Life Science

Little known fact: like Costa’s hummingbird, the facial plumage has an iridescent underside that I can flash with muscle contractions.

Autophagy wins a Nobel

Well, actually, Yoshinori Ohsumi has won the prize for his work on autophagy, a cellular process you may have never heard of before. The word means “self eating”, and it’s an important pathway that takes chunks of the internal content of the cell and throws them into the cell’s incinerator, the lysosome, where enzymes and…

Heroic Humpback Whales

Scientists have taken notice that humpback whales may shown signs of heroic altruism in this video posted by CNN on YouTube:

Friday Cephalopod: Net traps and chiller

If you ever wondered how to breed nautiluses…

Can bees experience positive emotions?

A new study was designed to test whether bees can experience some kind of primordial “emotions”. In the study bees were trained to associate a tunnel marked with a blue flower with a sugar water treat at its end. In contrast, a green flower meant no reward at the end of the tunnel. However, when bees were…

Using Feces to Identify Species

According to a press release from Northern Arizona University, Drs. Faith Walker and Carol Chambers at the Bat Ecology & Genetics Lab have developed a system called Species From Feces to identify bat species from guano collected in field locations such as mines, caves, bridges, etc. The system takes advantage of DNA sequencing technology and an assay…

As the name implies, Clostrodium difficile (C. diff.) bacterial infections are difficult to treat because of antibiotic resistance. The problem with C. diff is that these bacteria release toxins that cause inflammation and diarrhea. In fact, C. diff is the number one cause of infectious diarrhea in hospitals as well as long-term care facilities. Studies have shown that probiotic…

Friday Cephalopod: It’s a trap!

Don’t let the pokeboys and pokegirls enslave you!

A Review of Undeniable, by Douglas Axe.

Do you remember those commercials, from a few years back, for Excedrin headache medicine? There was a whole series of them. In each, some very normal-looking and totally relatable person would talk straight to the camera, explaining that he or she suffered from terrible headaches and had tried every other remedy. The climax of each…