My picks from ScienceDaily

Dinosaur Whodunit: Solving A 77-million-year-old Mystery:

It has all the hallmarks of a Cretaceous melodrama. A dinosaur sits on her nest of a dozen eggs on a sandy river beach. Water levels rise, and the mother is faced with a dilemma: Stay or abandon her unhatched offspring to the flood and scramble to safety? Seventy-seven million years later, scientific detective work conducted by University of Calgary and Royal Tyrrell Museum researchers used this unique fossil nest and eggs to learn more about how nest building, brooding and eggs evolved. But there is a big unresolved question: Who was the egg-layer?

Fish Choose Their Leaders By Consensus:

Just after Americans have headed to the polls to elect their next president, a new report in the November 13th issue of Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, reveals how one species of fish picks its leaders: Most of the time they reach a consensus to go for the more attractive of two candidates.

Mineral Kingdom Has Co-evolved With Life, Scientists Find:

Evolution isn't just for living organisms. Scientists at the Carnegie Institution have found that the mineral kingdom co-evolved with life, and that up to two thirds of the more than 4,000 known types of minerals on Earth can be directly or indirectly linked to biological activity.

Pelvis Dated To 1.2 Million Years Ago Shows Ancestors May Have Been Born With Big Heads:

Discovery of the most intact female pelvis of Homo erectus may cause scientists to reevaluate how early humans evolved to successfully birth larger-brained babies.

Turning Urine Into Water For Space Station Recycling:

Two hundred and fifty miles above the Earth puts you a long way from the nearest kitchen tap. And at $15,000 a pint, the cost of shipping fresh water aboard the space shuttle is, well, astronomical.

Marine Plankton Found In Amber:

Marine microorganisms have been found in amber dating from the middle of the Cretaceous period. The fossils were collected in Charente, in France. This completely unexpected discovery will deepen our understanding of these lost marine species as well as providing precious data about the coastal environment of Western France during the Cretaceous.

Clicking Knees Are Antelopes' Way Of Saying 'Back Off':

Knee clicking can establish mating rights among antelopes. A study of eland antelopes has uncovered the dominance displays used by males to settle disputes over access to fertile females, without resorting to genuine violence.

How Our Senses Combine To Give Us A Better View Of The World:

From a young age we are taught about the five senses and how they help us to explore our world. Although each sense seems to be its own entity, recent studies have indicated that there is actually a lot of overlap and blending of the senses occurring in the brain to help us better perceive our environment.

Impact Of Climate Warming On Fish:

International consensus on the reality of climate change is now apparent: global warming is ascribable in large part to human activities. It is causing rapid deterioration of the environment and is increasing the threat to biodiversity. However, the mechanisms of its impact are still poorly known, particularly in the aquatic environment.

Dalmatian Bladder Stones Caused By Gene That Regulates Uric Acid In Humans:

A gene mutation that causes high levels of uric acid in all Dalmatian dogs and bladder stones in some Dalmatians, has been identified by a team of researchers in the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis.

Species Diversity Of Enigmatic 'Flying Lemurs' Doubled By New Study:

Colugos (aka flying lemurs)--the closest living relatives of primates most notable for their ability to glide from tree to tree over considerable distances--are more diverse than had previously been believed, according to a new report published in the November 11th issue of Current Biology.

Wasabi Receptor Can Sense Ammonia That Causes Pain:

A Japanese research group, led by Prof Makoto Tominaga of National Institute for Physiological Sciences in Japan, has found that the receptor for hot taste of wasabi, Japanese horseradish usually eaten with Sushi, can sense alkaline pH caused by base such as ammonia.

New Treatment Method For Canine Eye Diseases Developed:

An Iowa State University researcher is exploring a new method of getting medicine to the eyes of infected dogs that is more effective and reliable than using eye drops. Dr. Sinisa Grozdanic, an assistant professor of veterinary clinical sciences at Iowa State's College of Veterinary Medicine, is working with a drug manufacturer to develop a method of implanting biodegradable medicine into the tissue surrounding a dog's eyes. The medicine releases gradually and treats the infected eye for an entire year.

Innovative Surgery Provides New Lease On Life To Dogs:

Only six months after undergoing a unique and innovative surgery at Michigan State University, Jake - part dog and now part machine - spends his time working out on an underwater treadmill, traversing obstacle courses and prancing around pain free.

'Arid Aquaculture' Among Livelihoods Promoted To Relieve Worsening Pressure On World's Drylands:

"Arid aquaculture" using ponds filled with salty, undrinkable water for fish production is one of several options experts have proven to be an effective potential alternative livelihood for people living in desertified parts of the world's expanding drylands.

Predatory Bacterial Swarm Uses Rippling Motion To Reach Prey:

Like something from a horror movie, the swarm of bacteria ripples purposefully toward their prey, devours it and moves on. Researchers at the University of Iowa are studying this behavior in Myxococcus xanthus (M. xanthus), a bacterium commonly found in soil, which preys on other bacteria.


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Singing In The Rainforest: Public Vs. Private Signaling By A Tropical Rainforest Bird: According to the Chinese proverb, a bird sings because it has a song, not because it has an answer. A team of French and Brazilian researchers, however, may have the answer as to how the song of Brazilian white-…
Acoustic Communication In Deep-sea Fish: An international research team studying sound production in deep-sea fishes has found that cusk-eels use several sets of muscles to produce sound that plays a prominent role in male mating calls. Helping Dogs With Cancer May Benefit People: A new study…
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