nature

Dinosaur egg study shows surprising and new skull features

Dinosaur egg study shows surprising and new skull features

Today were taking a peek at a dinosaur egg that was part of a study published today in Current Biology. This dinosaur egg is one of a collection of eggs that were found in Patagonia, Argentina. The difference between this egg and the other eggs that were discovered and analyzed in the past is the near-intact embryonic skull inside.

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New theory says supernovae caused extinction events on Earth

New theory says supernovae caused extinction events on Earth

According to a new study published this week by researchers at the University of Illinois, a nearby star's supernova may've caused one of out planets mass extinctions millions of years ago. The event studied here took place in the Late Devonian, "culminating in extinction events near the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary." Evidence shown in the study published this week suggests that asteroids weren't the only thing that killed massive amounts of life on Earth in the distant past.

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The world’s first gene-edited squid and why it’s historic

The world’s first gene-edited squid and why it’s historic

Researchers have revealed this week that they've been successful in gene-editing a squid for the first time in human history. Cephalopods are used to study Alzheimer's and Parkinson's due to their significantly large brains. Using the DNA editing tool CRISPR, a genetically altered squid will potentially jump-start major advances in the study of neurodegenterative diseases of many sorts.

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New DNA analysis says you’ve got more pre-human ancestors

New DNA analysis says you’ve got more pre-human ancestors

This week a research paper published in PLOS Genetics revealed a newly developed algorithm for analyzing genomes. Researchers used their new system on the genomes of two Neanderthals, two humans of African descent, and a Denisovan. Approximately 1% of the genome of the Denisovan came from an "unsequenced, but highly diverged, archaic hominin ancestor."

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The most inactive creatures ever discovered

The most inactive creatures ever discovered

Creatures shown in a study published this month can survive with lower energy requirements than any life previously discovered by humanity. Some of the undersea sediment-dwelling microbes shown in this study have survived "under extreme energy limitation for millennia, thus calling into question the limit for life.

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Scientists mutate fish with disturbing results

Scientists mutate fish with disturbing results

Research published this week showed an experiment run by scientists with mutation on their minds. In the experiments, scientists altered single genes of zebrafish and recorded the results. Their aim was to study the evolution of the jaw. They created fish with fused upper and lower jaw cartilages, unable to close their mouths.

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Beetle camera research shows turning tiny head better than whole body

Beetle camera research shows turning tiny head better than whole body

Researchers from the University of Washington have revealed a new "wireless steerable vision" system for live insects and teeny tiny robots. Solutions presented in this research were created to investigate insect vision, and the study the trade-offs made by insects between small retinal regions and the movement of said retinal regions independent of an insect's body through head motion.

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Bubonic plague squirrel found in Colorado

Bubonic plague squirrel found in Colorado

A squirrel tested positive for bubonic plague in Morrison, Colorado over the weekend. This is the first confirmed case of plague in the county (Jefferson County, Colorado), but not the first case of plague in the state. The report appeared on Saturday, July 11, 2020, when the Jefferson County Colorado Public Health department delivered results to the community with a set of symptoms and warning signs.

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Flying snake mystery solved by science

Flying snake mystery solved by science

The latest study published by Virginia Tech on flying snakes revealed a key point in the process. With motion capture technology and high-speed cameras aplenty, researchers created a three-dimensional mathematical model of snake flight that incorporates aerodynamic and inertial effects. They confirmed that it's not any one element that allows this flight, but a combination of the shape the snakes makes, the locomotion of the snake, and other elements that make the glide function. This work shows "a different function than known uses of undulation in other animals" - which COULD be used to make new dynamic flying robots!

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FDA issues coronavirus pet guidelines: What dog and cat owners should do

FDA issues coronavirus pet guidelines: What dog and cat owners should do

With the debate over "reopening the US" continuing to rage, COVID-19's potential impact on pets and other animals has led to new guidance from the FDA for those worried about possible infection. The number of cases worldwide of animals being infected by COVID-19 is still low - exponentially smaller, in fact, than human coronavirus cases, which now exceed 1 million in the US, and more than 60,000 deaths - though that hasn't prevented concerns that dogs and cats could be a risk vector.

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Self-sustained luminescent tobacco plants stay bright all life long

Self-sustained luminescent tobacco plants stay bright all life long

A group of researchers engineered a group of tobacco plants to product self-sustained luminescence that lasts the plant's whole life long. The light is visible to the human eye. These researchers at the Moscow-based biotech startup Planta and the Russian Academy of Sciences suggested in their report that their findings "could underpin development of a suite of imaging tools for plants." That's radical potential for the future of living light!

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Coral breeding breakthrough could help save critically endangered reefs

Coral breeding breakthrough could help save critically endangered reefs

A breakthrough in breeding an endangered coral could have huge implications for the Florida Reef Track, with researchers managing for the first time to reproduce the at-risk animals. Coral reefs can take hundreds or even thousands of years to form, but the impact of overfishing, rising temperatures, ocean pollution, and other factors have seen them dramatically reduced in recent years.

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