong words for track's governing body on Tuesday: "I will not allow the IAAF to use me and my body again." The 28-year-old runner was ordered by the IAAF to get her testosterone beneath a certain threshold if she wants to compete in events...

A New Study Just Rewrote the History Book on Plants

Study suggests they appeared 500M years ago, or 100M years earlier than believed

(Newser) - The arrival of plants on Earth changed the planet and its inhabitants in big ways, and a new study suggests they arrived far earlier than thought. University of Bristol researchers now say that land plants evolved from pond scum about 500 million years ago—a whopping 100 million years earlier...

Scientists Create World's First True-Blue Mum
Scientists Just Achieved
'Holy Grail' of Plant Breeding

Scientists Just Achieved 'Holy Grail' of Plant Breeding

Japanese team engineers the first blue chrysanthemum

(Newser) - A development of "great impact" has been made in the world of flowers—specifically among chrysanthemums, which researchers have just turned a true-blue hue for the first time, per Science . The magazine explains that vibrant blue flowers are hard to find in nature—only a few species exist, and...

Every Single School in the Ivy League Wants This Girl

Ifeoma White-Thorpe wants to study biology, but says her poetry got her in

(Newser) - Ifeoma White-Thorpe is going places. Two years ago, the New Jersey teen won the grand prize in the National Liberty Museum Selma Speech and Essay Contest (watch her recite it on YouTube ), she's aced all of her AP classes, she's president of her high school's student...

Tully Monster Mystery Not Solved After All

Scientists call for re-examination of the Tully Monster

(Newser) - Some creatures are so weird they seem to defy classification. They're even assigned the word "Problematica," a classification that serves as a sort of purgatory for the strangest of the strange as our understanding of the evolutionary tree of life continues to deepen. Such is the case...

Scientists: Mary Shelley Had Savvy Insight in Frankenstein

She was ahead of her time on a principle of biology

(Newser) - It seemed like such an innocent request. In her 1818 novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley has the monster ask Dr. Frankenstein for a mate, and the creature promises that he and his female counterpart would then go live in some remote corner of South America and never bother humans. The doctor...

Squirrels Prove It: Females Do All the Work, Guys Goof Off

Males appear to spend a lot of time basking in the sun: new study

(Newser) - Science has given tired women everywhere their I-told-you-so-moment, and it comes courtesy of the hapless Arctic ground squirrel: The males of the species appear to spend most of their non-hibernating months soaking up the rays above ground while the females are kept busy either nursing their young below ground or...

Ancient Flower Species Found Trapped in Amber

Perfect specimen could be up to 45M years old

(Newser) - A beautiful and probably deadly plant preserved in amber for years has turned out to be a species completely new to science. The new species, which has been named Strychnos electri, was identified from two tiny flowers perfectly preserved in amber found in a mine in the Dominican Republic. It...

Decades-Old Question About This 'Purple Sock' Is Answered

Scientists still haven't seen the creatures feed

(Newser) - Since it was first discovered 60 years ago off the coast of Sweden, biologists have wondered exactly where the deep sea creature that resembles a crumpled purple sock belongs in the animal kingdom's family tree. Now the discovery of four new species in an entirely different ocean has effectively...

Math Model Helps Answer Riddle of Tiger's Stripes

Researchers can better explain why they're vertical or horizontal

(Newser) - Since the 1950s mathematicians have been trying to sort out exactly why some animals, like tigers and zebras, have stripes that are oriented perpendicularly to their spines, while others, like the zebrafish, have stripes that are parallel. Now Harvard researchers are proposing a mathematical model in the journal Cell Systems...

Crocodiles May Be Watching You While They Sleep

Researchers say crocodiles do indeed sleep with one eye open

(Newser) - Bad news for Captain Hook: Crocodiles may be keeping an eye on humans even when the crocs are sleeping, according to new research published this week in the Journal of Experimental Biology . The BBC reports researchers in Australia monitored juvenile crocodiles using infrared cameras and determined they often slept with...

Study Overturns Long-Held Belief on Hummingbirds

They don't drink the way researchers have thought for 200 years

(Newser) - Hummingbirds beat their wings approximately 50 times per second, but that's nothing compared to how fast they can drink. A study out of the University of Connecticut debunks nearly 200 years of scientific thinking on how hummingbirds accomplish that task, with results showing the tiny birds can sip up...

Scientists Discover Venomous Frogs— the Hard Way

One gram of frog's venom is enough to kill 80 humans

(Newser) - Miss Piggy's split with Kermit wasn't the only painful frog-related news this week. Researchers have released their findings on the world's first known venomous frogs, whose abilities were only discovered when one of them stung a researcher's hand, leaving him with what a colleague calls...

Sharks Have a Sixth Sense for Killing, Literally

They're better at sensing electric fields than even our best tools

(Newser) - It turns out there's something sharks are even better at than spicing up your average made-for-TV movie about tornadoes: sensing electricity. Back in 1971, a Dutch scientist discovered sharks use tiny pores on their heads to sense the electric fields produced by other aquatic animals—and hunt those creatures,...

3 New Kinds of Pocket-Sized 'Dragons' Found

Andes cloud forests yield spiky, colorful lizards

(Newser) - Even in the year 2015, and even with widespread destruction of the world's wilderness, zoologists who look hard enough can still find new species of dragons—the dwarf kind, at least. Researchers combing the cloud forests of the Andes in Ecuador and Peru have uncovered three new kinds of...

Mushroom-Shaped Critter in Deep Sea Vexes Biologists

Animal found in 1986, only now being scientifically described

(Newser) - From afar, the deep-sea animal species Dendrogramma enigmatica resembles a chanterelle mushroom. Upon closer inspection, though, the creatures seem to belong to the animal, not fungi, kingdom. And yet they cannot be classified under any existing animal group, perhaps necessitating an entire rewriting of the early tree of life, not...

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