My picks from ScienceDaily

How Corals Adapt To Day And Night:

Researchers have uncovered a gene in corals that responds to day/night cycles, which provides some tantalizing clues into how symbiotic corals work together with their plankton partners. Corals are fascinating animals that form the largest biological constructions in the world, sprawling coral reefs that cover less than 0.2 % of the seafloor yet provide habitats for more than 30% of marine life. In shallow waters that don't have abundant food, corals have developed a close relationship with small photosynthetic critters called dinoflagellates.

Giant Honeybees Use Shimmering 'Mexican Waves' To Repel Predatory Wasps:

The phenomenon of "shimmering" in giant honeybees, in which hundreds--or even thousands--of individual honeybees flip their abdomens upwards within a split-second to produce a Mexican Wave-like pattern across the bee nest, has received much interest but both its precise mode of action and its purpose have long remained a mystery.

Newer Antipsychotics No Better Than Older Drug In Treating Child And Adolescent Schizophrenia, Study Finds:

Nearly every child who receives an antipsychotic medicine is first prescribed one of the second-generation, or "atypical" drugs, such as olanzapine and risperidone. However, there has never been evidence that these drugs are more effective than the older, first-generation medications.

The 'Satellite Navigation' In Our Brains:

Our brains contain their own navigation system much like satellite navigation ("sat-nav"), with in-built maps, grids and compasses, neuroscientist Dr Hugo Spiers told the BA Festival of Science at the University of Liverpool on September 11.

Economic Value Of Insect Pollination Worldwide Estimated At U.S. $217 Billion:

INRA and CNRS French scientists and a UFZ German scientist found that the worldwide economic value of the pollination service provided by insect pollinators, bees mainly, was â¬153 billion* in 2005 for the main crops that feed the world.

Zebra Finches Vary Immune Response According To Age, Sex And Costs:

Is it always good to respond maximally when pathogens or disease strike, or should individuals vary their immune response to balance immediate and future costs?

New Ant Species Discovered In The Amazon Likely Represents Oldest Living Lineage Of Ants:

A new species of blind, subterranean, predatory ant discovered in the Amazon rainforest by University of Texas at Austin evolutionary biologist Christian Rabeling is likely a descendant of the very first ants to evolve.

Hotline To The Cowshed:

A wireless measuring system, consisting of sensors and transmission units, helps to keep livestock healthier with a minimum use of resources.


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There are 12 new articles in PLoS ONE today. I guess picking all 12 would not really be 'picking'? But all 12 are interesting to me! OK, here are six, and you go and look at the other six as well. As always, you should rate the articles, post notes and comments and send trackbacks when you blog…
Western honeybee, Apis mellifera. Image: William Connolley. When I was in graduate school, I nearly decided to study social bees for my dissertation work, but in the end, I decided to pursue my greatest passion, birds. However, despite this, bees have long been a favorite animal of mine, and if…
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The forests of east Asia are home to giant honeybees. Each one is about an inch in length and together, they can build nests that measure a few metres across. The bees have an aggressive temperament and a reputation for being among the most dangerous of stinging insects. Within mere seconds, they…