My picks from ScienceDaily

90 Billion Tons Of Microbial Organisms Live In Deep Marine Subsurface: More Archaea Than Bacteria:

Biogeoscientists show evidence of 90 billion tons of microbial organisms--expressed in terms of carbon mass--living in the deep biosphere, in a research article published online by Nature, July 20, 2008. This tonnage corresponds to about one-tenth of the amount of carbon stored globally in tropical rainforests.

Female Monkeys More Dominant In Groups With Relatively More Males:

Female monkeys are more dominant when they live in groups with a higher percentage of males. This is caused by self-organisation. This surprising discovery was made by researchers at the University of Groningen. What makes the study particularly interesting is that the researchers used a computer model which can simulate interaction between monkeys.

For Your Eyes Only: Custom Interfaces Make Computer Clicking Faster, Easier:

Insert your key in the ignition of a luxury car and the seat and steering wheel will automatically adjust to preprogrammed body proportions. Stroll through the rooms of Bill Gates' mansion and each room will adjust its lighting, temperature and music to accommodate your personal preference. But open any computer program and you're largely subject to a design team's ideas about button sizes, fonts and layouts.

Pregnant Mice Block Odor Of Strange Male's Urine To Protect Their Pups:

Mouse mothers-to-be have a remarkable way to protect their unborn pups. Because the smell of a strange male's urine can cause miscarriage and reactivate the ovulatory cycle, pregnant mice prevent the action of such olfactory stimuli by blocking their smell. Researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Monterotondo, Italy, have now revealed the nature of this ability. A surge of the chemical signal dopamine in the main olfactory bulb - one of the key brain areas for olfactory perception -- creates a barrier for male odours, they report in the current issue of Nature Neuroscience.

Suckling Infants Trigger Surges Of Trust Hormone In Mothers' Brains:

Researchers from the University of Warwick, in collaboration with other universities and institutes in Edinburgh, France and Italy, have for the first time been able to show exactly how, when a baby suckles at a mother's breast, it starts a chain of events that leads to surges of the "trust" hormone oxytocin being released in their mothers brains.

Common Wisdom About Troubled Youth Falls Apart When Race Considered:

One of the most widely accepted beliefs about the differences between troubled boys and girls may need to be revised, according to new research. Experts have long believed that girls tend to internalize their problems, becoming depressed or anxious, while boys externalize, turning to violence against people or property.

Ultrasonic Frogs Can Tune Their Ears To Different Frequencies:

Researchers have discovered that a frog that lives near noisy springs in central China can tune its ears to different sound frequencies, much like the tuner on a radio can shift from one frequency to another. It is the only known example of an animal that can actively select what frequencies it hears, the researchers say.

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Females have a natural preference for mating with dominant males, because this confers a genetic advantage upon the offspring produced. When selecting a mate, animals rely on chemical cues called pheromones, which relay information about the social status and genetic health of a potential mate.…
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