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Scientists show predators could drive fish to colonize land

Scientists may have found an explanation for why the first amphibious fish moved from water to land. On a small island in the South Pacific Ocean, four species of blennies spend half their time in water and half on land. To test whether predation could be driving the transition to land, researchers created blenny mimics and dispersed them throughout the blennies’ habitats. They found that the aquatic mimics were attacked at a much higher frequency than the terrestrial mimics were, making predation a viable cause for the water-to-land transition. Continue reading Scientists show predators could drive fish to colonize land

Pseudomonads II

Pseudomonads II

The adaptation of the opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa often produces phenotypic diversity. Here, mutants isolated from a genetic screen show notable differences in phenotype: the production of pigments, size, shape, and texture. The blue-green pigmentation seen in some mutants results from the production of pyocyanin, an excreted toxin that kills other microbes and mammalian cells. Whereas, the brown pigmentation is caused by the exocellular pigment, pyomelanin, which … Continue reading Pseudomonads II

Honeybee

Better Bees: Progress Towards Robotic Pollinators

Bees and pollen are associated with a variety of irritations, but together they play a key role in crop production and global agriculture. Unfortunately, bee populations have been declining over the past decade. In response to the threat posed to the world’s food supply, scientists from Japan have been working to develop a robotic bee that can pollinate flowers just like a real honeybee. These … Continue reading Better Bees: Progress Towards Robotic Pollinators

Pseudomonads I

Pseudomonads I

The adaptation of the opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa often produces phenotypic diversity. Here, mutants isolated from a genetic screen show notable differences in phenotype: the production of pigments, size, shape, and texture. The blue-green pigmentation seen in some mutants results from the production of pyocyanin, an excreted toxin that kills other microbes and mammalian cells. Whereas, the brown pigmentation is caused by the exocellular pigment, pyomelanin, which … Continue reading Pseudomonads I

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Why are hurricanes weakening? Possible reasons and the long term pattern

In 2012, Hurricane Sandy, the second costliest hurricane in United States history, caused the loss of 233 lives and assessed damage of 75 billion dollars. With Sandy still on the minds of many, it may surprise you that America’s Atlantic coast may actually be in the middle of a decades long lull in hurricane activity. Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) published this surprising … Continue reading Why are hurricanes weakening? Possible reasons and the long term pattern

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Charging your cell phone through your shirt

Modern society is built on portable electronics, and with these power-hungry pieces of technology comes the need for convenient charging. To mitigate the need to find power outlets, a team at the University of Central Florida, lead by Jayan Thomas, created a ribbon which both harvests solar energy and stores it within a single unit. Remarkably, the technology is able to be woven with other … Continue reading Charging your cell phone through your shirt

glacier

Lakes formed from glacial melting may cause havoc on local communities

Glacier meltwater provides a steady source of water for communities that would otherwise lack access during the dry season, but melting glaciers can cause problems beyond raising the sea level and endangering coastal communities. Meltwater forms lakes below the glaciers, and this water is often held in place by natural dams. Rock slides or avalanches can weaken or destroy these dams, causing the lakes to … Continue reading Lakes formed from glacial melting may cause havoc on local communities