research

Tiny fish foils predators by injecting them with opioid venom

Tiny fish foils predators by injecting them with opioid venom

The tiny fish Meiacanthus nigrolineatus, also known as the fanged blenny fish, doesn't look like much, but it has a secret weapon to keep predators at bay: venom. This venom is used to stop predators in their tracks, causing their blood pressure to drop and their ability to eat the blenny to diminish. While most fang-based venom causes extreme pain in the victim, the blenny fish's venom is different because it contains, among other things, an opioid peptide.

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Milestone brown dwarf star is 250 times purer than the Sun

Milestone brown dwarf star is 250 times purer than the Sun

Researchers have announced the discovery of SDSS J0104+1535, a new milestone brown dwarf star said to have the purest composition of any known similar dwarf, as well as the highest discovered mass. The star is found in the far reaches of our galaxy in a constellation called Pisces, and it is one of many ancient stars that compose that region. The star is thought to be around 10 billion years old.

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Facial recognition successfully used to diagnose rare genetic diseases

Facial recognition successfully used to diagnose rare genetic diseases

Researchers have successfully used facial recognition technology to detect a rare genetic disease called DiGeorge syndrome in patients. This breakthrough could prove to be a new diagnostic tool for doctors who often have trouble diagnosing the disease due to its many symptoms. The condition is estimated to affect one in 3000 to 6000 kids, and causes defects like heart problems and cleft palate.

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Researchers make nanofiber air filter that can be painted onto fabric

Researchers make nanofiber air filter that can be painted onto fabric

Researchers with the National University of Singapore have created a new type of air filter using nanofibers that is about two times more effective than commercial air respirators. This nanofiber air filter is see-through with better airflow than traditionally available air filters, and it also provides some level of UV protection. The air filter is described as eco-friendly and economical.

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This new discovery could change the way we study dinosaurs

This new discovery could change the way we study dinosaurs

Despite everything fossils can tell us about dinosaurs, a new study is changing some of the oldest research we have at our disposal. The study in question, published in the journal Nature today, not only changes how some dinosaurs are classified, but also suggests traits of a common ancestor and shakes up what we thought we knew about where dinosaurs came from.

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Scientists reconstruct face of man who died 700 years ago in Cambridge

Scientists reconstruct face of man who died 700 years ago in Cambridge

Researchers have reconstructed the face of a man who died in Cambridge during medieval times, giving moderns viewers an opportunity to see what someone looked like 700 years ago. Not surprisingly, the man shown in the reconstructed image looks no different than a modern man. According to the researchers, this man’s skeleton shows a lot of ‘wear and tear’ indicative of having lived a hard working-class life. He died at an age somewhere north of 40.

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Nature made this frog fluorescent, and it’s one of a kind

Nature made this frog fluorescent, and it’s one of a kind

Researchers have discovered the first amphibian ever with natural fluorescence: a small frog that glows bright green under ultraviolet light. It’s not common to find any critter with such a feature, but this is a first as far as frogs are concerned, making the polka dot tree frog (for now, at least) one-of-a-kind. Why the frog possesses this ability is unknown.

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Humpback whales are forming massive (and unusual) ‘super-groups’

Humpback whales are forming massive (and unusual) ‘super-groups’

A new report out of PLOS reveals that humpback whales are congregating in very large (relatively speaking) super-groups near South Africa, in some cases comprising pods as large as 200 whales. These large whale collectives are said to be engaging in feeding behavior, something that itself is unusual for the species, as it typically feeds on Antarctic krill in the southern polar region.

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Study: Ibuprofen poses major cardiac arrest risk

Study: Ibuprofen poses major cardiac arrest risk

Ask anyone, and there’s a good chance they’ve casually taken a tablet or two of ibuprofen to stave off a headache or other minor ailment. The general perception is that ibuprofen is a pretty safe drug, the small risk of stomach ulcers aside, and that’s why it is available in large quantities for low prices over the counter. According to a new study, though, this medication is associated with big increases in cardiac arrest risk, so much so that some professionals are calling for it to be made prescription-only.

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Beer brewed on Mars? Budweiser wants to make it happen

Beer brewed on Mars? Budweiser wants to make it happen

Have you wondered how much it would cost to buy a bottle of beer brewed on Mars? You may 'soon' get to find out. Budweiser has announced plans to research what it would take to setup microgravity brewing on Mars, where it hopes to be the first company to produce a beer. There are many challenges involved with such aspirations, of course, and we shouldn't expect to see any beer actually makes it way to the Red Planet for a long, long while.

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Portuguese cave yields 400,000-year-old human ancestor skull fossil

Portuguese cave yields 400,000-year-old human ancestor skull fossil

Researchers in Portugal are celebrating a new discovery: a 400,000-year-old cranium fossil belonging to an ancient ancestor of modern day humans. The fossil was discovered in a cave by an international team of researchers, and it is a new milestone for the small nation, being the oldest such fossil unearthed in Portugal to date. The skull fragment could help shed light on the evolution of Neanderthals, and may even reveal a new hominin species altogether.

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Researchers warn oceans may be warmer than thought

Researchers warn oceans may be warmer than thought

Researchers have warned that the planet’s oceans may be holding more heat than previously estimated, something that would mean Earth as a whole is warming at a faster rate than current estimates. Such information comes from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, also known as NCAR, in a study it recently published. Such a conclusion was made using a combination of models, ocean temperature monitors, and existing data.

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