Animals, Biology, News

Killer whales are so smart they can learn to speak “dolphin”

Image via Animal National.

Killer whales are smart, we already know that; they’re also really scary. But a new study has shown that they are actually scary smart – up to the point where they can learn the language of another species. Killer Smart Killer whales are actually a species of dolphins found in all oceans, from the frigid Arctic and Antarctic regions to tropical seas….

Biology, Geology

Fossils Reveal “Beer-Bellied” Dinosaur

Image via Scientific American.

It was about as big as T-Rex, but not quite as fit – new fossils have revealed that Deinocheirus mirificus had quite a beer belly. “This is an entirely new body plan” for such dinosaurs, says Stephen Brusatte, a vertebrate palaeontologist at the University of Edinburgh, UK. Indeed, few scientists would have imagined such a scientific appearance. The first fossils of Deinocheirus mirificus (which means ‘unusual…

Biology, News

Goby fish hide in plain sight by changing their colors

The rock goby can change its skin coloring within a minute to blend in with its environmen and avoid predation, a new study found. Image credits: BAS KERS (NL)/FLICKR (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

When you think about changing colors, the word ‘chameleon’ usually comes to mind. But there are other animals which can change their colors – the mimic octopus is the most noteworthy example, and there’s also the fish that mimics the mimic octopus. Now, researchers have found yet another fish which can change its color – the simple rock goby. Rock gobies,…

Biology, Diseases, Health & Medicine, News

How you get Ingrown Toenails, explained by Science

ingrown_toenail

Having a ingrown toenail could ruin your day and a lot after if you don’t have it fixed. Yet, even though ingrown nails and other nail-related conditions are common and pesky, very little is known about them. Now, a team at University of Nottingham have published a mathematical model that explains what forces are tugged beneath your finger nails and what exactly happens when…

Biology, Health & Medicine, News

Paralyzed man Walks again after Nose Cells Transplant into the Spinal Chord

nose_cell

Regeneration of the spinal chord following a paralyzing injury was thought to be impossible, but groundbreaking efforts stirred by surgeons in Poland and Britain have turned this paradigm upside down. A team of dedicated surgeons and scientists transplanted  cells from the nasal cavity of a patient who had been paralyzed from the waist down for more than two years into…

Biology, Genetics, Health & Medicine, News

A Rogue gone Good: Mitochondria was initially an Energy Parasite

Image: knowingneurons.com

A new milestone study found that mitochondria – the energy factories in animal and plant cells – were initially very similar to parasitic bacteria some two billion years ago, and only later did they become energy sources. Very little is known about the origins of mitochondria, but by probing the genomes of bacteria closely related to the energy cell scientists at University…

Biology, News, Science, Technology

Building houses with bacteria

Image via Eco-Cement.

Houses of the future might be built with bacteria – at least partially. It may sound like science fiction, but a Spanish company located in Madrid is working to make that a concrete reality. It all starts with a common type of soil bacterium being. Put it in some soil, provide it with nutrients, and keep the temperature steady at about 30…

Animals, Biology, News

Ancient 385-million-year old Fish pioneered Sex

Microbrachius dicki fossils are very common, yet nobody noticed these vertebrates bore differentiated sexual organs. Photo: ROGER JONES

Paleontologists have identified the first known animals that used internal fertilization instead of spawning – armor-coated swimmers, called antiarchs, which lived around 385 million years ago in lakes in what is now Scotland. The discovery is truly monumental since its the earliest known example of sexual dimorphism or differences in appearance between the sexes in the fossil record. Sex emerged in…

Animals, Biology, News

Males may be Wired to choose Sex over Food

"Adaptive behavioral prioritization requires flexible outputs from fixed neural circuits. In C. elegans, the prioritization of feeding versus mate searching depends on biological sex (males will abandon food to search for mates, whereas hermaphrodites will not) as well as developmental stage and feeding status. Previously, we found that males are less attracted than hermaphrodites to the food-associated odorant diacetyl, suggesting that sensory modulation may contribute to behavioral prioritization," the researchers write in Current Biology. Image: Current Biology.

Men are from Mars and women are from Venus, or so the old adage goes, but how different are men and women? I won’t go into debates like whether or not men and women are neurologically the same – it’s a far too exhaustive and exhausting subject for such a short article. Clearly, however, men and women are different in…

Biology, Chemistry, News

Of Yeast and Flies: The Science of why Beer is so Delicious

Delicious beers - image via Cottage Life.

Whether you enjoy a strong malty taste, or a fruity savor, or even just a subtle aroma in your beer – you have yeast to thank for. Yeast imbues beer with aromatic molecules that account for most, if not all of the final flavor. But why is it that they create all this wide array of flavors? Kevin Verstrepen, a yeast geneticist…