Termites know more about ventilation that human architects

The humble termite only has its body, saliva and some soil to work with, and the only blueprints it has are instinctual, based on variations in wind speeds and fluctuations in temperature as the sun rises and sets. Working with such limited resources, they still erect monumental mounds that, a new study reveals, rely on a surprisingly well-tuned mechanism for efficient ventilation, something architects today still struggle with.

Your cat doesn’t see you as a source of security and safety

Adult domestic cats do not view owners as the main provider of security and safety.

Kids everywhere, rejoyce – science says you should get those “5 more minutes, mom!”

A recent study performed by researchers working at the University of Oxford, Harvard Medical School and the University of Nevada suggests that the current school and university start times have a damaging effect on the learning and health of students.

Why don’t they just eat all of them – predator-prey study reveals new law governing ecosystems

The results of a new study offer insight into the workings of predator-prey mechanisms, more specifically how the number of herbivores and other animals that are preyed upon affect the number of carnivores.

Massive die-off threaten endangered antelope species’ future

One of the planet’s most endangered antelope, the saiga, suffered from a die-off of unprecedented scope. The massive loss of life from just a few weeks ago has conservationist groups worried about what future may hold for the species. But clues as to exactly what wiped out half of Kazakhstan’s saiga are starting to emerge, and scientists are looking at bacteria that normally co-exist with the antelope host, harmlessly living in their bodies as the main culprit.

Using your body as your personal LAN, or what I dub the Bluebody technology.

Everyone knows that the body is used to communicate way more information than we do by speech, almost unconsciously, but researchers at the University of California, San Diego, are aiming to take that to a whole new level.

The star(fish) destroying robot is yellow and deadly

Picture this:

A city under siege. Many of the outlying buildings are old, dry, lifeless shells of their former beauty as nearly 50 percent of the population is wiped out, consumed by ravenous invaders. And the only hope of lifting the siege lies with a poison injecting, yellow robot.

Alaskan shore overrun by thousands of walruses – here’s why

Thousands upon thousands of Pacific walrus were captured by photographer Gary Braasch as they came ashore on the northwest coast of Alaska last week, in an event believed to be triggered by global warming.

Plastic debris in 90% of seabirds’ guts

Researchers studying the plastic problem our ocean is facing predict that by 2050 nearly every single maritime bird species will have plastic pieces inside their digestive systems. The grim prediction is based on a new study showing that about 90 percent of seabirds today have plastic in their bodies.

NASA research put together into a video showing how the ocean’s garbage patches formed over the last 35 years

Aaah, the ocean. The true final frontier. Full of wonderful and exciting things, such as strange fish, stranger crustaceans, beautiful hydrothermal vents, and lovely, ever-growing garbage patches.

Take a peek into the lives of a California condor family

Big Sur, California will see the newest installment of the Big Brother franchise, but with a twist. A team of wildlife conservationists have installed live-streaming web cameras on condor nests in the area, allowing scientists and enthusiastic bird watchers the world over to take a peek into the lives of Gymnogyps californianus.

Eating food rich in protein can boost cardiovascular health as much as exercise or quitting smoking

The results of a new UEA study reveal that people who eat high levels of certain amino acids found in meat and plant-based protein have lower blood pressure and show less arterial stiffness, directly translating to higher levels of cardiovascular health. The magnitude of the association is similar to those previously reported for lifestyle risk factors including salt intake, physical activity, alcohol consumption and smoking.

The Iron Snail lives on volcanic vents, two miles under the sea, all thanks to its spectacular armor

It’s hard to believe anything can be alive thousands of feet below the Indian Ocean where thermal vents effectively boil the water. Yet even in the most inhospitable conditions, life has a way of creeping in. Such is the case of chrysomallon squamiferum, a snail-like creature which may very well sport the best armor in the animal kingdom.

RoboHow: the Wikipedia that teaches robots how to cook

An European initiative founded in 2012, dubbed RoboHow, comes to take up the challenge of improving the way robots work and interact with humans by creating a database that should help robots learn and share information with each other (even by using actual language), mimicking human learning processes.

Virginia Wildlife Center will release two bald eagles back to the wild

North America boasted about half a million eagles before Europeans colonized the territory. They took the influx of Old World-ers quite harshly: the loss of habitat, the strains put on them by hunting activities and the spreading of pesticides among many others resulted in a steep decline of their population in the US. In 1997, the state of Virginia reported to have only about 50 bald eagle nests occupied by the avian predators. Thankfully, their numbers are slowly increasing at present, with more than 1,000 sightings of active nests throughout the Commonwealth.

University of California 3D printed fish are the most advanced microbots we built to date

Nanoengineers from the San Diego University of California used innovative, self-developed 3D printing methods to create multipurpose, fish-shaped microbots – that they call microfish – which can swim around efficiently through liquids, powered by hydrogen peroxide and are magnetically controlled.

A massive 3,600-year-old palace was found near Sparta

Ongoing excavations at a site in the southern Peloponnese are offering rare insight into the ancient past of Laconia, about which very little physical evidence exists. The Greek Ministry of Culture released several photographs yesterday showing the newly unearthed ruins of an ancient palace likely built during the 17th-16th century BC.

Bacterial infections turns amoebae into the world’s tiniest farmers

In 2011 the Queller-Strassmann lab, then at Rice University, made a surprising announcement in Nature Letters.
They had been collecting single-celled amoebae of the species Dictyostelium discoideum from the soil in Virginia and Minnesota. While laboratory grown strain of Dicty happily fed on the bacteria provided for it by its keepers, roughly one third of the wild strains showed a green (or maybe bacterial) thumb. When food was short, they gathered up bacteria, carried them to new sites and seeded the soil with them.

Research moves closer to a universal flu vaccine

Scientists from the Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) have discovered a way to give antibodies the ability to fight a wide range of influenza subtypes. Their work has great potential to one day eliminate the need for repeated seasonal flu shots.

Raise’em right! Only we’re not – modern parenting may hinder brain development

Several cultural beliefs and modern social practices may hinder children’s mental, moral and emotional development, finds a study by an interdisciplinary body of research presented recently at a symposium at the University of Notre Dame.