Archives for August, 2013

A virus is to blame for the deaths of hundreds of bottlenose dolphins along the East Coast of the United States:

Birds follow speed limits

Dr. Pierre Legagneux (University of Quebec in Rimouski, Canada) and Dr. Simon Ducatez (McGill University, Canada) published a new study in Biology Letters suggesting that birds judge the speed limit of cars to determine when to take flight. In areas with higher speed limits, birds were observed to take off sooner than areas with lower…

  Exciting news from the Smithsonian National Zoological Park! Mei, a giant panda bear at the zoo has given birth to a cub weighing in at 137 grams (~4.83 ounces)-too cute!! DNA tests will determine the sex as well as the paternity of the panda cub, which is either Tian Tian from the National Zoo or…

A new species of velvet worm (Eoperipatus totoros) is the first to be described from Vietnam after its discovery in 2010. This 2.5 inch long worm is distinguished from other velvet worms by hairs with unique shapes that cover its body.  These animals are difficult to find and study because they are usually hiding in the moist soil…

In honor of Maine Lobster month, this video from the American Chemical Society describes why lobsters always turn red when they are cooked, regardless of what color they were prior to being dropped into the stock pot. I don’t know about you, but this video has made me crave lobster for dinner tonight! Follow Dr.…

Meet the first newly discovered mammalian species in 35 years, the olinguito, as presented by Rob Nelson from Untamed Science:

Researchers Tal Shomrat and Michael Levin at Tufts University have found that planaria worms are able to quickly relearn lost skills after literally losing their heads.  The researchers trained the worms to find food in an environment with bright light and open space, both considered uncomfortable to the creatures. The time it took for worms to adjust to the environment…

US Navy funds spider research

The US Navy has decided to sponsor research conducted by Dr. Randy Lewis, a specialist in spider silk, at Utah State University. Their interest in the research lies in the ability for spider silk to maintain adhesiveness even under wet conditions. Therefore, Navy officials are seeking to create a synthetic  spider silk that they can…

  Another reason to marvel at dolphins. As a follow up to the previous blog on dolphins calling each other by name, new research from Dr. Jason Bruck at the Institute for Mind and Biology (University of Chicago) shows that dolphins have the longest memory known in animals. In addition to Kai, shown above, a…

Researchers at the University of Washington have shown that a trace component in burnt sugar (like the creme brulee above) and Caramel Colour III (used to color dark beers, brown sugar, etc) has been shown to help regenerate muscles in both fruit fly and mouse models of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Drs. Morayma Reyes (Professor of Pathology and Laboratory…