My picks from ScienceDaily

Greenland's Constant Summer Sunlight Linked To Summer Suicide Spike:

Suicide rates in Greenland increase during the summer, peaking in June. Researchers speculate that insomnia caused by incessant daylight may be to blame. Karin Sparring Björkstén from the Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, led a team of researchers who studied the seasonal variation of suicides in all of Greenland from 1968-2002. They found that there was a concentration of suicides in the summer months, and that this seasonal effect was especially pronounced in the North of the country - an area where the sun doesn't set between the end of April and the end of August.

Flight Of The Bumble Bee Is Based More On Brute Force Than Aerodynamic Efficiency:

Brute force rather than aerodynamic efficiency is the key to bumblebee flight, Oxford University scientists have discovered. In recent years scientists have modelled how insect wings interact with the air around them to generate lift by using computational models that are relatively simple, often simplifying the motion or shape of the wings.

Ultrasonic Communication Among Frogs:

UCLA scientists report on the only known frog species that can communicate using purely ultrasonic calls, whose frequencies are too high to be heard by humans. Known as Huia cavitympanum, the frog lives only on the Southeast Asian island of Borneo.

Narcolepsy Is An Autoimmune Disorder, New Research Shows:

Ten years ago, Stanford University School of Medicine scientist Emmanuel Mignot, MD, PhD, and his colleagues made headlines when they identified the culprit behind the sleep disorder narcolepsy. Now Mignot and his collaborators have shown for the first time that a specific immune cell is involved in the disorder -- confirming experts' long-held suspicion that narcolepsy is an autoimmune disease.

Tree-Killing Hurricanes Could Contribute To Global Warming:

A first-of-its kind, long-term study of hurricane impact on U.S. trees shows that hurricane damage can diminish a forest's ability to absorb carbon dioxide, a major contributor to global warming, from the atmosphere. Tulane University researchers from the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology examined the impact of tropical cyclones on U.S. forests from 1851-2000 and found that changes in hurricane frequency might contribute to global warming.

EBay Has Unexpected, Chilling Effect On Looting Of Antiquities, Archaelogist Finds:

By improving access to a worldwide market, eBay has inadvertently created a vast market for copies of antiquities, diverting whole villages from looting to producing fake artifacts, Stanish writes. The proliferation of these copies also has added new risks to buying objects billed as artifacts, which in turn has worked to depress the market for these items, further reducing incentives to loot.

Small Brain Of Dwarf 'Hobbit' Explained By Hippo's Island Life:

Ancient Madagascan hippos have shed light on the origins of the small brain of the 1-metre-tall human, known as the hobbit, scientists at the Natural History Museum report in the journal Nature May 7.

Filling The Gap In The Fossil Record:

The Neoproterozoic interval of "hidden" evolution refers to a gap of unknown duration between the time when animals first evolved (uncertain) and the oldest known fossil or geochemical evidence of animals (latest Neoproterozoic, about 600-650 million years ago).

Why Female Birds Seek Extra Mates: Study Of Blue Tits Fuels Debate:

When female birds mate with males other than their social partners and have broods of mixed paternity, the offspring sired by these "extra-pair" fathers may often get a head start in life, according to a new report. The discovery adds fuel to the debate about why some female birds seek those extra mates in the first place.

Cave Activity Discouraged To Help Protect Bats From Deadly White-nose Syndrome:

White-nose syndrome, a wildlife crisis of unprecedented proportions, has killed hundreds of thousands of bats from Vermont to West Virginia and continues unchecked. Now, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is asking those who use caves where bats hibernate - called hibernacula - to take extra precautions and to curtail activities to help prevent the spread of WNS.


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